I’m getting married in less than 9 months, and we have decided we do not want some preacher, whom we don’t know, who might go off on a rant about God or Jesus, when neither are particularly important to my fiance and me, so we decided to ask a friend to officiate our wedding.
Our friend is an ordained Minister of the Univeral Life Church (http://www.ulc.org) which, to a lot of people, is practically meaningless. I mean, you can register your dog to be a minister of the ULC, and they won’t care.
Now, several states have laws making ULC ordinations practically meaningless for weddings. For example, Las Vegas STRICTLY regulates who can and cannot perform weddings, which KINDA makes sense, as it’s a for-profit business there.
North Carolina has case law that invalidated ULC marriages.(North Carolina v. Lynch 1981) The Mississippi Supreme Court apparently handed down an opposite decision, but I can’t find the case.
The Tennesee Attorney General said he didn’t believe they were legal marriages, but as far as I know, no case law nor statute validates or invalidates his personal opinion.
I have found no time when it was an issue in Georgia. In the case of Tennesee and North Carolina, there were statutes passed that basically said “All past ULC weddings are now valid.” But it does NOTHING for me now.
My question is…how worried about this should I be? I don’t want some obscure case law in 10 years nullifying our marriage, as per NC v. Lynch, but I want my friend to be our “minister.”
Anyone have any idea on the binding and legal nature of these wedding ordinations, specifically in the State of Georgia, and of case law where courts HAD held that the ULC is a real church, with real ministers, that can perform real ceremonies?
How likely is this to mess up my life down the road? (e.g., if GA outlaws ULC, then we’re not married, which means our taxes for the past so many years can be called into question.)
I need to make sure I’m not making a mistake before it’s too late!
Thanks for any help/info.