Planning a Beach Wedding in Cape May NJ
Cape May offers a wonderful combination of natural beauty and Victorian charm that provides the perfect backdrop for your beach wedding. We suggest you work with a local Cape May Wedding Planner that understands the local laws and guidelines for this special event. Please keep in mind you will need a marriage license and Beach Public Permit for your ceremony in Cape May.
NJ Marriage Licenses -State law requires that all who marry in New Jersey have a marriage license issued in New Jersey. A 72-hour mandatory waiting period applies. The couple must schedule an appointment with the Registrar and appointments are accepted between the hours of 9 and 3. The number of the City Registrar is 609-884-9530.
Cape May Beach/Public Facility Permits
Q: Is there a fee to have a ceremony on the beach in Cape May City? The City of Cape May only charges a fee if there are 20 or more people attending the ceremony. Scheduling with City Hall is necessary for use of public facilities in Cape May.
To reserve a location for your beach ceremony, call (609) 884-9534, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule online.
Q: Is there a fee to have a ceremony on the beach in Cape May Point? Yes. Contact Cape May Point directly for more information at (609) 884-8468 extension 12.
609-884-5404 extension 1-136 If you are planning an engagement or wedding ceremony at the lighthouse in Cape May Point State Park, please contact the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts for further information. The watchroom/gallery of the lighthouse is limited to 15 people and may not be rented during hours of operation. The rental fee is $300.
The Details Planning a Beach Wedding in Cape May NJ
Would you like to plan your beach wedding in Cape May. Or perhaps have your ceremony in a romantic bed and breakfast and take a Cape May carriage ride down Beach Ave to celebrate your day after your ceremony. We’re local and we held on our wedding ceremony at the Virginia Hotel on Jackson Street and enjoyed the unique beach setting.
Cape May is a destination for Wedding ceremonies all year round with the peak season taking place during the normal high season or starting from Memorial Day to the end of Labor Day. We personally planned our wedding ceremony the week after labor day and enjoyed discounted rates and the blessing of NJ Shore Indian summer.
Here’s a few more ideas for unique Wedding Venues in Cape May:
- Weddings at the Cape May Lighthouse
- Have a Wedding Ceremony aboard the Cape May TIny Cruise
- Call Whale and Dolphin Watching and hold your Wedding Ceremony aboard the Cape May Whale Watcher
- Invite your quest to an intimate Resort property, including the Virginia Hotel or the 931 Guest Beach House.
- Plan your wedding at a one of the many Cape May Wineries or Vineyards
- Visit the Carriage House at the Physick Estate for your photo session and plan your event at this unique and historical property
- Congress Hall considered the official living room of Cape offers world class resort accommodations with Cape May’s finest Ocean backdrop and great lawn for ceremonies.
- Have a local Cape May Horse Drawn Carriage take you for a carriage ride as you celebrate your newlywed status.
- Plan your wedding at the Historic Peter Shields Inn, with beach side resort accommodations.
- by Ryan Reclaim
Beach Wedding Information from the City of Cape May
We have provided information from the City of Cape May to assist with your planning along with direct links for applications:
Please follow the link to the City of Cape May’s Web Page for scheduling a ceremony below:
Visit the City of Cape May’s Web Page For Scheduling a Ceremony!To schedule your ceremony in Cape May, pick a location from the list below. The program will then take you to a calendar to choose your time.
In New Jersey, you will find this information helpful in planning your Ceremony. Please read it carefully and if you have any questions please contact your local Registrar of Vital Statistics. If you plan to have your Ceremony in the City of Cape May, please contact the Clerk’s Office / Vital Statistics, Patricia Harbora, (609) 884-9530, email@example.com. Appointments are necessary, Mon – Fri 9:30am to 3:00pm.
Where should you apply for a Marriage / Civil Union License?
If either partner is a resident of New Jersey, the marriage license must be obtained from the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the municipality where either partner lives. If one partner is a non-resident of New Jersey and the other partner is a resident of New Jersey, the license must be obtained from the Registrar in the municipality in which the partner resides in New Jersey. (For marriage / Civil Union license purposes, soldiers are residents of the posts at which they are stationed.) A license issued under either of the preceding circumstances is good for use anywhere in New Jersey. If both Partners are nonresidents of New Jersey, the license must be obtained from the Registrar of the municipality where the Ceremony is to be performed and is only good for use in that municipality. A license may never be used outside of New Jersey and a license issued in another state may never be used in New Jersey. Be sure to contact the Registrar well in advance of the wedding to find out on what days and during what hours the Registrar will be in the office. The license fee is $28.00.
Who can perform a Marriage / Civil Union ceremony?
According to state law, judges of a Federal District Court, United States magistrates, judges of a Municipal Court, judges of the Superior Court, judges of a Tax Court, retired judges of the Superior Court or Tax Court, or judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court who has resigned in good standing, and any mayor or deputy mayor, village president of New Jersey, County Clerks, and every minister of every religion may solemnize a marriage.
When should you apply for a Marriage / Civil Union license?
A local Registrar will not issue a license sooner than 72 hours after the application for a marriage license has been made, unless ordered to do so via an appropriate court order. If the marriage is scheduled for a Saturday or Sunday, the application should be made no later than the preceding Tuesday. If the application is made on a Wednesday or Thursday, the 72 hours will end on Saturday or Sunday, but the Registrar will probably not be available on those days or any public holiday. If both the partners are unavailable to complete the application at the same time, either applicant may complete his/her part of the application and start the waiting period.The other applicant must return with the same witness (who must be at least 18 years old) to complete his/her part of the application. Both parties must complete the application before the license will be issued. Once the license is issued, it is good for 30 days from the date of issuance. A couple wishing to have both religious and civil ceremonies may be issued a license for both ceremonies on the basis of a single application. However, a couple wishing to have two religious ceremonies, and wanting to have a public record of each, may not have two licenses issued at the same time. They must apply for and use the first license. They must then return to the Registrar with signed original certificate of the marriage and a witness to apply for a remarriage license.
What should you bring with you when you apply?
A witness, who must be at least 18 years of age. Two forms of identification, preferably a birth certificate and one photo ID. For example, you may use a birth certificate, state issued driver’s license, employment issued ID, a passport, a voter’s registration card, a U.S. military card. If one or both of the applicants are divorced, you should bring a copy of the final decree or decrees for examination by the Registrar or a statement by the judge as to when the final decree was signed (not the date of the final hearing.) Both the bride and groom will provide their Social Security numbers (Married Persons Title 37:117). Consent of both parents is necessary if an applicant is under 18 years of age. Both parental consents and judicial approval of such consents are necessary if the applicant is younger than 16. These consents should be on forms supplied by the Registrar.
Where should the Marriage / Civil Union record be filed?
The officiant performing the ceremony must file the license and marriage certificate with the Registrar of the municipality in which the marriage was performed. Since failure to record the marriage may cause considerable inconvenience at a later date when proof of marriage is needed, you should make sure that this has been done. Certified copies of the marriage event may be obtained from the local Registrar in the municipality where the ceremony occurred or from the Office of the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.
TO APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE/CIVIL UNION LICENSE IN THE CITY OF CAPE MAY
- Bride & Groom / Partners must apply in the Municipality where either the bride or groom lives in the State of New Jersey. If both parties reside out of the State, they must apply in the Municipality where the marriage is taking place.
- Bride & Groom / Partners need 2 forms of ID. The State prefers a Birth certificate and a photo driver’s license or a Passport and a photo driver’s license.
- A witness 18 years of age or older, who will also need Photo ID.
- An application fee of $28.00 payable by cash, check or money order.
- If either person has been married before, the most recent divorce decree.
- If there has been a domestic partnership or previous Civil Union, the legal paperwork evidencing the dissolution.
- You may apply up to 6 months in advance of the ceremony.
- When applying for your license, there is a 72-hour waiting period before the license can be issued.
- You can apply Monday through Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm, appointments are necessary.