Getting Married in Virginia – How Does It Work?

Here is a comprehensive overview on how to get married in Virginia using my officiant and photographer services located in and around the Winchester, VA area.


If you have decided you want to get married in Virginia, but are unsure of where to start? The process is super easy. Here’s how it works:

get married in va1. Get Your Marriage License: The couple (you!) obtain your marriage license at either the Winchester City Circuit Courthouse (located on 5 North Kent Street, Winchester, Virginia 22601) or at another Virginia Circuit Courthouse located closer to you. It costs $30 for your marriage license and both of you need to be present with an official ID (driver’s license or passport for non-citizens). In Winchester it does not take long, but I would allow for 20-30 minutes for them to do the paperwork. If you obtain a marriage license from another Circuit Court in Virginia, I would suggest getting that a few days ahead of time. You can even get your marriage license beforehand if you like (up to 60 days prior to the ceremony). Please note the courts are only open during weekdays, Monday through Friday, usually from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

2. Meet Me, Get Married, and Have Optional Photos Taken: After obtaining your marriage license, you bring it with you and meet me at a location we have pre-determined. I then perform a quick marriage ceremony and then complete the license paperwork on the spot which makes it official! If you purchased one of my photography packages, we then spend some time taking photographs of the two of you in and around the location you were married. The Basic Officiant Photographer Package is 20 minutes worth of photographs, while the Essential Officiant Photographer Package is 1 hour.

get married rain or shine in Virginia

3. Get Certified Copies of Your Marriage License: After I have married you, I file the marriage license with the court you obtained the license from. If you obtained your marriage license from the Winchester or Frederick County Circuit Court, I hand-deliver the license if done during business hours (otherwise the next business day). This takes only a minute or so and is super quick. If you have time and join me at court house as well, you are then able to purchase a certified copy of your marriage license from the court right then for $3 per copy. Otherwise you can mail in your request for a certified copy with payment at a later date, or I can purchase them and mail them to you. If you obtained your marriage license from another circuit court in Virginia, I mail the license via certified priority mail and provide you with a tracking number to ensure delivery.

4. View and Download Your Photos: If you purchased a photo package, one week later, I will email you a link to a gallery where you can download the final edited, high-resolution copies of your photographs along with a printing release. If you purchased the Essential Officiant Photographer Package, you also receive an engraved USB drive with your names in a customized, keep-sake case featuring your photographs in the mail shortly after.

Before your contact me to set up a date and time, I need to know four things to get you an accurate pricing estimate:

getting married in virginia is easy1. Your Package Choice: I offer several pricing packages for you to choose, from a quick civil wedding right outside the courthouse to an elopement at a more scenic spot with photography included. You can visit this page on my site and choose one that works for you:

2. Your Preferred Date and Time: The next step would be to settle on a date and time. My calendar has many bookings throughout the coming months so you need to make sure I am available. I have many weekdays open (I rarely am available on weekends), so I’m sure we can find one that would work.

3. A Location to Get Married At: We can either do the marriage right outside the Winchester, VA Circuit Courthouse if you want only a quick legal wedding, or somewhere more scenic if you want. You can view this page on my website where I list my top recommended locations to hold an elopement or small wedding ceremony in Winchester, VA, along with some more scenic choices that are not too far from town:

4. Where You Plan on Getting Your Marriage License: You can obtain your marriage license at either the Winchester Circuit Court in Winchester, VA or any other Virginia Circuit Court. Either one will work! The only difference is that if you get it from another Virginia court, I need to mail the license back via certified priority mail (to ensure delivery) and charge a small administrative fee to do so. If you get it from the Winchester, VA courthouse I can hand deliver the marriage license during business hours (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Back to Top