Planning Your Downtown Norfolk Courthouse Wedding
How to Have a Courthouse Elopement in Norfolk, Virginia
Can you get married at the norfolk courthouse?
Yes. The Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk’s Office can issue marriage licenses and certificates as well as perform ceremonies. The office is located conveniently downtown at 150 St Pauls Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23510.
How much does a courthouse wedding cost?
A courthouse wedding in Norfolk, VA costs $80. That’s $30 for the marriage license and $50 in cash for the marriage commissioner to perform the ceremony. If you’d like a certified copy of the marriage certificate they cost $2.50 each.
How do you get married at the norfolk courthouse?
- Call the Marriage Commissioner ((757) 664-4175) ahead of your wedding date to schedule someone to perform the ceremony. This is optional, but I recommend making an appointment so you have a better idea of your timeline for the day and to alleviate any extra stress by waiting more in line. You can also make sure that one of the marriage commissioners available will be able to perform your ceremony outside so you can have photos of it taken if you wish. You’ll need to pay for the commissioner $50 in cash.
- Get your marriage license. No appointment is necessary and you can do it easily on the day of your wedding or up to 60 days in advance. You’ll need: the two of you there, a photo ID, your Social Security card or a driver’s license, and $30 in cash, check, Visa, or Mastercard. Getting your Virginia marriage license is easy and here’s even more info.
- Say “I do!”
- Your officiant will need to return the completed marriage license back to the Circuit Court within 7 days of the ceremony. But that’s super simple since they are right there anyways.
Can we take pictures inside the courthouse?
No. As of writing this (in July 2022), photos are not allowed in the Norfolk Courthouse. You cannot use a cell phone for pictures nor can a professional photographer come inside the courthouse for your ceremony to take photos. That’s why I recommend asking your marriage commissioner to step outside so that you can still get photos captured of that special moment!
Can we get married outside the courthouse?
Yes. You can schedule a marriage commissioner in advance that will perform the ceremony outside.
When is the best time to go get married?
The Circuit Court’s hours are Monday-Friday 8:45am-4:45pm with the exception of some holidays. Any time they’re open is fine but I recommend not waiting until the last minute and to give yourself at least an hour or two before closing so you don’t feel rushed if there is a line. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays seem to be less busy than Monday and Friday but pick a day that works best for your schedule.
Where should we park?
- Commercial Parking Garage
- McArthur Center North Garage
- Fountain Park Garage
- You may also be able to find nearby metered street parking even closer
Where should we stay?
There are many incredible places to stay in downtown Norfolk – and they are all a little different depending on what type of vibe you like. From 4 star hotels to bed and breakfasts filled with character, there is something for everyone. Check out these options:
- Glass Light Hotel
- The Main – Hilton
- Sheraton on Waterside
- The Inn at 411 York (this is also a good venue for elopement and small wedding receptions)
- And look on Airbnb and Vrbo for penthouses overlooking the city or cute houses for rent in the Freemason District
Where should we go to take pictures? And where else should we visit on our elopement day?
Listed from closest to the Norfolk Courthouse to the furthest away, these are some of my favorite places for photos and things to do in Hampton Roads:
- the top of parking garages
- explore the area around the Chinese Pagoda and Gardens
- wander the cobblestone streets of the Freemason District
- take the Elizabeth River Ferry to Olde Towne Portsmouth
- the Neon District
- Chrysler Museum of Art
- the Hermitage Museum and Gardens**
- Norfolk Botanical Gardens**
- take a hike or camp at First Landing State Park*
- have a luxury picnic on the beach
- take a dip in the ocean
- grab an ice cream
- bike along the ocean
- Back Bay Wildlife Refuge*
*- permit required for photos, **- permit required and elopement packages available
After their ceremony at the Norfolk Courthouse, Kendrick + Kaelyn decided to head to the North End of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. After driving less than 30 minutes, they headed onto the sand, said their vows, exchanged rings, had a private first dance, walked along the beach, and watched the most beautiful sunset. Keep scrolling down to see more of their elopement day.
How Kaelyn + Kendrick Made Their City Hall Elopement Extra Special
Kaelyn and Kendrick’s elopement came together in just 6 weeks of preparation! When Kaelyn first reached out to me and we chatted on the phone, some of her first words to me were “so have you ever heard of the show 90 Day Fiancé?” She explained that her and Ken had been long distance with him being in the Philippines for a few years. He was waiting for an appointment so that he could get a visa to come to the US soon- but they’d have to be married within 90 days of his arrival. Once they chose a date, we sprung into action organizing one of the most personal courthouse weddings I have ever seen.
During the planning process I asked Kaelyn and Kendrick what they were most excited about for their wedding day. They said they were most excited to “never have to say goodbye anymore.” How’s that for the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard!
Some highlights of their elopement day
- Getting ready at their hotel in Downtown Norfolk with the help of Kaelyn’s parents
- A first look and gift exchange outside their hotel, by the water
- Taking the long way to the Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk’s office to take some portraits in the city
- Having a private ceremony at the courthouse with Kaelyn’s immediate family as the only guests
- Taking photos in the corridor outside the courthouse
- Sitting on the beach and FaceTiming Kendrick’s family
- Saying their vows and exchanging rings at during golden hour
- Having a first dance in the sand to a song they love, Ikaw at Ako (meaning You and I) by Johnoy Danao
- Watching the sunset wrapped in each other’s arms
Officiant: Cynthia Smith at Norfolk Courthouse
Hotel: Sheraton Norfolk Waterside
Florals: Ikea arranged by the bride
Mom’s makeup: Makeup By Vega Associate Joyce Slayton
Are you thinking about having a Virginia courthouse wedding? I’d love to be there to help you capture it. Contact me to start the booking process or get info about the packages I offer.