(Closed) North Carolina Officiant Laws

posted 7 years ago in North Carolina – Research Triangle
Post # 4
Member
351 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I believe in NC the rule is that it has to be either an ordained minister or a magistrate judge.  So I THINK (I’m not positive) that you could have someone ordained over the internet to do it if it is by a recognized religion.  My husband and I are atheists and were adamant about not having a minister marry us and we didn’t want to go the internet route for fear of finding out 10 years from now that we had not been properly married.  So, we ended up going to the courthouse to get legally married on the day of our ceremony in front of our family and friends.  At the time, we looked at it as a formality and the ceremony in front of our friends as the real wedding, but the ceremony at the courthouse turned out to be very sweet and one of my favorite parts of the weekend because it was pretty much just the two of us. 

I would call the Clerk of Court and ask for the marriage license office to find out for certain who can do what. 

Post # 6
Member
3709 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I am pretty sure it has to be either the magistrate or a minister. I don’t think being ordained online is going to work though b/c the minister needs to currently have a congregation if I am not mistaken. I agree with the PP that it will probably be best to call the Clerk of Court in the county where they intend to be married to find out what needs to be done.

Post # 7
Member
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We had a good friend ordained through the Universal Life Church and just received our marriage license today in the mail…it’s all good!  If you’re concerned, I’d call to confirm.  We also found out that you can get the license in any county in North Carolina, not just the one you’re getting married in.

Post # 8
Member
563 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - Alexander Homestead

I know this thread is pretty old but it is still very applicable to my question. We are planning a NC wedding but i would like our family’s dear friend and pastor to officiate the wedding. Pastor lives in Indiana where he was ordanined but would NC reconize that he is a minister without any special registration requirement with the court? When we thought of having he wedding in VA, they required that he be registered in their officiant registry and i would have had to petition the court, pay $85 filing fee and then have him come to the clerk’s office at least the friday before the wedding to be sworn in in person and sign the official registry. Too much hassle!!! Anyway, any and all advice would be appreciated. 

Post # 9
Member
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

@ComputerLove06:  You should be alright here. When you fill out the marriage license, your officiant will fill in their name and title. If they just write “minister”, that should be good enough for the Register of Deeds. I assure you, the state of North Carolina has no interest in chasing down every single minister to make sure that they are legit! (And yours has actually been ordained, so you wouldn’t even have a problem if they did.)

Post # 10
Member
563 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - Alexander Homestead

@redbirdevents:  AWESOME! Thanks so much! This is such a comfort to read and learn.  I had a small feeling that it probably wasn’t a big deal but I didn’t want to take a chance in case NC had something extraordinary going on outside of the norm. I appreciate your input! Smile

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