Steps to Getting Married in USVI
Virgin Islands Weddings, St Thomas
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Home About Us   Wedding Locations   Adventure Weddings   Beach Picnics & Receptions   Steps to Getting Married USVI


Follow these steps for a smooth island wedding experience!

Happy Sea Shells from Island Wedding Services!

#1 - Pick a date, time and location for your wedding.

Date & Time
- If you can avoid weekends and holidays then do so. If you are coming in on a cruise ship on a weekend or holiday then it is best to have your wedding as early as possible to avoid crowds. Typically it will take about 45 minutes to get from the cruise ship to the court house and to most wedding locations. Check with your cruise ship to find out what time you can reasonably be off the ship (different than docking time). If you can be off the ship by 9:15am then you can easily make a 10am wedding.

If you are coming by cruise ship note that SOME cruise ships do not change their clocks to our time zone.
Please ask your cruise ship to verify St. Thomas' time in relation to your cruise ship time.
Otherwise you could think you are getting off the ship at 9am to find that it is 10am on St. Thomas!
This is applicable fall to spring (beginning of Nov to mid of March) when we are one hour ahead of the US East Coast.
From spring to fall we are on the same time as the US East Coast. ( EST )

The courts are open-
8am to 5pm Monday to Friday
Saturday 10am to noon.
Sunday 9:30am to 11am.
Holidays - times vary - good to call ahead -
.. Check here for a list of St. Thomas holiday dates.

Holidays and Weekends
There is a $150 extra fee for going to the court on Saturdays, Sundays and most holidays by appointment only. If you are staying on island then you can go to the court house days before your wedding.

If you are coming in on or near a holiday then call ahead to verify the court house hours ahead of time -
340-774-6680 (ext 6207) or ask for marriage license department.

The court house is closed on some holidays all day.

Location - Depending on whether you wish to be married barefoot in sand or in a gazebo with an incredible view, we have some great locations for your dream wedding. Check out our locations page , sailing weddings ,
powerboat weddings
and helicopter weddings for our favorite wedding spots. Note that most land locations have a site fee of $100 or more. We would be happy to marry you at other locations or your private villa.
Happy Sea Shells from Island Wedding Services!

#2 - Check Availability -
Email to check availability for your dates for your wedding officiant, photographer, boats, & helicopter. Let us know what locations you are interested in having your ceremony.

Happy Sea Shells from Island Wedding Services!

#3 - Reserve your minister, photographer, and/or videographer by filling out our reservation form.
Don't be concerned if you don't know what extra services that you need right now. You can add them along the way.


Happy Sea Shells from Island Wedding Services!

#4 - Marriage License Paperwork -
Go to Legal Forms Page for instructions on filing your marriage license paperwork.
- Two forms, divorce decrees (if any), plus $200 needs to be mailed to (and be at) the court house at least 8 business days before your wedding date.
- You do not need to be on island the days before your wedding.
- If this a renewal of vows or commitment ceremony then you can skip this step.

Happy Sea Shells from Island Wedding Services!

#5 - Transportation -
You can have Island Wedding Services SUV with personal driver, an open air safari van, AC taxi van pick, or chauffeured limo pick you up at your hotel or cruise ship, escort you to the court house to pick up your marriage licence, and take you to and from your wedding destination.

If you are coming off a cruise ship you will definitely need to pre arrange for transportation to your wedding before you get here. If you are staying at a hotel, even if you are renting a car for the week, it is a good idea to have a driver for your wedding to alleviate any stress with driving - plus you may want to have some champagne at your wedding!


Happy Sea Shells from Island Wedding Services!

#6 - Extras -
We handle everything from simple weddings to island spectacular! Check out our flowers, romantic touches, champagne, beach picnics, cakes, catering, arches & aisles. Check out our extras page for music, restaurant recommendations, salons, and more. Many of these items you can order straight off of the reservation form or simply email us for your additions. If you are unsure of items you need just get the form in with the date and location and you can add extras via email as you plan.

Happy Sea Shells from Island Wedding Services!



If you are coming by cruise ship you will want to have your transportation pre-arranged.
There will be taxis when you get off the ship however they will be multi passenger vans taking people in groups straight to popular tourist destinations.
It may be daunting to find a private taxi to take you and your group to the court house and then to your wedding location with out it being pre-arranged.
See transportation options before arriving on island.

#7 - Court House -
Once you are on island a quick trip to the court house will be required to pick up your marriage licence by the bride and groom only. If you are with a large group you can opt for separate transportation.
You will both need to be present and bring your photo IDs. If you wanted to arrive separately then you may do so.

Please note that this is a court house and you should be dressed appropriately. They will turn you away if you are not appropriately dressed. No tank tops, short shorts, swim wear or bare feet. Casual wear such as shorts and skirts are fine as long as they are at appropriate lengths. If you are unsure if your top would pass then it is not a bad idea to bring along a spare shirt or cover up such as a sarong just in case.

They will ask you for the name of your minister. We will send you an e-mail a few weeks before your wedding with this information. If we have not given this to you then send us an e-mail and ask.

If you are staying on island then you can pick up your paperwork the days before your wedding date to get this out of the way. If you are only here for one day then you will need to stop by the court house right before your ceremony.

Happy Sea Shells from Island Wedding Services!

#8 - Get Married (:
Bring your rings, marriage license from court house, and balance due for services in cash or travelers checks to your wedding.
The minister will use the ceremony on the ceremony page unless directed otherwise in advance. Let us know ahead of time if you would like the minister to refer to you by nick names, shortened versions of your names, middle names etc. Otherwise the minister will refer to you by the first names on your reservation sheet.
Do not over dress! It is the tropics - full black tuxes will be unbearably hot.
Also note that if the bride wears a veil then it will turn into a wind sock and become annoying to control in the wind.
Gratuities for services - i.e. minister / photographer / captain / pilot are not required but appreciated. (10% to 20 % is customary)
After the ceremony your minister and two witnesses will sign your paperwork.
If it is just the two of you don't worry about the witnesses. We can have your driver, or photographer sign the paperwork or there is always a couple near by who are more than happy to do so. Witnesses do not need to be up close, they can observe from a distant.

Happy Sea Shells from Island Wedding Services!

#9 - Marriage License Back to the Court House
You will be legally married after you say "I do". After your ceremony your marriage license (now signed by the minister and witnesses) will need to go back to the court house for final processing.

You can take it back or have your minister do it for you for an extra handling fee of $35 (includes 2 copies of your license and mailed priority with tracking for US addresses). Add $10 for non-US addresses.

If you take your license back to the court house yourself then you will walk off the island with your final papers.
Copies of your license are $3 per certified copy. We would recommend getting at least 2 copies.

If you go to the court house on a weekend or after 3pm on weekdays then they will require a money order or cashier's check made out to the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands for your copies ( recommend getting that before coming to St. Thomas). A money order for $9 will get you 3 copies of your license.

If your minister handles the paperwork then your licence will be mailed to your priority with tracking. You can expect it within 3 weeks of your wedding day.

Another option is to mail it in once you get home.
If you are getting married on a weekend or holiday you may not have the option to go back to the court house as it may be closed. If you are staying on island then you can do this days after the ceremony.


If one or both of you are a not a US citizen then you will most likely need to get an Apostile. This is an extra certificate that authenticates the marriage license for your country.

  When you get home mail a certified copy of your marriage license with a raised seal along with a cashiers check made out for $25 US dollars to:  
  Lt. Governors Office
#18 Kongens Gade
St. Thomas, VI 00802

They will mail it back to you first class mail.
If you are staying on island then you may take your marriage license to the Lt. Governors office yourself. If you are lucky they can complete it while you are here. Otherwise, it will be mailed to you.
If you have any questions regarding the Apostile then call 340-774-2991 and tell them you have a question regarding Apostiles and they will transfer you to the correct department.

Happy Sea Shells from Island Wedding Services!

#10 - You are married! Live happily ever after! -
When you get home you can send us one of your favorite photos along with your comments to post on our Happy Couples page. We appreciate the opportunity to handle your wedding.

With the help of your idiot proof wedding steps program
we easily experienced a hassle free smooth island wedding.
If you follow the steps you cannot go wrong!
Jackie & Robert Thompson, MI

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