How to Elope in Virginia – Getting Married on Short Notice
Many couples will often contact me about eloping and getting married in Winchester, VA…but have no idea where to start or what needs to be done to make it official. The process is super easy for getting married anywhere in Virginia! Here’s how it works:
Step 1 – Get Your Marriage License (Don’t Worry…It’s Quick and Easy!)
The couple (you!) obtain your marriage license at either the Frederick County or Winchester City Circuit Courthouse which are both located on 5 North Kent Street, Winchester, Virginia 22601 (or any other circuit court in Virginia if you prefer). It costs $30 for your marriage license and both of you need to be present with an official ID (driver’s license for example). It does not take long in Winchester, but I suggest allowing 15-20 minutes for them to do the paperwork.
Step 2 – Meet Me Somewhere to Get Married / Have 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! Then, if you have ordered a photography package, I 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’s worth.
Step 3 – I File the Marriage License
After I have taken your photographs, I head directly over to the Circuit Courthouse and file the marriage license with the court you obtained the license from (if done at the Winchester City or Frederick County Circuit Court…if you obtained your license from another court in Virginia, I mail it via priority mail with certified delivery confirmation). 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.
Step 4 – Enjoy Being Married and Viewing Your Photographs
That is it! Once your license is filed, you are officially a legally married couple. If you ordered a photo package, one week later (or 24 hours later if you purchased the 24-hour processing add-on) 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.
If you are thinking about eloping and getting married in Winchester or anywhere else in Virginia, send me a message and I would be happy to answer any of your questions!