If you are getting married in Asheville, NC and are still not sure just how to start the process, I'm here to help. Several of my initial client phone calls begin with "Well, we really aren't sure what to do". Couples start the process by finding a venue or photographer, and then after those things are complete. they have no clue where to go from there. To help you, I'm covering all of the steps you'll need to take to get married in Asheville.
Getting Married in Asheville NC
The entirety of the process is much easier than it may seem. When I got married back in 2019, I had to go through the same process leading up to our own wedding. As someone who is in the wedding industry, I knew the proper steps to make it all official. There aren't too many to worry about but it's important to have everything in order before the wedding day. The last thing you want is to be distracted with details on your big day when you could be enjoying time with friends and family instead! With that being said, what happens next?
Obtaining a Marriage License in North Carolina
First and foremost, you have to obtain a marriage license to become legally married in the state of North Carolina. You must head over to the Register of Deeds office in any county within the state. It does not have to be the county you are having your wedding in. That's something that's super convenient! As of now, the state charges a $60 license fee. Also, don't forget to take your driver's license or passport as proof of identity.
After you legally get your license, you have 60 days to get married. If you don't wed or return the license within the 60-day period, your marriage is void and will not be legal. So this is a really important piece of the journey! Make sure someone hand delivers it or puts it in the mail as soon as possible!
Who can marry you in NC?
There are two options when finding someone to be your marriage officiant. You can have an ordained minister. Or you can have a civil ceremony performed by a magistrate. My husband and I felt too uncertain about these details, so we went to the courthouse the day before our own wedding. It was a great way to legally wed while also allowing a family member to perform our wedding ceremony for the photos. Unfortunately, in North Carolina, a friend or family member cannot marry you- even if they are ordained online. This was not something we were aware of leading up to our wedding.
Courthouse Wedding Ceremony
Courthouse wedding ceremonies are quick and easy. I had one myself and I have gotten to experience many others over the years of being an elopement photographer in the state. And I do have to quickly brag, the magistrate at the Buncombe County Courthouse is absolutely a treat to work with and he is so incredibly accommodating. He welcomes in friends and family members and allows photographers to move all over the room for photos. We love getting to work with them!
As far as the ceremony, it's less than 5 minutes. You recite a few lines of vows, exchange rings (if you'd like, but not necessary), and sign a few papers. You must have two witnesses. That can be your photographer or videographer also. We have been witnesses for several of our clients and I just feel so special getting to do that!
If you have any other questions, call the Buncombe County Courthouse at this number: (828) 259-3400
You can also visit in person here: 60 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801