Should I have my uncle officiate our wedding ceremony?
Your uncle is probably a minister of a church and has probably memorized the traditional one-size-fits-all ceremony out of the book with very little personalized content.
You hire wedding professionals who specialize in weddings, so why not hire a wedding officiant who specializes in weddings? Your ceremony is the first event of the wedding day and should be very specific to the couple. So if you want a really exquisite ceremony to begin your wedding day, you don't want just just any minister to officiate for you. You want an officiant who has years of experience and hundreds of wedding ceremonies under her belt who will collaborate with you to create a wonderful ceremony.
What does a professional wedding officiant charge?
Every wedding officiant has their own rates but in general a simple elopement ceremony would start about $200 or so depending on travel distance. For the more formal and extensive ceremonies, the fees can range from $500 to $800. Of course you get what you pay for! Remember, the wedding officiant is the one vendor required at your wedding for your marriage to be legal!
What about the marriage license?
First of all, the couple must obtain the marriage license, not your officiant. A valid North Carolina marriage license is required to be in the possession of the officiant during the ceremony. The officiant is not permitted to perform a marriage ceremony without it. The minister is responsible for having the two designated witnesses sign the marriage license and returning the completed marriage license (2 pages) to the issuing county register of deeds office. A license obtained in any county in NC is good for a wedding in any other county in NC.
Should I just go the the county courthouse and get married?
Well, to each his/her own! Courthouse weddings can certainly be memorable but probably not the kind of memories you will treasure all your life. Here is a link to a Courthouse Wedding. See what you think! All of our ministers perform elopement ceremonies for very reasonable prices giving you a much sweeter memory of your wedding day!