How to Officiate Weddings in Virginia Beach
A Virginia Beach Guide for Wedding Officiants and Couples
Beach Weddings? Weddings on the Beach? Why not do it in Virginia Beach? It’s got “Beach” in it’s name for goodness sake. In all seriousness, it’s a great city, with plenty of ocean-view venues, beachfront parks, and all the fun southern beach charm you’d expect from a city like this.
The goal of this page is to bring you up to speed about getting ordained (for the officiant), obtaining a marriage license (for the couple), or knowing more about the marriage process itself (for everyone). Once that’s out of the way, we’ll cover some tips on making the day as magical as possible, and then send you on your way to get ordained, or plan, or both!
Step 1: Get Ordained with the American Marriage Ministries
According to Virginia marriage law, the following individuals are legally able to officiate and perform a marriage ceremony:
“A minister of any religious denomination must be authorized by a circuit court to celebrate the rites of matrimony. To obtain such authorization, the minister must produce proof of his ordination and regular communion with the religious society of which he is a reputed member. In addition, the court in each city and county has appointed persons who are eligible to perform civil marriage ceremonies. For marriages between persons belonging to any religious society which has no ordained minister, refer to Section 20-26, Code of Virginia, Domestic Relations.”
As you can see, it’s a little more complicated getting ordained and performing a wedding in Virginia, but if you follow a few extra steps, it’s still possible. The most important part is to start early, and make sure that your county clerk accepts your ordination. While they are theoretically forbidden from discriminating between churches, our ministers have encountered discrimination.
If you are ordained to perform a wedding in Virginia, we will send you a free package containing registration materials, as well as instructions, however we cannot guarantee that your application will be accepted.
Step 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Virginia Beach
Once you’re legally ordained, it’s time to prepare for the ceremony. If you have been asked to do this by the bride and groom, we offer a list of great training tools on our website that will have you confident that you can perform a memorable ceremony. We recommend reminding the couple to reach out to their county clerk and make sure they apply for the required paperwork well in advance. The same applies to the minister.
The most important piece of advice we can impart at this point is -- start early, both in terms of registration, and planning. Make sure to check out the state’s page of requirements.
Our bestselling guide for new officiants Asked to Officiate holds your hand every step of the way, starting with an important meeting with the couple to discuss what sort of ceremony they want, to rehearsing and delivering the final version on the big day.
Step 3: Officiate the Wedding and Complete the Marriage License
Always check the marriage license ahead of time to ensure that it is valid and not expired. You just need to sign the document once you have done the ceremony to make it legal. Once you sign the document, your job is done, and the couple is legally married.
But wait, there’s more! The person officiating the marriage must complete and sign the Marriage Register and the Marriage Return and forward both forms to the clerk of the court who issued the license within five (5) days after the ceremony is performed.▲ TOP
The couple is responsible for completing the marriage license and presenting it prior to the ceremony.
It is recommended that the couple print off and fill out the form prior to bringing it into the office to apply for a license, as this will save time. The office is located at 2425 Nimmo Parkway.
Remember to bring these documents with you if you are going to be registering for a marriage license in Virginia Beach:
- Photo ID
- $30 marriage license fee
If you want to learn more about obtaining a marriage license in Virginia Beach, use these fast facts:
Issuance Office: 2425 Nimmo Parkway
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 60 Days
Return: by the minister within 5 days
The Basics -- Virginia Beach is a busy, tourist-friendly place that offers expansive waters and white sandy beaches. You want to make sure that you plan ahead and find the perfect place for your wedding. With many events happening in the area, you want to ensure you're not competing with huge crowds -- unless that’s your thing. Concerts, festivals, food and drink festivals, markets and more are always available.
There are also a number of venues worth considering, at least to get an idea of what’s available. Country Villa Weddings provides an outdoor ceremony space, or you can make use of the inside accommodations that provide a comfortable atmosphere for both the ceremony and reception. The Water Table is a unique place to hold your wedding as well, and you can get married right at the edge of the water, while also having a reception in the same location.
Weather -- The weather in Virginia Beach is beautiful during the spring and summer months, and generally pretty pleasant and cool in the fall. The winter months might be too cold for a beach wedding, unless there’s a heated and sheltered space.▲ TOP