Virginia is a stunning location for your wedding, offering opulent resorts with a Southern flair, remote settings in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and more than 300 wineries. Whether you envision a lavish wedding or a secret elopement, obtaining a marriage license is essential. However, couples need to understand that Virginia has specific laws regarding weddings within the state and the process for getting married online. 

In this step-by-step guide, we will outline the necessary procedures for getting married online in Virginia.

The Legality of online marriages in Virginia

Before the pandemic, getting married in Virginia required the physical presence of the couple and the officiant. Couples also had to visit the county clerk's office in person to obtain a marriage license. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent closures of clerk offices posed challenges for couples.

Then in 2019, Utah County's marriage license office collaborated with the information technology departments to create a fully digital system. By January 2020, couples in Utah gained the ability to apply for a marriage license, conduct the ceremony, and have the officiant submit the necessary paperwork online.

This online procedure in Utah eliminated the need for couples to visit the clerk's office physically. Although the legal recognition of online marriages in Virginia may not be as straightforward, marriages performed legally in one state are generally recognized across the country, provided they comply with federal and state laws. It is advisable to consult the specific Circuit Court Clerk's Office in Virginia to understand their policies and procedures regarding online marriages.

Requirements for in-person weddings in Virginia

To obtain a marriage license in Virginia, you need to provide certain documents and information. Here's what you'll need:

  • Proof of Age: You must present a valid government-issued ID, such as a state ID or driver's license, to verify your age.
  • Full Names of Parents: You will need to know the full names of your parents, including their maiden and middle names. This information is required, but you don't need to bring their birth certificates.
  • Marital Status: Virginia only issues marriage licenses to single individuals. If you have been previously married or are widowed, you don't need to bring divorce decrees or death certificates. However, you will be required to affirm to the government official handling your application that you are no longer married.

The cost of a marriage license in Virginia is typically around $30. While the price is generally consistent across counties, the accepted forms of payment may vary. For example, Fairfax County only accepts cash for in-person applications.

Keep in mind that the marriage license fee covers only the issuance of the license itself. It does not include expenses related to travel, the wedding ceremony, or officiation.

It's important to provide the required documentation and information accurately to avoid any issues or delays in obtaining your marriage license.

Possibility of obtaining a marriage license from Virginia online

The process of obtaining a marriage license online in Virginia varies from county to county. While none of the counties allow for a fully online marriage license application, some offer the option to expedite the process through online pre-application. Fairfax County provides an Online Marriage License Pre-Application, but couples are still required to visit the courthouse to obtain their license.

Here are the requirements specific to obtaining a marriage license in Fairfax County:

  1. Both applicants must be present together at the Fairfax County Courthouse and be at least 18 years old.
  2. If the Online Marriage License Pre-Application was used, applicants should bring the confirmation document.
  3. A valid photo ID, such as a driver's license, passport, or military identification card, is required.
  4. Social security numbers of both applicants (social security cards are not necessary).
  5. The full names of each applicant's parents, including their full middle names as listed on their birth certificates. If a parent's maiden name is different from their current name, the applicant must provide the full maiden name.

To expedite the process, applicants can complete the Online Marriage License Pre-Application. Once submitted, applicants have a period of sixty days to visit the courthouse and obtain their marriage license. It's important to note that Fairfax County does not offer "Justice of the Peace" services. Instead, civil marriage celebrants are available by appointment at the location of your choice.

Other counties in Virginia may have different requirements for obtaining a marriage license. It is advisable to check with the county where you plan to get married to understand their specific requirements.

Remember that the marriage license process does not encompass finding an officiant, organizing the wedding ceremony, or the legal requirements for getting married. For the wedding ceremony to be legally binding, you, the officiant, and the witnesses must all be physically present in Virginia. But other guests can still join the ceremony online.

If you prefer to simplify the process and bypass the various steps involved, Courtly offers a convenient solution. Courtly allows couples to complete the entire procedure remotely from anywhere. With minimal documentation, you can quickly and easily obtain a valid US marriage certificate through Courtly.

Simplified process with Courtly for online marriages in Virginia

If you're looking for a simplified process to have an online marriage in Virginia, Courtly provides a convenient solution. With Courtly, you can complete the entire procedure remotely, minimizing the need for extensive documentation.

Additionally, Courtly offers a user-friendly platform that guides you through the necessary steps, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience. By opting for Courtly's online marriage services, you can simplify the process and obtain a legitimate US marriage certificate quickly and easily.

The Legality of online marriages outside the United States

To ensure the recognition of your online marriage in a foreign country, you may need to obtain an apostille certification. The apostille verifies the authenticity and validity of your marriage license according to The Hague Apostille Convention of 1961, which facilitates the acceptance of official documents internationally. It serves as proof that your marriage is legitimate and can be recognized in countries that have ratified the convention. However, the requirements and procedures for obtaining an apostille vary between countries, so it's important to consult with the appropriate authorities or seek legal advice to understand the specific process for your desired country of recognition.

While online marriage ceremonies conducted by a Courtly officiant are legally valid within the United States, it's crucial to note that foreign countries or immigration authorities may not always recognize them as valid, especially if your partner is a foreign national. Therefore, obtaining an apostille certification can enhance the chances of your marriage being recognized internationally. 

Remember to consult with legal professionals or authorities for accurate and up-to-date guidance on the recognition of online marriages outside of the United States, as the information provided here is general.

Steps involved in getting married online in Virginia with Courtly

With Courtly, couples have the convenience of completing the entire online marriage process from anywhere. Obtaining a legitimate U.S. marriage certificate is quick and easy, typically taking less than 48 hours, and requires no documentation.

Here's how you can use Courtly to get married online:

1. Create an Account

To begin, click on the "Get Married" icon located in the top right corner of the Courtly website. Follow the provided instructions to create your account, which will grant you access to the platform.

2. Choose the ceremony format, setting, and officiant

Select a venue and ceremony style that suits your preferences. Based on your chosen time and day, Courtly will match you with one of our legally qualified U.S. officiants.

3. Make the payment and receive confirmation

After selecting your wedding package, proceed with the payment. Once completed, you will receive an email confirmation from Courtly, signaling that everything is set for your special day. For complete information on our available wedding packages and add-ons, please check our Pricing Page.

4. Celebrate your marriage with loved ones online

Gather your family and friends virtually to witness and celebrate your marriage. The online ceremony typically takes about 15 minutes and can be conducted from the comfort of your own home or any location with a reliable internet connection.

Following your online wedding, you will receive a digital copy of your U.S. marriage certificate immediately, with a printed copy delivered to you in 1 to 2 weeks. You can also download your digital marriage within 24 hours after the ceremony.

Conclusion

Courtly offers a fast and straightforward solution for getting married online in Virginia. With Courtly, individuals and couples can navigate the marriage process efficiently, even when facing time constraints or physical limitations. The requirements for using Courtly's online marriage services are minimal, including a valid email address, identification, and payment method.

Courtly's efforts in facilitating online marriages demonstrate their commitment to meeting the evolving needs of individuals and couples in today's fast-paced world. By offering a streamlined process and eliminating unnecessary complexities, Courtly has made it easier than ever for couples to embark on their marital journey.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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