How to Register and Perform a Wedding By State
If you are either planning to be married or have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in North Carolina, you've come to the right page. Ordained ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in North Carolina and around the world!
The information provided below is designed to walk you through the most common steps to become a minister and perform a wedding ceremony in North Carolina.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to become an Ordained Minister in North Carolina
Ordination is completely free and can be completed in less than a few hours. Thousands of ministers have registered to perform marriages in North Carolina and other states each year!
If you haven't already, you should get ordained online with Open Ministry.
Get started today by clicking on the link below!
Step 2 - Contact The County Clerk
How to Register to Officiate a Marriage in North Carolina
Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk) in North Carolina. Let them know that you are a minister of Open Ministry in California, and ask what they will require of you to officiate a legal marriage in North Carolina.
When speaking with the county clerk; it can be helpful to use the following phrases.
- What agency or department issues marriage licenses in your county and how may I contact them?
- I am an ordained minister with a church in California and I would like to register as a wedding Officiant in your county to perform and solemnize weddings.
- I have my Letter of Good Standing and/or Ordination Credential as proof of my ministry and ordination.
- What additional documentation is required for me to register as a wedding Officiant in your county?
Step 3 - Getting Licensed to Perform the Marriage
License to perform a wedding in North Carolina
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our bookstore to purchase your official credentials and any required documentation (See North Carolina State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in North Carolina you may be asked to display proof of your ordination to the county clerk's before they will accept the marriage license as having been legally solemnized. We typically advise ministers of North Carolina to get a Complete Minister Package for North Carolina which includes your Letter of Good Standing.
Having your ordination credentials will also provide peace-of-mind to any couple that you intend to marry. Additionally, we recommend that you have at least 4 weeks between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials in time to register.
It is important to note that some county clerks in North Carolina may require wedding officiants to attach a statement avowing some of the elements in the marriage license upon submission, including the following:
- The time and location at which the wedding took place
- The names and places of residence of all official witnesses
- The religious organization in which the officiant is ordained
- The printed name and address of the officiant
Please note that, when filling out a marriage license, that North Carolina State may request you use the title "Minister" or "Reverend". The County Clerks may also require you enter your denomination, you can use "Non-Denominational". Failing to state a denomination may result in rejection and could require a duplicate marriage license.
51-1 Requisites of marriage; solemnization
A valid and sufficient marriage is created by the consent of a male and female person who may lawfully marry, presently to take each other as husband and wife, freely, seriously and plainly expressed by each in the presence of the other, either:
(1) a. In the presence of an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister authorized by a church, or a magistrate; and
b. With the consequent declaration by the minister or magistrate that the persons are husband and wife; or
(2) In accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, or federally or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe.
Marriages solemnized before March 9, 1909, by ministers of the gospel licensed, but not ordained, are validated from their consummation.
Chapter 51: Marriage - Article 1: General Provisions
(1871?2, c. 193, s. 3; Code, s. 1812; Rev., s. 2081; 1908, c. 47; 1909, c. 704, s. 2; c. 897; C.S., s. 2493; 1945, c. 839; 1965, c. 152; 1971, c. 1185, s. 26; 1977, c. 592, s. 1; 2000?58, ss. 1, 2; 2001?14, ss. 1, 2; 2001?62, ss. 1, 17; 2002?115, ss. 5, 6; 2002?159, s. 13(a); 2003?4, s. 1; 2005?56, s. 1; 2007?61, s. 1; 2009?13, s. 1.)