Planning a Virginia Beach Wedding for an elopement or destination wedding is amazing for beach lovers! Located along the Eastern Coast of Virginia, just two hours away from Richmond, Virginia and four hours away from Washington D.C., this location makes the perfect weekend getaway for a Virginia Beach wedding!
Arielle and Ryan had so much fun during their Virginia Beach elopement with a luxury picnic and then splashing through the ocean. It was such a romantic summer wedding where they got to spend their wedding day having fun on the beach and sipping champagne.
A Bohemian Luxury Picnic Virginia Beach Elopement
Reminder: Your elopement day can look however you want it. Your wedding day deserves to be celebrated no matter what kind of wedding you’re choosing.
Often, there’s a misconception that elopements don’t deserve or can’t have a luxury experience and that’s not true!! It’s all about your priorities and want you want your wedding experience to look like.
A full elopement experience could look like:
Waking up and making breakfast together, getting ready separately or together, hanging out with any close friends and family, a first look, exchanging private vows while exploring a park, romantic ceremony on the beach, a luxury picnic dinner toasting champagne and running through the ocean waves at the end of the night under the stars.
How to Elope In Virginia Beach
First things first: to get married in Virginia Beach you’ll first need to apply for a Virginia marriage license from the Circuit Court Clerk’s office in your home county which requires a $30 fee and is valid for 60 days.
You’ll then need to find a wedding officiant as required by Virginia’s marriage laws. As your Virginia Beach elopement photographer, I’m more than happy to recommend officient or other local vendors such as florists, hair and makeup artists, and bakers for cakes and desserts.
You’ll l need to check if you specific location requires permits to get married there. Often, national and state parks will require a special use permit to hold your wedding ceremony in the park. However, public beaches may not require permits if you have a small ceremony without any arches or set ups that would impact the general public. Don’t worry, I’ll help you through this process of checking and applying for Virginia Beach wedding permits!
Virginia Beach Elopement & Wedding Venues
Where to get married in Virginia Beach is always a big question and the great answer is that there are SO many locations for exploring and planning fun wedding activities at beaches, state parks, or bustling ocean cities with lots of restaurants, music, and art. Choosing meaningful locations, though, is key to planning an amazing elopement adventure.
First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach
First Landing State Park is a great state park that has both beach access, trails, and boardwalks if you’re into hiking. With twenty miles of trails through bald cypress swamps, maritime forest, and along the Chesapeake Bay, there’s plenty to explore!
There is a $10 car parking fee but it’s a day pass and gives you access to both sides of the park. There are also picnic areas with grills if you want to do a cookout celebration along with the beach. All seasons work for eloping at First Landing State Park, but weekend do tend to get crowded sometimes, so a weekday wedding is best. A permit is needed for this location in addition to the parking fee to hold your ceremony in the park.
Cape Henry Lighthouse, Virginia Beach
Cape Henry Lighthouse is just outside of First Landing State Park and is an excellent attraction to explore and take classic lighthouse photos on the beach with a $10 entrance fee or you can rent spaces on the grounds starting at just $100/hr. It’s best to visit during the week due to high volume weekend crowds.
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1938 to protect wildlife such as migrating waterfowl and is home to a diverse range of plants, fish, birds, and mammals. It’s a great location for those who love the outdoors and want to help contribute to protecting our planet as the permits needed for weddings will go toward funding the park.
Hiking, bird watching, fishing, biking, beaches, and boating a few of the activities available at Black Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Virginia Beach Oceanfront Resorts & Amusement Parks
Love the beach but still want the buzz and excitement of city life? Booking a Virginia Beach Oceanfront resort or hotel will allow you to have easy access to the beach while also surrounded by the never-ending beach town festivities.
Lounge on the beach, stroll down the boardwalks, or even play a few games and take a few rides at the Atlantic Fun Amusement park. What better way to get unique wedding photos than documenting the two you playing carnival games and riding the ferris wheel?!
Virginia Beach Vibe Creative District
CALLING ALL ARTISTS! Vibe Creative District is an eclectic and artistic section of town with art galleries, marketplaces, and classes where you can find the perfect unique souvenirs or take an art class while supporting local business. 17th Street Marketplace is one of my favorite artist collectives.
There are also murals throughout town to make for unique backdrop for photos. I actually collect art from my travels, so I’m always on the lookout for local shops and galleries for either small prints or art pieces I can take with me.
Beach Bully BBQ Restaurant and Mary’s Restaurant are great for local food options in Vibe Creative District with a quick stop at Lolly’s Creamery for a sweet dessert!
Neptune’s Park, Virginia Beach
The beaches stretch all along the coast, so Neptune’s Park is a popular attraction closer to the heart of town with a giant statue of the Roman god of the sea, Neptune. There’s often live music in the park so you can spread out a nice picnic blanket in the grass or enjoy the outdoor seating at the nearby restaurants.
Arielle and Ryan had both a luxury picnic as well as a Bohemian lounge set up on the beach that included a gorgeous peacock chair. Lounges are a great way to add more luxury to your small wedding, especially if you have a few guests. Even with just the two of you, lounges are a unique way to spend your time and get photos.
Beach weddings in Virginia almost always mean getting in the water at some point! Whether you soak up the sun in your bathing suit during the day or splash in the water at sunset, having fun on your wedding day is important.
If you bought a wedding dress you don’t mind getting wet, you could jump in the water together in your wedding clothes to end your day with a bang! Or simply change into another beach dress if you want photos in the water, Arielle and Ryan did.
Photography: Juliana Wall Photography
I’m so excited to offer Virginia Beach elopement and wedding packages! Want to plan your own romantic Virginia Beach Elopement? Contact me today to get started!