North Carolina

Getting ordained in NC

My FH and I were talking about asking his older brother to get ordained and preforming our ceremony. Our big concern is will it be held as a legal marriage? Does anyone know the laws on this or where we could find out the laws? Lauren

Re: Getting ordained in NC

  • edited December 2011
    I do not know the laws but have heard there is an online class and then you can apply for license to perform ceremonies.
  • edited December 2011
    It's apparently hard to get ordained to perform a legal ceremony in NC.  And there have been several cases where the marriage turned out to not be legal.  Laud has links that she normally posts in response to these questions.  If she doesn't respond with them you could page her.
  • edited December 2011
    i'm not an attorney but do your research and you will find online ordination to not be legal in the state of nc since 1981. you can't even count on the $10 an hour clerks to give you the right information so be careful.
  • edited December 2011
    This question has indeed been posted in the past, no it will not be held as legal. Your best bet would be to have an officiant do the legal marriage ceremony at the courthouse, THEN have your 'ordained' brother-in-law do the ceremony elsewhere.
  • edited December 2011
    Online ordination in NC is a very grey area. Here's the case on the books that says it's not: http://www.ulcseminary.org/forum/uploads/NCvLynch.pdf).excerpt of interest: "Whether the defendant is married in the eyes of God, of himself, or of any ecclisiastical body is not our concern. Our concern is whether the marriage is one the State recognises. '(A) marriage pretendedly celebrated before a person not authorized would be a nullity.' State v. Wilson...(1897)...A ceremony solemnized by a Roman Catholic layman in the mail order business who bought for $10.00 a mail order certificate giving him 'credentials of minister' ...is not a ceremony of marriage to be recognized...in the State of North Carolina."Every once in a while someone newer will ask about this on one of the NC boards. Most of the regulars know to steer them far far far away from being married in NC by someone ordained online. There are a lot of people - including people that work in local & state governments - that are ignorant about the cases that serve as precedent for the State's decision. If ever questioned in court, there's no way, "The clerk of court, so-&-so, told me that it was ok..." would hold up as a good defense. FWIW, we also get people on here, now & then, that get misinformed about name changes in NC too. Believe it or not, most of the bad info comes from SSA employees! =P
  • alliegator8alliegator8
    1000 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    I looked in this as well.  There is a lot of confusion.  Back in the 70-80's someone that it would be a good idea to challenge the legitamcy of those type of marriages.  The State Supreme Court ruled in there favor and all the marriages that had been done that way up to that point were voided.You can have a friend marry you.  You will be able to change your name, file a marrriage license, file your taxes together.  However, if anyone in the state were to ever challenge that again, it could voided your marriage license.  NC is the only state that this is an issue in.  I have tons of friends who have do this and haven't had any issue.
  • edited December 2011
    eh, mostly NC & NY (NY is much more clear on the fact that they're not legal). There's a few other states where it's doable but you have to jump through a few hoops first. Personally, I think it's BS. If you want a non-religious ceremony, performed by a loved one, you should be able to let that constitute as your official ceremony as long as your properly file your license...but I don't make the laws & the only laymen currently allowed to perform legal marriages in NC are appointed magistrates :(
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