virginia weddings

Wedding Planning: How To Have a Friend Marry You In Virginia

SCCER08412

Image: Ceremonies by Jeff

Romancers! I cannot tell you how many times my couples or readers ask me “I want my friend to marry us in Virginia, but it doesn’t seem possible, please tell me you have a solution.” Sadly, up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t. I told them most people I knew just went to the courthouse, got married legally, and then had their friend perform more of a ceremony, not an actual, legally binding marriage. Not ideal. But then at my AWP talk a few weeks ago I met Jeff. And Jeff told me he had the solution to this problem!! I asked him to write a guest post, because I felt he could explain it better than me, but the bottom line here is that Jeff, a licensed officiant, can help all you Virginia couples out there that are looking to have a friend/family member that is not an ordained official, marry you!! Check it out:

A Simple Solution for a Frustrating Virginia Officiant Licensing Issue | By guest blogger Jeff Maszal – Wedding Ceremonies by Jeff

how to have a friend marry you in virginia (4)

Once a month I receive a telephone call (or email) from a panicked bride (or wedding planner) who starts the conversation with; “Reverend Maszal, I have a unique situation. I’m getting married soon we’re really desperate, can you help us”?

The unique situation: the bride and groom asked their best friend (or a relative or parent) to officiate their Virginia wedding. Only to find out, a week before the weeding, that the local Virginia County Clerk’s office rejected their friend’s application to get licensed as an officiant because Virginia doesn’t recognize online ordination certificates (such as the Universal Life Church, etc). Now the couple is left with no one who can legally marry them and 150 guests showing up Saturday.

The background: Many Virginia couples face this situation because Virginia has strict licensing requirements for officiants. Online ordinations are not recognized. Religious officiants must submit documentation showing they are ordained (or its equivalent) and in good standing with a recognized local or national religious body. Oh, and even some qualified officiants submit their paperwork too late in the process to get approved leaving the couple in the same situation.

NOTE: a little known fact. A friend/family member can file for a one-time civil officiant license but they must live in the county where the wedding is being held.

how to have a friend marry you in virginia (3)

The solution. I created a simple “license signing” service for these couples at a reasonable fee providing a win-win for the couple. They get legally married and their friend officiates their ceremony.

I make an appointment to meet with the couple either prior to or after the wedding ceremony. I confirm the couple’s identities and that they want to get married. Then I sign the license. This meets Virginia’s requirements and Wala, they are married. I mail the license into the clerk’s office and the crises is averted.

I do about a dozen license signings a year and it is a privilege to provide a creative – yet legal – solution to a potential stressful wedding situation.

DC War Memorial ceremonies_jeff_06 yes yes Final CROPPED

Jeff Maszal has been officiating weddings for more than 25 years with couples from almost every faith, nationality, and race. He is an ordained minister licensed to perform marriages in VA, MD, and DC. Please visit his website: www.weddingceremoniesbyjeff.com

 

 

 

Pin It

Capitol Romance Best of 2014: The Best Virginia Weddings of the Year

best of 2014 va weddings header

We’re back with our Top Virginia Weddings of 2014! Pop-up books, light sabers, boho flowers, a bride in black, and the RADDEST polkadot bridesmaids dresses. Virginia kicked ASS this year when it came to offbeat & alternative weddings in the area. Let’s break it down.

#5. Abby & Logan’s Thrifted, DIY Travel Themed Barn Wedding in Virginia

The ultimate barn wedding mixed with SO MANY personalized details. Abby & Logan personally handcrafted each part of their wedding. It was awesome.

thrift-store-travel-themed-barn-wedding-virginia-pictures-5

Image: An Endless Pursuit

#4. Alexa & Tucker’s Whimsical, Boho Wedding at Bluemont Winery in Virginia

Whimsical boho to a T – Alexa & Tucker are a gorgeous couple (and I unknowingly/consequently went to highschool with Tucker!) and their flowers were a perfect compliment to this Fall winery wedding in Virginia.

alexa tucker virginia wedding

Image: Kristen Gardner 

#3. Tim & Megan’s Offbeat Film & Literature Themed Wedding in Virginia

Pop-up books based on the couple’s favorite books & films. I mean it doesn’t get cooler than that for alternative wedding centerpieces.

virginia wedding tim megan

Image: Stephen Gosling Photography

#2. Jadene & Freddy’s Offbeat Black & White Wedding at Rosemont Manor in Virginia

A bride in a black dress with peacock feathers for bridesmaids bouquets. This Virginia wedding was SO fun and offbeat. Loved it.

virginia freddy jadene

Image: Andrew Morrell via George Street Photo & Video

#1. Kat & Dave’s 1950s Inspired, Rockabilly Wedding in Virginia

Rockabilly decor inspiration, a tattooed bride with pincurls, and bridesmaids in the MOST DARLING polka dot bridesmaids dresses (with purple crinoline under them to boot!!). Kat & Dave stole my heart with their 1950s themed Virginia wedding.

rockabilly-rock-and-roll-virginia-wedding-pictures-12

Image: Stephanie Kopf Photography

Katie & Andy’s DIY Backyard Woodland Wedding in Virginia

Katie & Andy fell in love with the house that Katie’s grandfather built. The house is set within the tranquility of Great Falls and you will all soon see why Katie & Andy picked this place as their wedding venue. Not only is the house GORGEOUS, but Katie spent her childhood in this house – learning to bake, garden, and spend time with family. This venue held so much family emotion and history, it made for a PERFECT backdrop for their wedding day. Thanks to Douglas Pettway for this real Virginia wedding.

Katie & Andy’s DIY Backyard Woodland Wedding in Virginia

DIY Virginia backyard wedding

Photographer: Douglas Pettway | Venue: Grandparents house/backyard | Cake: Tea Time Delicacies | DJ: Friend | Catering: Tea Time Delicacies | Flowers: Tonya at Occasional Flowers | Hair/Makeup: Paola Rios | Shoes: DSW (Nina) | Dress: Jeanettes Bridal | Centerpieces: DIYed by Groom

DIY Virginia backyard wedding DIY Virginia backyard wedding

She spent much of her childhood there learning to cook, garden, and grow vegetables. Their house was always the location where the family got together for holidays, birthdays, and weekend dinners. When Katie met Andy, he also feel in love with the beauty the tranquility of the rare property in Great Falls. Katie’s grandfather built the house and designed all of the landscaping. They alone take care of the garden with no outside help for the last 48 years. They are two of the hardest working people we know and it is reflected in their property.  Their house has always been so special to us that it was the obvious, and the only place we considered for our wedding.

purple green woodend wedding DIY Virginia backyard wedding

Their house is also the place where Andy proposed. Katie thought she was going over to help work in the garden but Andy surprised her by planning a proposal with friends and family.

Katie-Andy-054 DIY Virginia backyard wedding

We choose purples, yellows, and greens as our colors after we decided to get married in the spring. We thought they would complement the outdoor spring colors: the foliage, the flowers, and the green buds on the trees.

Katie-Andy-506 purple bridesmaids dresses

Click inside for the rest of Katie & Andy’s DIY, backyard Virginia wedding.

Read More

Maureen & Jess’ Intimate DIY Wedding at Bull Run Winery in Northern Virginia

I’m always in awe of couples that plan their wedding from afar. One of the reasons Andy & I opted to get married in DC (instead of in our hometown of NJ) was that I just couldn’t imagine planning from 4+ hours away. I guess I am too hands-on (and let’s face it, just an absolute control freak) to have been able to do that. But for Maureen & Jess, it worked out perfectly. They planned everything from their home in California, DIYing dozens of fabric flowers for the bouquets, bouts, corsages, and decor, and making their own wedding paper products too. Their ceremony was personalized and I love how they got ready in the house that Maureen grew up in. Thanks to Katie Nesbitt Photography for sharing this one, and thanks to Maureen & Jess for sharing personal details and TONS of wedding advice from their Northern Virgina wedding!

Jess & Maureen’s Intimate, DIY Wedding at Bull Run Winery in Northern Virginia

DIY Northern Virginia wedding Bull Run Winery

 Vendors:

Photographer:  Katie Nesbitt Photography | Venue: The Winery at Bull Run | Catering: RSVP Catering | Flowers: DIY, by the bride | Paper Products: DIY, by the bride | Officiant: Family Friend | DJ: Marc Augenbaum DJ Services | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

bride purple flats

If you decided to DIY your own paper products (Save The Dates, Invites, RSVP cards, menus, etc), try to figure out whether it would cost you more money and hassle to print at home or to go to Costco or FedEx Office. As it turns out, for all the paper we printed at FedEx Office, we could have bought ourselves a nicer printer and had something to show for it afterward!

DIY wedding invitations

All of the flowers and decorations were DIY’d by us and our families. Making the bouquets was certainly a labor of love that took a lot more time than we had originally anticipated. We never could have finished them had it not been for our amazing bridal party’s help.

DIY fabric flowers bouquet DIY Northern Virginia wedding Bull Run Winery

Our favorite part of the day was the First Look, which was on a Civil War-era bridge next door to our wedding venue. I had been nervous since waking up the morning of our wedding day. When I saw Jess I felt an overwhelming sense of calm. It really set the tone for the entire rest of the day.

DIY Northern Virginia wedding Bull Run Winery DIY Northern Virginia wedding Bull Run Winery

Click inside for so much more from Maureen & Jess’ DIY Northern Virginia wedding – including a ton of advice from the couple on DIYing their wedding & their biggest wedding regret!

Read More

Kelly & Harry’s Rustic Meets Modern, “Backyard Party” Barn Wedding in Virginia

The thing I loved most about Kelly & Harry’s wedding submission from Vness Photography was the perfect mix of modern & rustic. I LOVE when couples (or my clients) want to mix themes and styles. They end up being some of my favorite weddings. Kelly & Harry chose the Adams International School for their venue  a rustic VA barn venue that fit their desire to have a backyard party! But their bright blue colors with a splash of chevron patterns really took this one from a traditional rustic Virginia barn wedding to one with some serious modern flare.

Kelly & Harry’s Rustic Meets Modern, “Backyard Party” Virginia Wedding at the Adams International School

rustic modern virginia barn wedding

Vendors:

Photographer: Vness Photography / Second shoot: Corina Chevalier | Venue:  Adams International School | Florist: Vogue Flowers | Caterer: Q BQQ | DJ: Tim Jackson, Jackson Pro Audio | Makeup Artist: Ashley Swilley – Drama Artistry | Hair: Jaimie Moeller (Friend) | Dress Designer: Paloma Blanca | Cake: Sweet and Tasty Cakes | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

rustic barn wedding dress rain boot rustic virginia bride makeup

Our wedding was a chilly, rainy fall day – Oct 12, 2013, in Maidens, VA at the Adams International School (a Montessori school for kids). We selected the venue because we wanted something different and special that felt more like a rustic, backyard party (with a little bling of course) than a stuffy wedding. It was amazing and just what we dreamed of.

rustic weddnig details

Our colors were navy and gray, partly because my (now) husband is active duty Navy and partly because they looked great in front of the bright red barn in which the ceremony and reception took place. We chose hydrangeas and babies breath as our bouquets and center pieces, largely because I just adore the subtle beauty of both.

navy blue bridesmaids dresses with cowboy boots modern virginia groomrustic wedding vows decor groom and his dog

Almost everything, from the table runners to the aisle runner were all DIY. It made it so special to us that we had a hand in making and selecting all our details.

chevron wedding aisle runner

Click inside for the rest of Kelly & Harry’s rustic meets modern, DIY Virginia wedding!

Read More

Rad Things For Your Big Day & Life Together Go Shopping!