All photos: Get Hitched Virginia
Last month we promised a blog post on Weddings for everyone who got engaged over the holidays. (Congratulations!) But as we started to write, it became clear that one blog post wouldn’t be enough! There is just so much to consider when planning your nuptials. So, here is the first in a series of blog posts about Getting Married in Colonial Beach, Virginia.
Virginia IS for Lovers!
Bryce Hall, founder of Get Hitched Virginia, is a court-appointed marriage commissioner and wedding officiant and our source for everything you need to know to get married or renew your vows in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
First, a few rules for getting married in Virginia. County or independent city requirements may vary, or can change.Â The information below is intended for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.Â Verify all information with your local marriage license office before making any wedding or travel plans.
- No Virginia residency requirement.
- Courthouses do not offer ceremonies. Rather, only court-authorized marriage commissioners and clergy can perform legal marriages in Virginia.
- Marriage licenses can be obtained the same day as the ceremony from any Virginia Circuit CourtÂ and are good for 60 days.
- Valid photo identification such as driver’s license, military ID, state ID, or passport AND a certified copy of your birth certificate will need to be presented.
- Blood tests are not required.
- According to some Virginia Circuit Court websites,Â bothÂ parties must be present in order to obtain a marriage license.
- Some Virginia counties may require documentation to prove a previous marriage has been dissolved either through death or divorce.
- Courthouse fees at the time of this writing:Â $30.00 in cash only.
- Same sex marriages legal, effective 10/6/14.
“The Commonwealth of Virginia is pretty strict regarding marriage ceremonies. There is a lot of red tape. For example, those who are not already court-authorized to perform a wedding would need to file a petition,” explains Hall, a certified notary who teaches notary law and has been performing weddings for over a decade.
Because of these restrictions, Bryce performs a good number of “secret ceremonies” for couples who want a family member or friend to perform the ceremony, but isn’t authorized to do so.
“I am happy to ‘make it legal’ for couples who want to elope, get married very soon, be married sooner than the actual wedding day, or give the illusion that ‘Dad’ married the couple, although legally he cannot,” quips Ms. Hall, who provides “courthouse style” (2-10 minutes long, at reasonable rates) Civil Marriage Ceremonies at the Colonial Beach Chamber of CommerceÂ (Fridays, 11 am-2 pm), in front of the Hitching Wall at her cottage, on the beach, at private locations and in surrounding areas.
Get Hitched Virginia’s rates start as low as $50 for a ceremony in the Chamber’s office or the Hitching Wall, which includes a lovely wreath and horseshoe (for good luck!) backdrop. Bryce is willing to travel to perform wedding ceremonies, with rates depending on location, date, number of guests and other factors.
Dreaming of a destination wedding or beach wedding? Get the details in our next blog post Weddings Part II: Destination Weddings.Â