Requirements for the Minister
- Min. Age of Minister:
- Age 18
- Not Required
- Document(s) Required:
- Ordination Credential
- Online Ordination Recognized:
- Relevant Office of Registration:
- County Clerk
- Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
- Before Ceremony
- Minister I.D. # Issued:
Ministers who choose to officiate a wedding in Virginia must be at least 18 years of age.
As long as ministers who've been ordained online present their ordination credential before a judge or county clerk and prove that they are, in fact, a reputed member who is in regular communion with their religious society, it doesn't matter where ministers come from, the gender they identify as, or what they actually believe in.
Virigina law does not recognize online ordinations, so ULC ministers are generally barred from performing weddings in the state. That said, the ULC recommends that ministers contact the county clerk in the county where the ceremonly is planned to be held to double-check what the rules are for that area. Need to show proof of ordination? We recommend ordering the Classic Wedding Package.
When a minister of any religious denomination shall produce before the circuit court of any county or city in this Commonwealth, or before the judge of such court or before the clerk of such court at any time, proof of his ordination and of his being in regular communion with the religious society of which he is a reputed member, or proof that he holds a local minister's license and is serving as a regularly appointed pastor in his denomination, such court, or the judge thereof, or the clerk of such court at any time, may make an order authorizing such minister to celebrate the rites of matrimony in this Commonwealth. Any order made under this section may be rescinded at any time by the court or by the judge thereof.
Wedding Ceremony Requirements
- Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
- Minister Required to be Present:
- Number of Witnesses Required:
- Min. Age of Witnesses:
- Couple's Consent Required:
- Pronouncement Required:
The state of Virginia requires that both the couple and the officiating minister be present during the ceremony. Witnesses, however, are not required.
While the couple has free rein to customize the ceremony in the manner they see fit, the state requires the couple provide official consent (the famous I DO moment) to marry at some point, and then the officiating minister must pronounce the couple married.
The clerks of the circuit courts of any counties or their deputies and the clerks of the circuit courts of any cities or their deputies are authorized to issue marriage licenses in conformity with the law now governing the same, to any persons desiring to be married on any of the government reservations of this Commonwealth, lying within their respective counties and which reservations were before the acquisition thereof part of the political territory of this Commonwealth, and any marriage ceremony performed on such reservations shall be as legal to all intents and purposes as if performed in any county or city of the Commonwealth, if the person performing the ceremony was qualified to so act. All marriages heretofore solemnized within the limits of any such reservations are hereby ratified and legalized to all intents and purposes as if performed in any county or city of the Commonwealth.
Marriage License Requirements
- Who Picks Up License:
- The Couple
- Where License is Valid:
- County of Issuance
- Marriage License Pick-Up:
- In Person Only
- Cost of License:
- Accepted I.D. Types:
- Standard Government Issued
- Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
- Blood Test Required:
Whether native to the state or from out of town or even country, both members of any couple looking to wed in Virginia will need to present themselves to the state county clerk to apply for a marriage license. That license will only be valid in that specific county, so choose wisely. Standard government issued ID will be required to confirm all relevant personal info, as will proof of any prior divorce. It costs $30 to apply.
No state will ever require blood tests of any kind in order to secure a marriage license.
Marriage License Facts
- ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
- Mandatory Waiting Period:
- License Valid For:
- 60 Days
- License Must Be Submitted:
- Within 5 Days of Ceremony
As is the case in almost every state, a Virginia marriage license can be solemnized with either a religious or civil ceremony. That being said, ULC ministers are ordained, which means they are permitted to perform religious ceremonies only.
Virginia has no mandated waiting period between obtaining the marriage license and performing the ceremony. A marriage license is valid for 60 days after it is issued.
Every marriage license issued under § 20-14 shall constitute authority for a period of only sixty days from the date of issuance for the solemnization of a marriage of the licensees. Whenever such sixty-day period shall have elapsed without the solemnization of a marriage of the licensees, the license shall expire. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prevent licensees from applying for or receiving an additional license, either before or after expiration of any license, but no new license shall be issued except in compliance with all provisions of law applicable to the issuance of a license in the first instance.
Requirements for the Couple
- Min. Age of Couple:
- Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
- Not Required
- Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
- First Cousins
- Marriage Equality:
While the state of Virginia requires that both parties in a couple wishing to marry be at least 18 years or older, it is ready to make exceptions for 16 and 17-year-olds who have the written consent of a parent or legal guardian, as well as minors under 16 years of age in those cases where the female is under 16 and pregnant.
Virginia will not tolerate marriages between couples who are already married, nor between siblings (even by adoption), nor between uncles or aunts with nieces or nephews. First cousins are allowed to marry under the law.
Same-sex couples are also legally allowed to wed, as is the case in every US state.
§ 20-38.1. Certain marriages prohibited. The following marriages are prohibited: 1. A marriage entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage of one of the parties; 2. A marriage between an ancestor and descendant, or between siblings, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood or by adoption; 3. A marriage between an uncle or aunt and a nephew or niece, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood. § 20-48. Minimum age of marriage. The minimum age at which persons may marry shall be 18, unless a minor has been emancipated by court order. Upon application for a marriage license, an emancipated minor shall provide a certified copy of the order of emancipation.
- Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
- Church/Ordaining Body:
- Universal Life Church Ministries
- Address of Church:
- Minister's Home Address
It’s normally up to the officiating minister to ensure the marriage license is properly filled out and gets back to the county clerk in time.
They will mark their title as "minister", fill in the relevant church or ordaining body as "Universal Life Church Ministries" and make sure to include their own home address in the event that the form asks for an address of ministry.
Once completed, the original marriage license must be returned to the same issuing county clerk’s office within 5 days of the ceremony, where it will be filed and used as prima facie evidence that the wedding took place.
The clerk to whom the license and certificate are returned, shall file and preserve the original in his office, and make an index of the names of both of the parties married. When the certificates of such person celebrating such marriage are returned to the clerk, and recorded as provided in this section and § 32.1-267, copies of the same properly certified by the clerk lawfully having the custody thereof or properly certified by the State Registrar of Vital Statistics shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein set forth in all courts of this Commonwealth.