Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions. If you don't see the answer you are looking for, email us for more information.
 1. Is there an age requirement for marriage in Virginia?
 2. Are witnesses required?
 3. Is a blood test required?
 4. Where can I get my marriage license?
 5. How long is the marriage license valid?
 6. How much does a marriage license cost?
 7. Is there a waiting period once I get my marriage license?
 8. Are the laws the same for those who are not citizens of the USA?
 9. Do I have to bring the wedding license to the wedding?
 10. What do I need to do after the ceremony to validate the marriage license?
 11. How long is the ceremony?
 12. What type of ceremony do you perform?
 13. How long will the celebrant be there?
 14. What if there is an emergency and my celebrant can't perform my wedding?
 15. Will the celebrant stay for the reception?
 16. How long in advance should I reserve my date?
 17. Is there a fee to reserve my date?
 18. What does Trillium charge for services?
 19. Can I ask a friend to be ordained online and to perform my wedding?
Is there an age requirement for marriage in Virginia?
Virginia allows individuals between the ages of sixteen and eighteen to be married with parental consent; however, Trillium Celebrants will not perform weddings unless both parties are at least eighteen. When obtaining your license, you must provide a valid identification with proof of age.

Are witnesses required?
Witnesses are not required in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Is a blood test required?
No blood test is required.

Where can I get my marriage license?
A license for marriage in Virginia is issued by the clerk of a circuit court in any county or city in the Commonwealth. For a list of courts, go to the "links" page. The ceremony need not be performed in the issuing county or city, but may be performed anywhere in Virginia.

How long is the marriage license valid?
A license, once issued, is valid for sixty days.

How much does a marriage license cost?
A fee of $30 is charged by the clerk of court.

Is there a waiting period once I get my marriage license?
No, you may be married immediately after receiving your license.

Are the laws the same for those who are not citizens of the USA?
No! Contact any circuit court (see "links" page) for regulations concerning marriage between individuals when one or both are not U.S. citizens.

Do I have to bring the wedding license to the wedding?
Yes! The celebrant must verify that you have a license for the marriage to be legal. If your celebrant does not know you, both of you must also bring identification to the wedding.

What do I need to do after the ceremony to validate the marriage license?
Nothing. It is the wedding officiant's responsibility to complete the license and return it to the court where it was first issued within 5 days of the ceremony.

How long is the ceremony?
It is up to you. All that is legally required in the way of vows is that each party must state that he or she accepts the other in marriage. It can literally be done in two minutes, and if you suffer from "stage fright," you may want to specify a short ceremony. Most ceremonies take between fifteen and twenty-five minutes, but it depends entirely upon what you choose to include.

What type of ceremony do you perform?
You may choose to have any type of ceremony you like: traditional, contemporary, spiritual, interfaith, non-denominational, or secular. By telling us about who the two of you are, what you believe in, and what makes your relationship unique, we can craft a ceremony with you in mind. You might want to write your own vows; but you should not feel that you have to do so in order to have a personalized ceremony. We develop the ceremony especially for you, and review your vows beforehand, to ensure that we have chosen the perfect promises for you.

How long will the celebrant be there?
Your celebrant will arrive a half hour to twenty minutes before a wedding that has had a rehearsal, and between forty five minutes and a half hour ahead for a wedding with no rehearsal. We are careful to book each wedding with enough time to allow for running late. (In Hampton Roads, particularly, we have to assume that at least one of the wedding party will be stuck at a bridge or tunnel!) Your celebrant will be available for one hour from the agreed upon starting time.

What if there is an emergency and my celebrant can't perform my wedding?
This happens very rarely, but you would be surprised at how many brides call us a few days before their weddings in a panic because their celebrants have canceled! It's part of the reason we require a contract - to protect you! That contract states that in the event of an emergency, it would be our responsibility to find another celebrant, not yours. You have enough to worry about. That person would use the same ceremony script we have already prepared for you so there would be no surprises. Whew! Thank goodness!

Will the celebrant stay for the reception?
That is entirely up to you. If invited, and if her schedule allows, she may be willing to attend and offer a blessing before your meal. Do not feel obligated, however, to invite your celebrant. We realize that for catered events, the hosts must pay for each person in attendance.

How long in advance should I reserve my date?
There is no specific booking requirement. We can perform weddings with as little as twenty four hour notice; and since some people would rather save the money they would have spent on a formal wedding by eloping, we are happy to work to make even last minute ceremonies special. If, however, you are booking a venue and inviting out of town guests, it is wise to book as far in advance as possible.

Is there a fee to reserve my date?
To reserve your date, you must sign a contract and pay a $50.00 deposit. In the event that you cancel more than sixty days in advance, you will receive a refund, less a $25.00 processing fee.

What does Trillium charge for services?
See the "fees and services" page for detailed information.

Can I ask a friend to be ordained online and to perform my wedding?
Not in Virginia! You must be authorized by the court to perform weddings in Virginia, and our courts have strict guidelines regarding authorization. Laws, of course, vary by state, and if having a friend perform your ceremony is more important to you than where you have your ceremony, you might want to have your wedding in a different state.



Copyright: Rebecca Ritter Kelly, Trillium Celebrants


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