How to Become an Ordained Minister in North Carolina

If you haven't yet become ordained with the Universal Life Church, that is the first step. Anyone willing can become a legal minister of the ULC, one of the world's largest religious organizations. Online ordination is fast, easy, and completely free. Once you have your minister license, you'll be eligible to officiate a wedding. To become a minister, start by clicking the button below!

Become Ordained!

How to Officiate a Wedding in North Carolina

Contact the Register of Deed's office in the county where the ceremony will take place. Introduce yourself as a minister officiating a wedding, and ask them what documents they will need from you. They may ask to see a number of things, and be aware that these requirements vary from county to county. Rest assured that any materials or documents you might need are available in the Church Supplies section of our website.

Select your county to view contact information for each office:

The North Carolina state flower, the Flowering Dogwood

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in North Carolina

Once you've determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. Although ministerial registration is generally not required in North Carolina, our ministers report that they are frequently asked to show proof of their ordination. Based on this feedback, we recommend ordering both an Ordination Kit and a Letter of Good Standing. Keep in mind that the couple may also like to see your ordination credentials! Please remember to place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

How to Get a North Carolina Marriage License

Licenses are issued by the Register of Deed's office, and will be picked up by the couple. As a minister, it's your responsibility to understand how marriage licenses work in North Carolina and its individual counties. For example, if the couple plans to get a Johnston County marriage license, you should double-check if there are any rules specific to Johnston County.

In the state of North Carolina, the license is valid for 60 days. There is a mandatory 1-day waiting period between the time it is picked up, and when the ceremony can be legally performed. Finally, the signed marriage license must be returned to the issuing office before it expires.

How to Perform a Wedding

Congratulations, you're ready to officiate the wedding! If you need any assistance in this important task, we encourage you to utilize the tools below. Together these exclusive resources include everything you'll need to craft the perfect wedding ceremony for any couple. Created with our ministers in mind, they offer tips and helpful information for all aspects of performing a ceremony. Fun fact: many ULC ministers have become professional officiants using these tools as a guide!

Finalizing the Marriage

After you perform the ceremony, you will sign the marriage license along with the couple and their witnesses. Your title is 'minister', the ceremony type is 'religious', and the denomination is 'non-denominational'. You will not be required to provide a license number. You may also wish to give the couple a commemorative gift, like a marriage certificate to mark their special day. Last thing: make sure the signed license gets resubmitted to the marriage office before the deadline!

North Carolina Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in North Carolina are primarily directed by Article 1 of Chapter 51 of the state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of North Carolina, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

§ 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.