Getting Started

Before you can be married in Virginia, there are two things you must do – obtain a marriage license and choose an officiant.

 

Choosing a Marriage Officiant

As a court appointed Marriage Commissioner, I have the legal authority to perform civil wedding ceremonies throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. civil ceremony is simply a nonreligious, legal marriage ceremony presided over by a legal official instead of a religious one.  Please contact me to confirm my availability and arrange a time to discuss the details of your ceremony.  Please see the “Ceremonies” tab for ideas and inspirations of ceremonial accompaniments to make your wedding unique … like you!

 

Obtaining a Marriage License

To get married in Virginia, you and your future spouse must apply for a marriage license. Fortunately, the application process is relatively simple. There is no waiting period once you receive the license, and you have up to 60 days to complete your marriage ceremony before the license expires.    

  1. Determine if you and your partner are eligible to marry one another. The Commonwealth of Virginia does not require couples to be residents of Virginia to marry there. However, marriage licenses issued in Virginia must be used within the Commonwealth of Virginia. The following regulations also apply:
    • Legal status. Neither partner may be currently married to another person.
    • Family relationship. You and your partner may not be related to one another by blood or adoption. The Commonwealth of Virginia does not allow marriages between ancestors and descendants (e.g., parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, siblings, or aunts/uncles and their nieces/nephews. Step-siblings cannot marry.  However, first cousins may marry.
    • Competence. Both partners must be mentally capable of choosing marriage.
    • As of October 6, 2014, same-sex marriage is legal in Virginia. Virginia also recognizes same-sex marriages from other states and countries. The application process is the same as for heterosexual couples

 

  1. Confirm you are old enough to marry one another. You and your partner must be over age 18 to marry without parental consent. If you are 16 or 17, you must have parent or legal guardian approval.
    • Your parent or legal guardian can consent in person during the application process. The consent may usually also be given in notarized written form when it is sworn before a notary public.
    • Special consent is possible when the female partner is under the age of 16 and is pregnant. If the female partner is under 16 and has been pregnant within the previous nine months, consent may be given if a physician documents the prior pregnancy. Parent or guardian consent is required in both cases. Consent must be given in the county or jurisdiction where the female partner lives in these cases.

 

  1. Gather the necessary documents. The various circuit courts require proof of identity and date of birth. Government-issued documents such as drivers’ licenses, passports, Military IDs, birth certificates, and Social Security cards should be sufficient. Check with your specific Circuit Court for their requirements, as they may vary.
    • If you or your partner have been previously married, you should plan to provide proof that the previous marriage has ended.
    • Virginia does not require blood tests to obtain a marriage license.
    • If your divorce decree is in another language, you must provide a certified translation. A certified translation will be signed and dated by the translator and vouch that the document has been accurately and competently translated.