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North Carolina-Outer Banks

An alternative to hiring an officiant

I'm going through Beach Ball events for my wedding and part of the package includes officiant services.  Included in my paperwork was a mock-up of the vows from the officiant.  After reading through the vows numerous times over the summer, I realized that I hated them.  Let me just say that the vows are worded in a way that I've never heard them before and I've been to many weddings.  So at first I thought I would just suck it up and deal because I figured getting nitpicky with the vows was borderline bridezilla behavior.  I can choose not use the officiant and looked into other officiants in the area. But then I had an epiphany while reading the sunday paper last week: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/10/mail-order-ministers/So I went online to see if online online ordination is legit in NC and they are: http://north-carolina.usmarriagelaws.com/. I'm going to call the clerk's office just to double check before I make any arrangements.  We decided to ask our family to see if anyone would be interested in marrying us and FI's brother-in-law stepped up to the challenge.  He doesn't want us to pay him for his 'services' but I got him to agree to allow us to pay for the ordination (which is around $30-40 depending on which website you go to- I think we're going with http://openordination.org/index.phpbut there's a few on the internet) I think this is a good alternative to hiring an officiant if you're comfortable with the idea (we still haven't sold my FMIL on the idea since she wants a member from her church to perform the ceremony but that's a whole other issue- the rest of the family thinks its a really cool idea and that's what matters to me--I'm dealing with a FMIL control issue with this wedding planning).  We're going to help FI's brother-in-law with writing the vows and I'm pretty design savvy so I'm going to create our marriage certificate.  Our 'officiant' needs to sign our marriage certificate and marriage license, then return the license to the clerks office.  He's one of the most dependable guys I know (definitely make sure whoever you pick is dependable!)So I know a few of you were asking around about officiants and if you can't find someone, you could always get a friend or family member to marry you!  While our ceremony will be religious, this is a good alternative for those who want a nondenominational wedding. I think it's just another way to make a wedding more personal, unique and definitely memorable.

Re: An alternative to hiring an officiant

  • edited December 2011
    We attended a wedding on the Outer Banks (Currituck Lighthouse), where the officiant was a friend of the groom with his mail-order "ordination" papers. It was nice having a close friend play such a significant role in the wedding. As far as we all know, they are officially married!My daughter is having a minister from a church in Manteo perform their wedding in Kitty Hawk (HGI), since her minister at home won't be able to make it.
  • edited December 2011
    Online ordination in NC is a very grey area. If you want to chance your marriage being legally recognized, that's your personal choice, but please, please, please DO NOT encourage others to do this in the guise that it is in any way legal in NC (reference: http://www.ulcseminary.org/forum/uploads/NCvLynch.pdf).excerpt of interest: "Whether defendant is married inthe eyes of God, of himself or of oany 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 brought to 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
  • ajsansleyajsansley member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    This is what I found out on-line about who can marry you in NC:  Officiants:Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and magistrates. follow the link:  http://marriage.about.com/cs/marriagelicenses/p/northcarolina.htmMy Step-Dad is going to become ordained to marry us in Corolla on May 22nd, 2010.We have both done a lot or research, and from what we understand, it is perfectly ok and leagal!Ansley from Pittsburgh
  • edited December 2011
    Online ordainments are not recognized as legal in North Carolina.  They must have gone through the ordainment process (which requires sitting exams), be a magistrate, or a ship captain.  I just asked about this at the courthouse in Raleigh last week because we want a friend to perform the ceremony and he's not 100% positive he will be done with the ordainment process by the time of our wedding.Now what a lot of people in NC will do is go down to the courthouse to get legally married, then have whoever they please do the ceremony the day of the actual wedding.Chances of the state saying your online ordained minister nullifies your marriage are probably low but where I could see it becoming an issue is if you are sued in a civil case and the legality of your marriage is an issue (inheritance, etc).  I personally wouldn't want it to ever be an issue.
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