Key Ingredient to a Happy Marriage



NEWSER– The key to a happy and lasting marriage might be as simple as regularly expressing gratitude. So report researchers from the University of Georgia in a new study published in the journal Personal Relationships. After interviewing 468 married individuals on relationship satisfaction, covering everything from communication habits to finances, they found that the “most consistent significant predictor” of happy marriages was whether one’s spouse expressed gratitude. “Feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you … Read More

Is a marriage performed by a Universal Life Church minister valid in NC?

Tough question!  Let’s take a fictional case:

“Sue and Ned, having resolved the issue of Sue’s first marriage, were married in Chapel Hill by Ned’s brother Larry. In
anticipation of the wedding, Larry completed an application on the Internet and, a few days later, printed out a certificate stating that he was an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church. Now a friend has told Sue that her marriage might not be valid. Is Larry an “ordained minister” or “a minister authorized by a church” to perform marriages? Is the Universal Life Church a church for purposes of the marriage Read More

Can we get married without a wedding license?

The easiest answer to this question is to quote part of NC General Statute § 51-6:

“Solemnization without license unlawful.

No minister, officer, or any other person authorized to solemnize a marriage under the laws of this State shall perform a ceremony of marriage between a man and woman, or shall declare them to be husband and wife, until there is delivered to that person a license for the marriage of the said persons, signed by the register of deeds of the county in which the marriage license was issued or by a lawful deputy or assistant. There must be Read More

What if I can’t physically go to the Register of Deeds Office?

What if I can’t physically show up at the Register of Deeds office to get a marriage license?

Don’t panic! If you can’t show up in person, you can fill out an “Affidavit in Lieu of Personal Appearance for Marriage License Application” and have it notarized (get the form here: ). One of you must be present physically at the Register of Deeds Office and may submit the affidavit on the behalf of the other applicant. In addition to the affidavit, one of you must bring a copy of both of your ID’s (usually a picture ID and proof … Read More

Plan Your Marriage—Not Just a Wedding

Understatement of the year: A lot of work goes into planning a wedding. From picking the centerpieces to booking vendors, there are endless tasks to complete. However, more time and effort goes into a marriage, and frankly, that’s more important. Yes, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of planning the biggest day of your lives, and really, I think that’s fine! Choosing each detail and checking off to-do’s is a fun and memorable experience—but that shouldn’t be “it.” I’m certain that you both have often discuss your celebration to great lengths, but what I’ve found is that Read More

Question: What are your gas/travel charges?

Answer: If the wedding venue in Greensboro, I don’t add any gas/travel charges.

If the wedding takes place outside of the immediate Greensboro area, I typically charge $0.55/mile.  This is the current gas/travel allowance allowed by the IRS and generally covers my gas/car maintenance expenses I incur.

I consider this to be a nominal charge for gas/travel.  Here’s why: I don’t actually cover the time it takes for me to travel to and from the wedding venue.  For example, a wedding in Winston-Salem will take me 45 minutes of travel one way.  That’s 90 minutes for a round trip.  If … Read More

Question: What is the REVonCall “process”?

Answer:  Let me outline how I typically proceed with my couples…

1. Go to the homepage of this website and click on the “Contact” tab.  A small form will appear.  Fill it out and click “Submit”.  That will give me the basic information I need.  When I receive this information, I’ll acknowledge.  If I have an opening on the date you have chosen for your wedding, I’ll go ahead and pencil in that date on my calendar.  I won’t give it away without your permission.  More on the contract later.

2. When I reply, I’ll suggest that we meet face-to-face … Read More

Question: How long does the typical ceremony last?

Answer:  It depends!  Let me explain.

Most of my ceremonies are between 20-25 minutes.  The length of a service depends on how long the procession and recession are, how many readings (if any) are included in the service, whether you include a tradition such as a unity candle ceremony, and how organized the ceremony is (see my Q&A on rehearsals and wedding directors).

Most of my couples want short, sweet ceremonies, and I do all that I can to accommodate.

I was once asked, “What is the shortest ceremony you’ve ever officiated?”  I thought for a moment and then said, … Read More

Question: Should we write our own vows?

Answer:  Vows are the essence—the heart and soul—of every wedding ceremony. They are the expression of your promises and commitments to each other and to society—the fundamental purpose of the ceremony.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of the wedding vows. You should view these promises as the core of your marriage. In times of difficulty, returning to your vows will enable you to renew your faith in each other and in your marriage. Use these promises as the source of strength that allows you to work through difficult times.

One choice you face is whether to say the … Read More