Wednesday Wow: Getting Married In N.C.

Getting married in North Carolina? It can be something aggravating. I know first hand. My sisters are still calling me Bridezilla’. As a non-denominational wedding officiant, I wanted to remain relative`, so I asked a few friends what has the hardest part of getting married and each of them responded pretty much the same, “finding a non-denominational wedding officiant”. Turns out, not everyone wants to get married in a church. I didn’t. The other top issues centered around selecting an affordable and compatible officiant. I can help with that.

What should be included:
  • Many officiants include a get-to-know-you meeting with the couple, followed by two or three planning sessions. Most officiants provide several options for ceremony wording and structure, as well as a choice of readings. On the wedding day, the officiant arrives early, has the witnesses sign the marriage license, and performs the ceremony. Afterward, the officiant mails the marriage license to the county so it can be officially recorded, and mails a copy to the couple.

Why does it cost so much for 20 – 30 minutes of work?
It is completely understandable for couples and their guests to assume officiants earn an unusually high amount of money for simply prompting the couple through their vows and pronouncing them husband and wife, but that is only part of the story the most visible part.

Competent officiants invest time before the wedding gathering the pieces together and ensuring the desired flow of the ceremony is there. Time may be spent helping the couple customize vows, decide between a unity candle or a sand ceremony, and/or writing the opening words, a blessing. Ceremony composition is far more time-consuming than the joyful occasion itself.

Officiants are often present well before the service to calm nerves or confer with a wedding consultant, the photographer, and other wedding vendors. We are usually asked to stay for a portrait after….sometimes waiting for a long receiving line to conclude or family portraits to be taken first.
Officiants in North Carolina are also responsible for ensuring accurate completion of the marriage license and submitting it to the appropriate county clerk recorders office and there are travel and/or postage expenses associated with this responsibility.Wedding officiating is a business with accompanying expenses. Officiants must advertise, maintain home offices, have internet access, make long-distance phone calls and travel to the ceremony among other costs.
Your officiant is a professional every bit as much as your caterer and your photographer.

I would love to share Jabela: Non-denominational marriage officiant and life celebrant with you. I have been marrying couples since 2007! See more about her here—> CLICK HERE! Here’s the Facebook page: CLICK HERE!

Here’s more information:

On-Line Marriage Application Form
On-Line Marriage Application Form Only valid for 10 Days.

Us wed

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Wednesday Wow: I Do’ Too! Solemization

It’s Summer and officially wedding season! If you’re in North or South Carolina, I’m ya girl!

Okay, so what began as a way to bring more money into the home, has grown to something so much more. Yes, I’m creating marriages, but I’m also creating more  ways to be a part of my children life. That really excites me!

It cost me less than $200 and I can use this new asset in all 50 states for the rest of my life. To all my mama friends, readers- you gotta do it!

I’m still getting used to being called Minister Kelle, because I am a southerner, and grew up thinking of ministers sorta differently. But then I thought about it and said to myself, “Girl, you’re more real than a lot of them out there. -Girl You Good!”

So with my ordination, I can do many things.besides solemnize a wedding  I could also:

  1. Perform A Baptism/ Welcome To The World Ceremony

  2.  Preside Over A Funeral

  3. Be A Chaplain

    We can touch the lives of others in a prison or hospital. Sick and dying patients in hospitals around the country have been comforted by our church’s members, and prison officials actively encourage those who are eager to bring religion to others to come to their institutions and rehabilitate their inmates.

  4. Start A Church ( I know right? Wow!)

  5.  Ordain others

    The perfect couple for me would be laid back, spiritual but not too religious, fun loving , don’t have a church home and most times open minded.

For me, it’s important to know the couple and meet them way before they get to the altar.I want to know if couple has any religious or cultural rituals that they want to include. Do they want to break a glass? Jump a broom? Do they want to include any Buddhist poetry? Will there be any readings or songs in the ceremony? Of course I offer counseling, but it’s not required. But I will pray with the couple before the wedding and commit to pray for them all the way to the wedding day.

 And I was thinking, for now, I’ll offer my services to the moms of Queen City Stay At Home Moms at a discount as a member perk. Everyone else $220 for a basic service and rehearsal rate. I really don’t think   I would marry anyone out of the Carolina’s.
Which works out fine based on the research I’ve done already. It is said, that in

North Carolina:   Marriage Officiants:/ordained minister of any faith who is authorized to perform marriages by his church may do so.

In North Carolina, I must return the license in SC….. the couple can once completed,return the license to its office of issuance (usually by mail) within 30 days of the wedding. The license is then recorded by the state and the marriage becomes a legal binding contract.

Marriage in South Carolina is governed by Chapter 1 of Title 20 of South Carolina’s Code of Laws.

SECTION 20-1-20. Persons who may perform marriage ceremony.

Only ministers of the Gospel, Jewish rabbis, officers authorized to administer oaths in this State, and the chief or spiritual leader of a Native American Indian entity recognized by the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs pursuant to Section 1-31-40 are authorized to administer a marriage ceremony in this State

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HERE! Cute wedding Script- < HERE> Beautiful Wedding script.   More Wedding Info —-here

Need wedding ceremony scripts? Click here.  Here’s some fair trade companies…..
What to Ask Your Wedding Officiant Here & Here !  My last reading on the industry-here

 

Friday Four: What NOT To Do To A Teen Mom

The memories! The moment I learned that I was pregnant, I wanted to find the largest container of orange juice and just die under a rock. From the time my little guy was born, I always felt that I had something to prove to him, our supporters,our small town, other teen moms, and myself.

100 Things You Should Never Say to a Teen Mom

Just In Case you cross this bridge, here’s 4 Things You Should Really NOT Do To a Teen Mom:

  1. Shame or Degrade her- This is number one for a reason. OMG! You have no clue how much damage this causes. When your own flesh and blood teases you, make you the family calamity, and under dog. Even worse when the fathers family and her community dishonors her. You are asking for a mess. A broken, lonely, lost mess. It’s like saying “You’ve passed the point of no return.” She may believe it. Speak blessings into her life.
  2. Discourage her- This birth has effected her life as well. Work with her. If you discover an opportunity for her, tell her about it. Babysit while she goes to school, work or appointments. Offer to do the child’s hair, help with a birthday party. Mentor and support her into a mom the baby can be proud of.
  3. Disown the unborn- Most times it’s the fathers family that snarls at a unplanned teenage pregnancy. For some reason, his family thinks the girl wants the family treasures. Well, guess what, sometimes it’s true. At this point. So what? You have the opportunity to  groom another family member to be a part of your family goals. That baby maybe the missing piece of your family vision toward greatness. Don’t kill your blessing. That’s what DNA testing is for.
  4. Expect her to forgive you after you’ve done ALL of the above.-  Something can’t be healed once destroyed. Words do hurt. Somethings you should just keep to yourself if it’s not going to help the situation. That mom may not bring it up, but she will remember. You can not get out what you don’t put in. This includes love, respect, and acknowledgement.

 

 

“Teen parents want to be acknowledged as contributing members of society, not as society’s ailment. Not only are we leaders, activists, business owners, educators and so much more, but we are also raising intelligent and curious children who go on to do great things!”
– Mariely Moronta-Santos, 27, a mom of three who lives in Brooklyn, New York, and became a mother at 16

“I wish society would look at us as mothers.”
– Caitlin Shay, 26, mother of two who lives in Apopka, Florida, and became a mother at 17

I have five more to go before I can claim a total win,but so far so good. It has not been easy. But Oh My, it’s been worth every one of the obstacles and setbacks.

Success IS Indeed the greatest revenge. It is true. I would put my neck on a chopping block to swear by it. As I sit back and think of the upcoming month, I can’t help but smile and try to contain my extreme excitement.  I know it’s nothing but grace and mercy, but My God, the favor that is upon me right now is what I’ve been waiting on. I have FOUR graduates busting caps and gowns this year!  Two of my daughters, my oldest son and my husband.  Can you believe that?

This teen mom, single mom, mother of nine, once displaced*, gal from South Carolina, has 8 remaining- healthy children and every last one of them are thriving! Being a teen mom is not the worst thing to happen. When it happens encourage her to accept the call of motherhood and be the best she can possibly be. That way everyone wins.

I’m so grateful for my parents. I KNOW that I disappointed them. I KNOW that they too were catching slack because of their baby girl getting pregnant as a teen. I know my sisters were tried after the town knew that I was giving up ‘my cookies’. I am sorry everyone. I hope my recent accomplishments say thank, I’m proud of. You’ve done a great job by the children, So glad you didn’t let us down. Because of you I am a doula, wedding officiant, homeschooler, brander ambassador, mom coach, Queen City Stay At Home Moms organizer, social activist, and wife.

Happy Friday,

Kelle

Benefits for Teen Mothers

The best way to help teen moms: treating pregnancy as more than a medical event

Friday Four: Finding Chastity

Ok, yes, I know it may be strange for a teen mom like myself to bring up chastity, but YES…. I am. I mean, think about it. Who better? I think I scared my husband so much that when he found out we were having daughters, the first thing came out of his mouth was”I want to get my girls to wear chastity belts!” True story.    It was the first time I have ever heard about chastity belts, but as time past, it was shout out time after time at very interesting times ranging from self preservation to political statements.

 

Believe it or not, there was an Italian woman forced to ask firefighters to liberate her from a chastity belt because she lost the key to the contraption. The woman, who has not been named due to privacy reasons, reportedly wore the belt of her own volition to stop herself from having sexual relations. Chastity belts were long thought to have been inflicted on medieval wives in order to prevent them from having affairs, but historians now believe that they are the stuff of myth; most references to chastity belts in medieval literature are satirical. Our anonymous Italian friend, it seems, did not get the memo. If only she had guarded the key to her iron panties with the same sort of fervor that she dedicated to protecting her loins. NY TIMES

“I tried to push her away, but she wouldn’t stop until she was finished. When she was, she said, “You better not say shit to no one or else you gonna get a terrible whupping.” R. Kelly via The Black Voices

4 Ways to ENCOURAGE chastity to teens:

  1. Protect what your child is exposed.  Give the talk, but walk the walk. Our children can more easily recognize the distinction between right and wrong when we are consistent models of right behavior in all matters. So know that there are some magazines, t.v. shows. and conversations you may need to keep out their reach.

“I tried to push her away, but she wouldn’t stop until she was finished. When she was, she said, “You better not say shit to no one or else you gonna get a terrible whupping.” R. Kelly via The Black Voices

2. Be mindful of who your child is exposed to. Having the right influence around your children is detrimental. My husband and I never let our children out of our sight until they were old enough to articulate what went on around them and understood that their body was private. Our ideal influence are positive, loving (but not too loving*) respectful and non over sexually seductive -dressed person, media, t.v. programs and music..

When my niece was young, like 12,  she made it very clear that not only did she know her daughter had a boyfriend she also said that she did care.  She though because her daughter minion family partydidn’t go anywhere with the boy, that meant there was no concern for that relationship. Well guess what happened less than 3 years later? Yes, she got pregnant. While I didn’t rub it in her face or reminded  her that girls don’t go from pumps to flops. Sex was bound to happen. I thanked God that I never questioned my rules toward my daughters on having boyfriends at a young age.

3. If you haven’t already, build trust. That leads to many opportunities for discussion  and  influence on the subject. We parents have so much more power than we give our-self credit for.

4.Last but not least. Get your child involved in worthwhile activities, like music, sports, drama, and hobbies that develop talents.

ring

I never share pictures of gifts, but I had to share this one. Kaylah’s Sweet 16 gift arrived. Kudos to my Dad, the first man to place a ring on his granddaughter’s hand, he has definitely set the bar. Love him infinity. He said “who’s her Grandpa”!!

More great tips on teen chastity

eHere – yes, just click that 🙂

Alright ladies, keep it locked down.

Jabela!

The Muslim-African Wedding

If you are ever invited to and African wedding and it says the ceremony will begin at 3pm, show up at 5pm and you may beat the bride and groom there.

Over the weekend I attended a African-Muslim wedding and was honored for the experience. I didn’t know what to expect from an Muslim-African infused ceremony, so I did a little research before attending.

Although many Muslims stage a multiday celebration to mark a wedding, the traditional marriage ritual itself, called a nikah in Arabic, is simple and brief. It generally follows these steps:

At the wedding, which can take place pretty much anywhere, the bride and groom are separated in different rooms. They may or may not be able to see each other, depending on how conservative the families are.

An officiant, who can be any man familiar with Islamic law, heads to each room separately. There he asks the spouses-to-be if they consent to the marriage and if they are marrying of their own free will (a representative called a wali answers the officiant’s questions on the bride’s behalf).

The couple signs the marriage contract or license, with witnesses observing.

The officiant brings the pair together and pronounces them husband and wife.

The first thing I noticed  at the mosque was that the women and men sat separate from each other. Even the engage couple.  There was no wedding party and everything was pleasantly different than anything else I’ve ever seen before.  There was no solos, flowers girls, no bridal party walking in. As a matter of fact the engaged couple was seated for the entire ceremony until the dowry part. They did kiss at the end.

IMG_20151121_202932.jpg

I took my daughter with me. 

Now can we talk about the reception. More importantly the food! It was everything I ever hope for in a African reception. Joloff, spicy meats, crisp salads…..even the drinks were amazing. I loved the African Ginger beer. (Click here for the recipe1448154690709

Ok, ok, ok, I won’t show my love of African food before I give you more details. –The reception included a very lively African dance by a all female group. I didn’t know  one word that was said, but their movement was very much so lovely and graceful!  Now when the families got on the floor, it was a wrap! I took off my shoes and got down with them! They know how to parrrrr-ty!  Line dances, couple dances, man dances…… it was amazing! Little did I know, Mrs Bride is a Delta. One of her sisters gave her the sweetest token of love in song (lip syncing)1448232600830

As the night progressed I seen first hand why this marriage will work. The families are loving.PURELY LOVING. The husband LOVES his new daughters. The husbands family LOVES their new daughter.AND THE NEW COUPLE adores each other.  I’m so glad I brought my daughter with me.

What I was most impressed with is how they spent their money. Nothing was over the top except for those dresses the bride wore. They were incredibly beautiful. Nothing was lacking. I think they did a great job  on the ceremony. I am so elated to have been a part of it ,and wish them nothing but the very best. Sorry, I haven’t shared any videos or closer photos. I haven’t received permission to release wedding details as of posting date. Once received, I’ll share them on our Facebook page (click here to go there now.)1448154689495

Here’s more on

The Sweetheart Song by DELTA’s

another tear jerking Sweetheart song by the Deltas

Islamic weddings

African Weddings

African Wedding Food

Liberian Pineapple Ginger Beer

Ani leh-dodee veh-dodee lee = “I DO!”

I believe in Love. I believe in Family. I believe in Marriage……(Even though at any given time they can be a major pain in the rear at times.)

Sample Script

I’m walking in a new pair of shoes now……. I’m a official Universal Church Marriage Officiant. After 7 years of being ordained , I finally solemnized my first wedding and it was so bitter sweet!

Although I practice a zillion times, I bombed during the ceremony. HARD! I stressed on minor things like my hair, shoes, scarf – everything! More than my during my own wedding. The couple was so perfect for each other. The husband was a gentle sweetie. Just a tall teddy bear, the wife, who hired me was a straight shooter,and a business friend i respect a lot. The bills went straight to daddy and boy did he pay up. It was a dream weekend. No stones was left unturned. NOTHING!

Universal Officiant and life celebrant Universal Life Church

What I learned:

Put EVERYTHING IN WRITING. People forget what they say as the date gets closer. Having written details helps get you paid and keep confusions down. It benefits everyone.

Some brides know EVERY PART of a traditional wedding.  They have dreamed of this moment all of their lives. They could marry themselves if legally possible. SO no short cuts.

Offer my script  to allow them to make small changes and edits as desire*

Remember to ask “Who gives This woman to be married?”  (I was suppose to say:”  Who gives this woman to be married to this man?

Parents:
We do.

Then the bride is given away)

Remember to say “You My Now Kiss The Bride” -(I was suppose to say- ”

Celebrant:
May this couple be prepared to continue to give, be able to forgive and experience more and more joy with each passing day, with each passing year. (Groom’s Name) and (Bride’s Name), are now beginning their married life together, we hope that they may have loving assistance from their family, the constant support of friends, and a long life with good health and everlasting love. In so much as (Groom’s Name) and (Bride’s Name) have consented to live forever together in wedlock, and have witnessed the same before this company, having given and pledged their troth, each to the other, and having declared same by the giving and receiving of a ring, I pronounce that they are husband and wife.

Celebrant: (to the couple):
You may now seal the promises you have made with each other with a kiss.

Celebrant:
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the loving couple
Mr. and Mrs.” )

Remember to only take suggestions from the one whose getting married or paying me***

I found online these awesome tips: Some couples have wanted a sounding board to bounce ideas off of as they write their ceremonies, and some friends have needed a lot of writing and outline help to put words to their vision. But regardless of how much I was involved in the creation of the ceremony, what I found critical (and difficult!) was my role as General Ceremony Tone-Setter. See, if you’re the one standing up there, guests will be looking expectantly at you and taking your cues for what the overall mood is going to be. Even though your precise words or your outfit may not linger, how you say what you say, and how you manage the emotion and energy of the room will contribute to how they remember the ceremony.

That goes for the rehearsal, too. I found it really helpful to walk through the rehearsal with the couple beforehand, to get a sense of what they needed from me. If it’s the latter, I went incredibly slowly, repeated messy parts, practiced the walk in and out at least twice, and was the most generally cheerful Julie the Cruise Ship Director version of myself.

Ok, now that’s done, who’s next? But in the end….. As of Monday 10.19. 2015…… they are husband and wife! The original plan was accomplished.  This is fun! I get to meet awesome folks, get paid AND I get fed!

Rice Curtis Pulley