Do I Have to Get Married in a Chapel or Church in Virginia?
As a modern day Justice of the Peace (Marriage Commissioner), this is one of the more commonly asked questions I receive by couples looking to get married in Virginia.
“Do we have to get married in a chapel?”
“Does a priest, minister, or pastor need to perform my wedding?”
“Does our wedding ceremony need to be religious?”
The answer to all of the above is no.
The state / Commonwealth of Virginia allows all couples from anywhere in the world to get married easily at anytime on their own terms.
Requirements for Simple, Civil Marriages and Weddings in Virginia
There are only two basic requirements:
- You need to obtain a Virginia marriage license from any circuit court in Virginia (read how easy it is to do).
- The marriage must be performed by a Virginia court-appointed marriage commissioner (like myself) or a religious minister who has properly registered with the courts of Virginia.
My job as a marriage commissioner for Virginia is to offer quick, affordable marriage options for couples of all faiths, backgrounds, and genders. While my standard wedding vows are civil and non-religious, I always offer couples the opportunity to add any scripture or prayers that they would like me to read if they so choose.
As for where you need to get married, there is no requirement! You can get married anywhere you like…such as right outside the courthouse, at a scenic park, on top of a mountain, and even at my own private wooded residence (Eloping in Virginia: Ideas of How to Get Married Privately).
For a more in depth look on how to start the process of getting married, you can read my article “How Do I Get a Marriage License in Virginia?”.
If you are ready to get married today or soon, contact me today so you can reserve a date and time on my calendar.