Virginia Wedding Officiant
Lance, Officiant
(202) 903-0925

Weddings by Lance

Wedding Ceremony Officiant for All Faiths

Officiant serving Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia, West Virginia  including Annapolis, Stevensville, Leesburg, Reston, Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church,  Potomac, Wheaton, Woodbridge, Harpers Ferry, Bluemont, Waterford, Stafford, Greenbelt, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Washington DC, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Manassas, Centreville, Middleburg, Fredericksburg, Rockville

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Virginia Marriage License

When getting married in the state of Virginia, the process is as follows:

  1. Stop by ANY Virginia courthouse and apply for a Virginia marriage license. Courts are not open on Saturdays, Sundays, many holidays, and some courts are closed on special local festival days. Call before you go.

  2. (Special Note: If you go to the Winchester, Virginia or Frederick County, Virginia Circuit Courts you can obtain the license, walk two blocks to the Winchester Wedding Chapel and get married, then walk back to the courthouse and get your certified copies in less than one hour! See for more information.)

  3. Same gender Virginia marriage licenses are not legal in Virginia as of May 2012.

  4. The Virginia marriage license will be issued immediately and will expire 60 days after issued.

  5. You will need one form of government issued identification to the clerk at time of application.

  6. If you have been married before and are divorced, you will not need to have a copy of your divorce papers with you. You will simply raise your right hand and affirm that what you have stated on your application is true.

  7. The Virginia Marriage license can be used in any location by the Virginia Wedding Officiant within the borders of the State of Virginia.

  8. The Virginia wedding officiant you use to conduct your wedding ceremony must be registered with one of the Virginia Circuit courts as a minister duly authorized to conduct such ceremonies. Lance Orndorff (703) 552-2726 is a Virginia authorized wedding officiant and his website is at

  9. The “ceremony” can be as simple as a one line statement asking the couple to confirm that they desire to be married in accordance with the laws of Virginia, or it can be an elaborate all day affair. The state only requires that the officiant establish that the couples wishes to be joined in marriage and makes that clear to the couple and returns the properly completed license.

  10. The couple can have a wedding affair without a Virginia Marriage license and will NOT be legally married. A couple can have a license signing without a wedding and WILL be legally married. Neither actions must occur at the same time or place, but in the US usually does.

  11. You will give to the officiant the two original copies of the Virginia wedding license and the fill-in-the-blank wedding certificate.

  12. The officiant will provide you a “keepsake” certificate with the wedding details. Some Virginia wedding officiants will not use the fill-in-the-blank form but instead make you a nicer certificate. This certificate has no force of law.

  13. The wedding officiant will take the two original copies, complete the section of the Virginia marriage license specifically prepared for the officiant, and then mail the two originals back to the same court that issued the license.

  14. The wedding couple will wait about one week then, either in person, by mail, or internet, request copies of the license for use in changing names, updating benefits, etc. It is suggested that the couples get at least three copies and keep them in a safe place for later use.

  15. Some couples who travel or live international and wish to have their Virginia marriage recognized by non-US states will need to request “triple seal” copies. These have an additional level of certification that many countries require.      

  16. It is the copy of the Virginia marriage license obtained after it has been sent back to the court that gives the couple the right to change their names. The bride and the groom may use the Virginia marriage license to make changes to their names, it is not just the bride that has that option but both the bride and groom.

Lance Orndorff, Wedding Officiant
Posted May 20, 2012

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