Virginia Beach Weddings - Frequently Asked Questions

Virginia Beach Weddings

Please browse through our FAQs listed on this page - then visit the pages listed below to get a clear idea of all the different wedding themes and services we offer, and then call us for to discuss how we can create your dream wedding vision!

Virginia Beach Wedding Chapel is a Caribbean Wraps International company, and our online catalog of beach wedding dress designs is found at www.allyouneedtowear.com

Rev. Bruce Begault, wedding minister - wedding officiant in Virginia Beeach Victoria Begault, wedding photographer, wedding planner - shown with Lily & Sami


WHO IS VIRGINIA BEACH WEDDING CHAPEL?

We are a family owned and operated company, in business since February 2000. We have an indoor wedding chapel, and we also specialize in beach & off-site weddings! Victoria Begault is the founder, photographer, floral designer and Realtor(R), with business partner and husband Rev. Bruce Begault, who you can count on to officiate your dream wedding ceremony!  Maddie Begault is our Event Manager and second shooter for our photography! She is also your first point of contact for any questions you might have and to book your event with us!
 

CONTACT US

By phone: 757.495.8003    By Email: Weddings@virginiabeachweddingchapel.com

By Mail: 619 N. Birdneck Road, Virginia Beach, V 23451

Marriage license and other legal information
A VA marriage license is required for ALL weddings in the state of Virginia. This is not something we can obtain for you. The couple must obtain a valid VA marriage license from ANY courthouse in the state of Virginia - it does not have to be Virginia Beach. The license is valid for 60 days Marriage licenses  are issued by our local Virginia Beach Clerk of Court office Monday thru Friday  8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

WHAT'S REQUIRED: Both of you must go IN PERSON to a Virginia Circuit Court Clerk's Office.
A single form of ID  (driver's license or military ID is fine) and $30 cash only. The license is valid for 60 days - after 60 days it does expire, so be sure to obtain this within 60 days or less of your wedding date.

The Virginia Beach Courthouse does not require any blood tests, witnesses, divorce decrees, death certificates or any other documentation such as birth certificates, etc.
Please note that Northern Virginia courthouses, such as Alexandria, do require death certificates, divorce decrees, etc.
You can find more information at
http://www.vbgov.com

CERTIFIED COPIES: Required if you plan on taking your spouse's last name. Certified copies from the Virginia Beach courthouse are $2.50 each and payable in cash or money order with self-addressed stamped envelope  - recommend you get 4-6 copies. If you are local, you can go down the courthouse within about 10 days - if you are from out of town, you can either leave the self-addressed stamped envelope with money order with the Clerk's office when you apply for your license, or you will have to mail it in - once recorded, the Clerk's office will mail your license to your home.

Our local court prohibits ALL types of cell phones  - so be sure to leave them in your car, as when you enter through the scanner, you would have to return the phone to your car.  Unlike other states, witnesses are not required in Virginia. A Blood test is not required in the State of Virginia. Divorced? You do not need a copy of your divorce decree,


What are your prices?

We offer a wide range of pricing levels designed to meet different budgets. View beach & outdoor packages here and indoor wedding chapel packages here. Pricing starts at $250 for just the minister to come to your location and officiate your ceremony. Other fees depend on the services you are interested in. Please contact us directly, as prices are not listed on our website.

 

Who will marry us?
Rev. Bruce Begault, co-owner of the wedding chapel, will be honored to officiate over your wedding ceremony.  He is a celebrant minister who is not affiliated with a particular church for religious services, but he does have his own wedding ministry.

He offers beautiful and customized non-denominational ceremonies, and does over both Christian  semi-religious and religious ceremonies.  Keep in mind that even if you do choose the religious ceremony, it is not specific to any one particular religion. Rev. Bruce offers ceremony consultation and is open to any kind of customization for your ceremony, such as a unity candle or sand ceremony, the Irish hand fasting ceremony, even jumping the broom!  Rev. Bruce's ceremonies averages 15-25 minutes in length depending on any customization that may lengthen your ceremony a bit. He also includes a copy of his ceremony script for you to take home with you, so that you can forever remember your special day!

Should Rev. Bruce not be available, we can book a city marriage commissioner.   The marriage commissioners appointed through the local courthouses do offer generally shorter but still beautiful civil ceremonies, averaging 7 minutes in length. A marriage commissioner typically performs a Civil ceremony with little to  no religious overtone.   

You can also have your personal  family Pastor, Minister, Reverend or Rabbi officiate your ceremony, but be sure they complete the Virginia Beach court paperwork - there's a bit of red tape involved. 

 

We only need someone to marry us - do you have just a minister?
Yes! Our minister Rev. Bruce Begault can perform your non-denominational ceremony whether inside our chapel or off-site at your own preferred location.

 

What's the difference between the Semi-Religious & religious ceremonies?
Both are Christian non-denominational, so it's not specific to any religion. The main difference between the two is that the religious ceremony includes three marriage prayers asking for God's guidance along the way of your marriage. The religious ceremonies are also a bit longer, averaging 25 minutes. You are welcome to customize the ceremony however you'd like and can add in or take away any prayers, readings, songs, unity candle or sand ceremony, jumping the broom, and more!

What days do you perform weddings?
We do weddings 7 days a week, but we are closed on all major religious holidays. Contact us about our availability!

How can I check your availability?
You can view view our current wedding schedule here  and past weddings here. You can also email Maddie at weddings@virginiabeachweddingchapel.com Or call the office at  757-495-8003.

Phone hours are typically 930am - 5pm est. Monday - Friday - frequently during the summer months we will be out of the office for a wedding - so please leave a message.

Can I come tour your chapel facility and meet with you for a consultation?
Yes! We are open by appointment only and offer free 45 minute consultations. You are welcome to meet with us for a chapel tour and viewing, as well as for a consultation for any wedding services. Please give us your preferred event date & the services you are interested in. We can also speak with you over the phone or via email. We are happy to meet with you during the week or on a Saturday morning/early afternoon. We do not schedule appointments on major holidays, Sundays or late evenings. Please call or email us to schedule your appointment.

What TIMES ARE AVAILABLE FOR Ceremonies?

We can perform indoor weddings any time between 10:00 am - 7:00 pm.


For outdoor weddings during the months of May-September, we perform weddings in the morning between 10am-12pm and in the evening between 5-7pm. We do not perform mid-afternoon ceremonies on the beach in the summer due to extreme heat.

 

There have been days that temperatures have reached up to 115 degrees with NO breeze - we have seen several people pass out due to heat stroke and dehydration, including both members of our staff as well as people in the bridal party and even the bride and groom!
 

HOW MANY WEDDINGS DO YOU PERFORM PER DAY?

Usually only one wedding per day. We can sometimes accommodate two weddings in one day, depending on the services required and the size of the group. We can only do one beach wedding set-up per day.


WHERE DO BEACH WEDDINGS TAKE PLACE?
It is up to the couple to choose where their ceremony will take place. We do not have our own set beach location, but there are lots of beautiful beaches in Virginia Beach where your outdoor wedding can take place!

The beautiful resort area is 3 miles with our boardwalk running from 1st Street down to 40th Street lined with a wide variety hotels to accommodate all different tastes and budgets. The resort area can be ideal if you would like to stay at a beach front hotel and have your ceremony take place on the beach directly behind that same hotel. 

Other couples may opt to rent a beach house in the Sandbridge area (which some of us like to refer to as the "Outer Banks of Virginia Beach") and have their beach wedding behind their rented house - or at the nearest public beach access. Check out www.siebertrealty.com and www.sandbridgerealty.com for beach house rentals in the Sandbridge area.

Please note that both the Sandbridge area AND the resort area do require a beach wedding permit through the City of Virginia Beach if you have 150+ people within your party and/or if you hire a third party company (such as us) to set up anything on the beach - this includes wedding arbors/arches and chairs.

First Landing State Park on Shore Drive is a beautiful park with a gorgeous view of the Chesapeake Bay. This is a pet friendly beach with rentable cabins on site, and is also popular for campers. A large parking lot with plenty of parking for your group (there is a parking fee) and on-site bathrooms makes this location ideal. A beach wheelchair is also available at this location for no charge.  The park also offers up to 200 chairs, and they do have a small banquet room across the street on the other side of the park available for rental for small groups (must bring your own catering). *A special event permit is required for any and all events at this location.

Little Island Park in Sandbridge is probably one of our favorite spots, as they are the ONLY beach in our entire city that has a designated, sectioned off, beach wedding area. A large parking lot with plenty of parking for your group (there is a parking fee). Please note that this location does have a large dune walkover, which may be difficult for some guests. Please note that this location only allows evening ceremonies during the prime summer season. *A special event permit is required for any and all events at this location.

Shifting Sands Beach Club at Dam Neck is wonderful for anyone who is military or has a military sponsor. With two beautiful beach areas available, Dam Neck is nestled in between the far south end of the resort area and Sandbridge. Please note though that both beaches at this location have stair access only, and due to that, we are unable to do large set-ups here.

 

Do you have a reception venue?
At this time we do not have a reception venue, but there are lots of wonderful hotels and restaurants that can host your reception, and a few great stand alone reception venues!

 

Can I have my reception on the beach?
The city of Virginia Beach does not allow receptions on the public beach.


PHOTOGRAPHY
Thank you for considering the Virginia Beach Wedding Chapel to photography your special day!  Victoria and Maddie work together as a mother & daughter team to capture all of your special moments! Unless you are doing a basic bride & groom elopement (you will get one photographer), all of our wedding packages include both Victoria & Maddie to photograph your event! We are considered "staff photographers".

We use a combination of photojournalism and traditional style photography. We shoot in a high-resolution, raw digital format - then convert our finished product to jpeg format for you.  We take great care in crafting your story, choosing the right camera, the right lense/s, carrying backups, to make sure we are prepared for your event.

How many pictures do I get?  Pretty much ALL OF THEM! Once your photos are selected and edited and make the final cut, we upload them online to a 120 day gallery. This typically includes a print credit (amount varies based on your package & chosen coverage) for the online gallery for you to order prints, as well as ALL images on DVD (or a jump drive, whichever you prefer) with a personal use release for your photos. You can make copies for family & friends or even take it to a local photo lab for additional prints!

How long will it take to get the pictures back?  This greatly depends on our schedule and how many events are ahead of yours. It can be anywhere from 2 to 16 weeks depending on our work load and time of season and of course the amount of pictures taken. Each event is different, and the number of family portraits taken can vary greatly.


ARE ANY SPECIAL LICENSING OR PERMITS REQUIRED FOR OFF-SITE WEDDINGS?
If you want to have a beach wedding in the resort area or Sandbridge, the City of Virginia Beach REQUIRES a $200 beach wedding permit for ANY COUPLE that hires a company (such as us or a rental company) to set something up on the beach, such as chairs, arches, torches etc.  This permit reserves you a 3 hour time frame at a location of your choice. This permit must be obtained 45 days in advance to your event date. Little Island Park at the south end of Sandbridge has a $300 permit fee.  First Landing State Park permit is $25 for use of their beach, providing they are available.

PERMITS ARE NOT ISSUED DURING HOLIDAY WEEKS  such as Memorial Day, Independence Day & Labor Day. Please call us to discuss your options and our service to obtain the permit for you. 

SOME HOTELS OR PLANNERS MAY TELL YOU A PERMIT IS NOT NEEDED - IF THIS IS AT THE PUBLIC OCEANFRONT BETWEEN 1ST-89TH ST, THAT PERMIT IS REQUIRED - ESPECIALLY AT A LOCATION THAT MAY HAVE A LOT OF TOURISTS OR BEACH GOERS. NO PERMIT IS NEEDED TO JUST WALK OUT ONTO THE BEACH WITH YOUR GROUP AND HAVE THE CEREMONY. Copies of permits are sent to the local Police Precinct for enforcement (we have been told by the city rep).

When's the best time of year to have an outdoor wedding? 
We offer weddings inside our chapel any time between 10am-7pm.

During the summertime, outdoor weddings can be done in the morning between 9am-12pm and in the evening between 5pm-7pm. We do not do mid-afternoon weddings especially on the beach during the summer due to the extreme heat - we have seen dehydration and heat strokes on multiple occasions and with ALL age groups.

The weather in Virginia Beach can be very unpredictable - we can have 70 degrees one day in March and have 35 degrees and snow the very next day. I would advise you to check out the average temperatures in the month you want if you plan on having an outdoor wedding. You can check out the weather at www.Weather.com - use zip code 23451 for the VA Beach oceanfront.  You do want to make sure that there are NO SPECIAL EVENTS scheduled in front of your hotel or in the immediate area - so we recommend you check out http://www.beachstreetusa.com/ for the best list of events at the oceanfront. **You don't want to plan for a beautiful beach ceremony only to find out that the Monster Truck exhibition is in front of your hotel!

When is the best day of the week for our wedding? 
Peak tourist season with high hotel rates apply the week before Memorial Day through Labor Day. Sunday-Thursday weddings are popular and will save you money in the long run, as weekday rates are typically less expensive at the hotels and reception venues.

 

Can we have a sunrise or sunset ceremony?

We can only offer a sunrise typically on weekends - if you request a sunrise wedding, we are unable to set up any decorations except for something very basic, such as the unity sand ceremony or wish to the sea.  Keep in mind for sunset ceremonies, from the time you begin your ceremony, you will need at least one hour for your photos before the sun actually sets , so allow 1.5 to 2 hours before sunset for your ceremony start time.  You typically have 15-30 minutes from the time the sun sets before it is pitch black outside. SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES TABLE

 

Do you have any Surcharge /Destination Travel Fees? 

We're happy to travel, but we do charge a per diem mileage and hourly rate - please contact us for details!

 

How long does the wedding ceremony last?
Rev. Bruce's civil ceremony averages 15 minutes, where his religious is closer to 25 minutes, depending on any customization that may lengthen your ceremony a bit.

What happens if it rains?
Our Virginia Beach Wedding Chapel is included as a weather back-up option with all PACKAGES, except for minister only. *Not applicable to the a la carte menu.

Our chapel has a max capacity of 60 seated guests and is located just 5 blocks from the Virginia Beach oceanfront.  If you are going ala carte, you may reserve the chapel for a fee as your rain back up - this fee is non-refundable whether you use it or not. You can also check with your reception or banquet venue to see if that can be used for your rain back-up location.  If your guest count is more than 60, we are unable to accommodate your group in our chapel and you will be responsible for finding your own back up location.

No refunds are given due to weather.

can we have our reception at your chapel location?
No, we are a chapel only with space for the ceremony itself; however, once you book with us we are happy to send you a preferred vendor's list that includes recommended hotels, reception locations, restaurants, salons, transportation companies and more!

Can the tiki torches be lit?
Sorry, the torches cannot be lit for beach front ceremonies due to City of Virginia Beach code.  You can have lit torches at First Landing State Park - however, our torches are floral topped, and are not set up for lighting.

What is the Wish to the Sea and the Unity Sand Ceremony?
Please visit these links for more information on those:

Wish to the Sea
Unity Sand Ceremony

What kind of wedding music do you play?
We begin with 30 minutes prelude music that varies from guitar to classical strings and piano, leading into the processional of the attendants and bride; concluding the ceremony with the wedding march recessional. We do offer custom music, providing that this is arranged at least a week or more before the ceremony date. We can download songs through iTunes for $2.00 per song, or you can send us a CD or mP3s of your preferred songs.

Please note that we only allow one song for the attendants to walk to, unless your bridal party is rather large and one song would not be long enough for them to walk to.

How can I reserve a date and time?
We do require a retainer to reserve your date and time and officially put you on our schedule. We require a non-refundable retainer of of your total, or $500 if your total is $1000+. The remaining balance is then due 30 days prior to your ceremony date. We can accept a credit card over the phone, or you can also mail in a personal check or money order or pay with PayPal. We also accept exact cash in person.

Personal Vows or Statements
It's always more personal to write your own personal statement or a brief love letter to each other to read at the ceremony following the traditional vow exchange .

FLOWER GIRL PETALS - SILK OR REAL?
We do ask that you only use REAL flower petals out on the beach - as silk petals are considered littering and are also dangerous to the birds and other animals. For weddings inside our chapel, we do ask that you only use SILK/FAKE flower petals, so that they do not stain the aisle runner or the floors.

Where can we stay for our wedding?
Depending on the time of year, some oceanfront hotels may give you a small discount for a block of rooms for you and your guests.  If you are not staying at a hotel at the oceanfront, and prefer a somewhat less crowded area, we can suggest renting a beach home at the southern end of Virginia Beach in the Sandbridge beach area,  a condo on the bay near Chick's Beach off Shore Drive (best sunsets) ,  or enjoy an oceanfront condo . Please check with www.sandbridgerealty.com and www.siebertrealty.com for more information on renting beach condos and houses.

this page was updated 04/3/15

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