Planning Your Downtown Norfolk Courthouse Wedding

bride with bouquet and groom walking together in Norfolk Virginia for their courthouse elopement

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Say “I do!”
  4. 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.
a bride and groom hold hands crossing the street in their wedding attire you can see the courthouse in the distance

Can we take pictures inside the courthouse?

No. As of updating this (in May 2023), photos are still 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. I did have one couple that said that they were told they couldn’t have a ceremony outside. But that may depend on who you talk to since I know they have been done in the past. Just ask what all the options are for marriage commissioners and if any can step outside at certain times.

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?

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:

bride and groom walk holding hands away from the camera down an outdoor corridor outside of the norfolk courthouse after their wedding

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:

*- 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

Dress: Kamperett

Barong: Onesimus

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.

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