Set the Date and Obtain Your Wedding License

You’ve booked your Outer Banks rental home and now it’s time to get down to the business of planning the day and time-line for your wedding ceremony.

If you are staying a week, your rental check-in day is probably on Saturday or Sunday.  Most couples choose to get their marriage license on Monday and plan for the ceremony Tuesday- Friday. However, since the Dare County Register of Deeds office is in Manteo, located in the Dare Justice Center at 962 Marshall Collins Drive, it is possible to secure the license Monday morning (hours 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. – unless it’s a holiday) and be married that evening, but that could make for a stressful day!  The process at the Register of Deeds office is usually under an hour but make sure you have all needed documentation.  Requirements can be found at http://www.darenc.com/deeds/marriage.asp or call (252) 475-9228.

A Marriage license can actually be purchased at any Register of Deeds Office in North Carolina- up to 60 days in advance. If you live in North Carolina, you can work with your local Register of Deeds office.  Couples who live in bordering states can just cross into North Carolina to purchase a license.  If you are planning a trip to tie up details with planners and vendors, you can stop at the Currituck County Register of Deeds Office located on the Currituck mainland- 13 miles across the North Carolina State Line on Highway 168.  This visit must be made 60 days or less before the ceremony.  For more information, visit http://www.co.currituck.nc.us/Marriage-License-Frequently-Asked-Questions.cfm or call (252)232-3297.  Business hours are Mon-Fri, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Next, you can decide on the day and time of your ceremony. Timing is an important consideration and varies, depending on the month. Late afternoon and early evening hours seem to be the most popular. In our shoulder seasons- April, May, September and October- I would suggest between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m. However, don’t rule out a morning, noon or early afternoon ceremony during these months, which can be very pleasant with the cooler temperatures and lower light.

The summer months offer greater challenges with the heat and number of people on Outer Banks beaches. The hours between 6 and 7:30 p.m. seem to work best and still offers an opportunity for your photographer to capture photos to be treasured for years to come. The actually ceremony time is typically no longer than 25 minutes but allow time for the guests to gather on the beach. Guests should not be held on the beach any longer than 45 minutes to an hour. However, the wedding party would remain until the photographer had completed photos.

Congratulations … you now know how to get your marriage license and a date and time to consider!

For more information, visit www.seeyouonthebeachobx.com.