How to Get Legally Married in Virginia and Plan Your VA Wedding

Tie the knot in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Alyssa Towns
by Alyssa Towns
Updated Aug 19, 2021

If your Virginia-based big day is right around the corner, you might be wondering how you and your future partner should go about legally obtaining your marriage license. There are steps you should take as you walk through the marriage license application process, but don't worry, the process should be fairly easy and straightforward. You'll also want to learn more about how to change your name in Virginia (because these rules can be a bit trickier). We've included the basics around legally obtaining your VA marriage license in this guide. Let's get started!

How to Get Married in Virginia

One major benefit to getting married in Virginia is that the legal and logistical process isn't complicated at all compared to other states. The Commonwealth of Virginia makes it easy for you to legally seal the deal. Here's what you need to know when it comes to the legal requirements of and how to get married in VA.

Is there a waiting period to get married in Virginia?

There is no waiting period between your application and the issuance of your marriage license in the state of Virginia. Your marriage ceremony must be performed within 60 days of the date of issuance.

What are the legal requirements to get married in Virginia?

In Virginia, you must be at least 18 years of age to apply for your marriage license. You and your future spouse will need to appear in person together at a Circuit Court Clerk's office to have your application fully formalized and approved. No blood tests are required.

You don't have to be a state resident to obtain your marriage license in Virginia, and it doesn't matter what Circuit Court you obtain your license from (i.e., you don't have to get your marriage license in the county where you're hosting your wedding ceremony).

And only unmarried people can be granted marriage licenses, which means if you or your future spouse were married previously, you might have to swear in from of a government official that you are no longer married during your current application process. A copy of the divorce decree isn't required.

What's considered a common law marriage in Virginia?

Virginia does not allow for common law marriage, which means these types of marriages are not recognized or administered anywhere in the state.

Virginia Marriage License 101

Are you tying the knot in Virginia? Congratulations! You'll need to obtain your marriage license to officially seal the deal on your big day. Here's what you need to know about the marriage license application process in VA.

What do you need to get a marriage license in Virginia?

To be issued a marriage license in Virginia, you'll need to show proof of your age with a government-issued ID such as a valid driver's license or state ID. Both you and your future spouse will need to know the full names of your parents as they appear on their birth certificates (so that includes middle and maiden names). You don't need your parents' birth certificates, but you do need to make sure you put their names down accurately.

There are no residency requirements to obtain a marriage license in Virginia, so you can have your destination wedding ceremony in the state without a hitch!

An eligible civil celebrant, authorized by the Circuit Court per the Virginia Code, can perform your wedding ceremony and be your officiant.

What does a Virginia marriage license cost?

It costs $30 to get a marriage license in Virginia, and the cost shouldn't vary from county to county. But you should double-check the accepted methods of payment for your desired Circuit Court Clerk's Office. Some counties only accept cash payments, while others might accept debit or credit cards.

How long does it take to get a marriage license in Virginia?

Good news! Since there isn't a waiting period to get married, in most cases, it doesn't take long to apply for and receive your marriage license in Virginia. Make sure you check the hours for the Circuit Court Clerk's Office and plan to show up during regular business hours Monday through Friday.

Can you apply for a marriage license online in Virginia?

You can complete an online marriage license pre-application to bring with you to your appointment. Upon submitting your online pre-application, you'll want to bring and bring the confirmation document, payment and valid identification (i.e., driver's license, passport or military ID) to the Circuit Court within 60 days.

How do you get a copy of your Virginia marriage license?

In VA, you can obtain a certified copy of your marriage license from the Division of Vital Records. Copies are available to immediate family members only with a valid ID. The fee for a vital record such as a marriage license is $12 per copy payable by cash, check, money orders, VISA or Mastercard.

You can also obtain copies of marriage licenses from the County Clerk's Office in which you applied for the license. You'll be expected to pay a license fee, so be sure to double-check the requirements of your County Clerk's Office and the accepted methods of payment.

How to Plan a Virginia Wedding

Now that you know how to get your marriage license and make it official, it's time to think about planning the other details of your big day. Here are some key points to consider when planning your Virginia wedding.

The Different Cities and Areas to Consider for a Virginia Wedding

Have you heard the saying, "Virginia is for lovers?" It exists for a reason—Virginia is a beautiful state for weddings! You'll be able to choose from sandy beaches to rural, picturesque landscapes and everything in between. Some of the most popular wedding cities in Virginia include Virginia Beach and Richmond.

Virginia Beach is a coastal town known for its sandy beaches and beautiful boardwalk. If you're looking to plan a beachy East Coast wedding, Virginia Beach is a great destination that will help you bring your outdoor wedding dreams to life.

Richmond, Virginia's state capital, is a progressive city packed full of historical sites, culture and delicious dining options for you and your guests.

What to Look for in a Virginia Wedding Venue

No matter what type of wedding venue you're looking for, you should make a list of elements that are must-haves for you. Use your list of must-haves to determine what your wedding venue needs to have in order for you to have the wedding day of your dreams. No matter what type of venue you're looking for, your options are endless in VA.

How to Find Virginia Wedding Vendors

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the planning and vendor hunting process, we completely understand. With so many different and great vendors to choose from, it can be tough to narrow down your options and know where to start. Kick off your research by exploring The Knot Marketplace for all of your wedding day needs.

The Best Times of Year to Have a Virginia Wedding for Good Weather

There are five different climate zones across Virginia, but overall, the state has favorable weather all year long. Fall and summer weddings tend to be most popular, with spring trailing close behind. If you choose to have a summer wedding, keep in mind that close proximity to the ocean, rivers and other bodies of water brings humidity with it. And if you're going for a fall vibe, the fall foliage peaks in mid-to-late October, creating a picturesque backdrop that's tough to beat.

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