So this post is my warning to all wedding couples who are considering choosing someone you know (who is not already a minister) to officiate your wedding. I totally understand the desire, but I have also had many calls - as have my minister colleagues - of the type I described above and I have heard many wedding and venue planners describe the errors, misunderstandings and confusions that have arisen when they have worked with such “officiants-for-a-day.”
My advice - Have a professional minister for your wedding ceremony. If you prefer to have a friend or family member get ordained online for your wedding, then protect yourself and the legality of your ceremony by also making sure you have a local professional minister in attendance to step in and pronounce you married... the legal moment. That minister can also sign your license and get it filed with the local Register of Deeds office so all the legal elements are handled properly. Equally as important is your peace of mind from knowing that if your friend or family member backs out on you at the last minute, you will not be left scrambling for another minister to step in for your wedding. You may have a hard time finding a minister who can be available on such short notice, particularly during a busy wedding season. I cannot stress this enough.
The five people who are most important at a North Carolina wedding - and who need to be there - are the wedding couple, the minister, two witnesses.
Without a minister, your license and two witnesses, there can be no legal wedding in North Carolina.
Please take this advice to heart and do not risk placing your wedding in jeopardy. It may end up saving you unbelievable stress at a time when you should be anticipating the greatest happiness of your life.
The photo used here is from Bridalicious, a fun and informative Australian weddings website.
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