North Carolina

Can I officiate a wedding in NC? With Cibus Mission – Yes!

Your Ministry Credentials include a license number, title and more. While there are no officiant registration requirements in North Carolina, you must be an ordained minister to legally perform marriages. Local regulations in North Carolina state that wedding officiants designated as “Ministers” must be ordained by a religious organization, such as Cibus Mission.

North Carolina does have a law (North Carolina General Statutes § 51-1) that specifies who can solemnize marriages. This includes all ministers, including those ordained online by Cibus Mission. However, there are no laws, offices, or procedures requiring officiants to register with any government office.

In simple terms, once you are ordained online by Cibus Mission, you immediately have the legal authority to officiate weddings anywhere in North Carolina. If you have been asked to officiate a wedding in North Carolina, get ordained with Cibus Mission today!

Becoming ordained with Cibus Mission is simple. Get ordained, watch a free training video or live course, and then you may choose your credential package.

Although you are not required to register with any North Carolina government office as a wedding officiant, it is advisable to keep personal records of your official Ministry Credentials. Proof of your ordination is crucial in case the couple, government officials, or the wedding venue requests to see evidence of your ordination.

We recommend ordering your Featured Officiant Package to receive your official ministry credentials. Your package includes your official Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing as well as your photo on our webpage as we are honored that you have chosen to serve love.

Under North Carolina General Statutes § 51-1, the requirements for a valid marriage are as follows:

  1. Marriage Ceremony: A marriage is not valid unless it is performed by a recognized officiant.
  2. License Requirement: A marriage license must be obtained from the Register of Deeds prior to the marriage ceremony.
  3. Authorized Officiants: The ceremony must be conducted by an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a magistrate, or a recognized Indian Nation or Tribe.

The statute outlines the necessity of both a ceremonial and a legal component for a marriage to be considered valid in the state of North Carolina.

But I heard something about online ordination not being valid? Explain please.

Issues in North Carolina:

In 2019, ULC (Universal Life Church) was denied validity of their ordination as seen in this article from The Charlotte Observer although ULC continues to be in litigation:

In NC, marriages solemnized by a person “ordained” by the ULC are voidable, not void. So, your husband would need to litigate the matter in NC to have the marriage declared void. While NC does not recognize the ULC, your husband may be estopped from pursuing an annulment action based on equitable principles. If he has ever relied on the marriage to his benefit, a court may determine that he cannot now claim the marriage to be void simply because it no longer suits him.

Attorney Fred Amos II , Posted on Sep 30, 2021 on Avvo to an inquiry from a couple who are divorcing and were married by a minister from ULC

Are same-sex marriages approved in North Carolina? Yes, since 2015

North Carolina General Statutes § 51-1 no longer states that same-sex marriages are invalid. This was previously the case until the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Following this decision, any state laws or constitutional amendments that prohibited same-sex marriage were rendered invalid.

Before the Obergefell decision, North Carolina had statutes and a state constitutional amendment (Amendment 1) that defined marriage as between one man and one woman, effectively prohibiting same-sex marriage. However, these provisions are no longer enforceable due to the federal ruling.

Need an officiant for your wedding? Our Featured Officiant in North Carolina is ready to serve your wedding!

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