What types of wedding ceremonies do you perform and where is your service area?
I am an ordained minister available for spiritual, Christian, non-denominational, interfaith, and civil or non-religious wedding ceremonies. I am based in Garner, North Carolina and serve the surrounding area, including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Lillington, Angier, Morrisville, Rolesville, Apex, Wendell, Knightdale, and beyond.
We are interested in hiring you as our officiant, now what?
First things first, use the contact page to get in touch with me and make sure I have your date available. After that, we’ll set up an in-person meeting to get to know each other. I am based in Garner and hold my initial consultations at a cool little place called Aversboro Coffee. I will email you a couples questionnaire before the consultation and we’ll review it together when we meet. This is an opportunity for you to ask questions, bounce ideas around, and just get a feel for my style. The first meeting is of course free and no pressure.
If you decide to hire me as your officiant, a retainer fee of 50% for your package, along with a signed contract will reserve your date and time. After the retainer fee is received, we will begin working together to create your perfect ceremony!
What are we paying for?
Check out my blog post that outlines exactly that!
Can’t my friend/family member just get ordained online and marry us?
In some states, yes, that is perfectly legal and done all the time. In North Carolina? It’s a “gray area” that I don’t recommend couples venture into. I asked an employee at the Wake County Register of Deeds office in Raleigh this very question. I was told that while the RoD cannot definitively tell a couple “yes” or “no” regarding the legality of online ordinations in NC, they do recommend that if you use someone with an online ordination that you ALSO get married by a magistrate at the courthouse, “just to be safe.”
The exception to this is marriages performed prior to July 3, 1981. GS 51-1.1
Unfortunately, there are a number of practicing ministers in NC with online or “mail order” ordinations. While the legal status of those marriages may never be questioned, there is the chance that they could be considered invalid in a court of law. This article explains a bit about the 1980 court case and addresses what may happen if your invalid marriage is challenged.
People who aren’t technically married could face all sorts of other problems. They might not be able to share in a deceased spouse’s pension or 401(k). They might not have the right to own real estate as “tenants by the entireties” and thus protect themselves from creditors. They might not be able to sue and recover damages if their spouse is injured or killed. And they could face dire problems with income, gift and estate taxes.
What is required to get married in North Carolina?
Getting married in North Carolina is relatively simple. All you have to do is agree to marry each other in front of an ordained minister and two witnesses, and have that minister pronounce you married. GS 51.1
The beautiful thing about that simplicity is it opens up a lot of room for creativity in your ceremony! But first things first, you do have to get a marriage license from the state. GS 51.8
You can obtain a marriage license from the register of deeds office in any NC county. This license is good immediately upon issuance and can be used to get married in ANY county in North Carolina within 60 days. To obtain the license you must:
- Complete the application
- Appear in person
- Provide proof of Social Security number and identity
- Pay the $60 fee (Cash only)
- Meet the age requirements
- Note: A medical examination is not required in the state of NC to obtain a marriage license
Do you require premarital counseling?
I do not require premarital counseling before marrying a couple. However, I am a trained Prepare/Enrich facilitator and I would love to talk to you about this really incredible program for preparing couples for marriage! You can read more about it here.
Will you marry same-sex couples?
Yes! As an Interfaith Minister ordained by a non-denominational organization, there are no restrictions on my ordination that prevent me from marrying same-sex couples. As of October 10th, 2014, same-sex marriages are recognized in North Carolina!
What will you wear?
Generally I offer my couples a choice of a black dress (with or without stole), or black suit. If you have something else in mind or would like me to coordinate with your wedding colors, let’s discuss! You can check out the pictures on my blog to see examples.
What payment methods do you accept?
Most couples pay online via my invoicing software that uses STRIPE to process credit cards. I can take checks made out to Katherine Edwards. I will also take cash in person, but final balance must be paid 10 days prior to the wedding.
Do you stay for the reception?
While I sincerely appreciate invitations to attend the rehearsal dinner or reception, I do not attend. Many times I have a meeting with a couple or another wedding scheduled that just doesn’t allow me to stay past the ceremony. And if my time is free, I have a husband and two young kids at home missing me, so I try to make it home so I can spend as much time with them as possible!
Is a rehearsal really necessary?
Usually? Yes! Even a very short, informal rehearsal will help the wedding ceremony run smooth and put everyone at ease. I attend rehearsals whenever possible because I feel they are an important part of your wedding day success!
When I attend your rehearsal, I walk you and your wedding party through the motions of the ceremony, including any “action items” like the presentation of the bride, dress fluffing, passing of flowers, readings, any repeat-after-me or question/answer portions, the ring exchange, and the kiss. Basically, anything that requires someone other than the officiant to DO or SAY something.
If you have not hired a coordinator to run the rehearsal, I will also help line up the wedding party, make sure everyone knows their cues, and practice the processional and recessional until everyone feels comfortable.
How can we get in touch with you?
Katherine Edwards, PO Box 2211, Garner, NC 27529
Some helpful links:
Wake County Register of Deeds
Johnston County Register of Deeds
Durham County Register of Deeds
Franklin County Register of Deeds
Chatham County Register of Deeds
Orange County Register of Deeds