I am an ordained Minister (through education) and Founder of The Embodiment of God Church, a legally registered Church in the State of North Carolina. I do services for spiritual, Christian, non-denominational, interfaith, and civil or non-religious wedding ceremonies, While I live in Wilkes County, North Carolina, I extend my services to Mecklenburg, Iredell, Cabarrus, Surry, Yadkin, Ashe, Watagua, Forsyth and Guilford Counties.
Why hire an Officiant and not use a friend or family members to marry us?
This is a "gray" area of the law. While it is legal to be ordained online and marry someone, how that marriage may hold up later when challenged in a court of law, can be something else! Scary stuff! There are court cases right here in North Carolina where the wedding officiant's credentials were challenged in a Court of Law. The law is vaguely written, and can also be based/determined on the IRS standards of an official Church.
Keep in mind that Federal law supercedes State law.
So, why take a chance?
What do I get when we pay you?
1) I am a professional public speaker and instructor;
2) I am a Minister of a legally established Church in the State of North Carolina;
3) An attorney-written and approved legal contract guaranteeing my services;
4) A customized wedding ceremony (script);
5) My time and travel is incorporated in my fee; and
6) Legal filing of the marriage certificate.
SPECIAL NOTE: In 2019 I stepped in and filled in for five couples who had last-minute cancelling out officiants, sometimes doubling my own schedule to help out. No reason was given for the cancellations and no legally written contracts were in place. No protection whatsoever! I hired an attorney to write my personalized contract (not something I found on the web). Officiants who quote cheap unbelievable prices have no incentive to be true to you if a bigger and better paying job comes alone. There! I said it! Another reason to hire a true professional.
NOTE: Rehearsal is not included in my fee. For me to attend rehearsal an additional fee of $100 (One Hundred Dollars) is due at time of deposit. A date and time must be made at that time for the rehearsal.
What is required to get married in North Carolina?
A marriage license can be obtained in any County through the Register of Deeds. You both must appear in person to file for your license. After you have filed, your license is valid the day of your filing and up to 60 (Sixty) days thereafter. You must both be able to provide a social security number, so make sure to bring your social security cards with you! A fee of $60 (Sixty Dollars) will be required.
You MUST bring your marriage license with you to the ceremony or to the rehearsal, if I am present. Also, 2 (two) legal witnesses over the age of 18 must be present at the wedding ceremony. The Officiant cannot be a witness! I can provide one legal witness if you are in need of one at no additional charge.
Do you provide fee-based pre-marriage counseling?
In the State of North Carolina it is required that any for fee counseling requires a license through the State. Two boards can govern this: North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors (NCBLPC), and The North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Fee-Based Practicing Pastoral Counselors.
A minister providing fee-based pre-marriage counseling must be licensed by the State of North Carolina. A Minister may provide religious based advice provided he or she charges no fee if not licensed by the State. Please be sure to check credentials before paying for a service.
So! To answer your question, under the Statutes of North Carolina law, I am not qualified to do fee-based pre-marriage counseling. I am a CSAC-R (Certified Substance Abuse Counselor) and Certified Hypnotherapist. However, I have two great associates who are qualified and licensed by the State of North Carolina who are available to provide these services.
What is my wedding attire?
Black pants or black skirt with my Minister robe. I also accent with a white stole. If you wish me to wear something else, we will discuss this, including the cost of my complying to your coordinating request.
How do we pay you?
You can pay me with a credit or debit card through "Square" or by personal check or money order. I also accept PayPal.
Upon hiring of my services, a non-refundable deposit is required to be paid to secure your wedding date. If you send a check or money order they must first clear the bank before I send you any documents. This could take up to ten (10) days. Returned funds will be charged an additional $50 service fee for my reprocessing and payment of bank fees. Sixty (60) days prior to your ceremony date the remainder, if any, will be due in full. I will send you an invoice at that time. If you do not pay by the sixty day time period (the invoice due date), your date will no longer be guaranteed.
Prior to hiring me, and upon request, I will send you a copy of my contract for your review. Upon submitting the information/payment form, a contract will be sent along with recommended script/vows. Those are sent once your funds have been cleared.
Please note: All my traveling costs and expenses are incorporated in the price that I quote to you.
For elopements - last minute - CASH ONLY! Stop by the bank or a Teller II machine and get cash.
NOTE: My pricing is based on surveys/percentages of professional officiants within the State of North Carolina. I give you my best so there is no second guessing what happens on your wedding day. Always hire a professional!
So, if you are looking for the cheapest minister/officiant than I am not the Officiant for you. The wedding officiant/minister is one of the most vital components of your wedding day. Why would you take a chance with that?