wedding can be described as an event that takes place at a special
location away from the hometown of the bride and groom. More
more couples think that Hatteras and Ocracoke islands are the perfect
place for such an occasion. The beauty, tranquility, and
that our islands provide are second to none. Hatteras and
Ocracoke are a conveniently located driving distance from most states,
making it an affordable and comfortable journey. With the
the Internet and The Island Free Press, you can easily plan your island
wedding from anywhere in the world. Here is the essential
information you will need to get started -- local vendors, marriage
laws, travel and weather information, essential phone numbers and more.
Carolina Marriage License and Requirements
requirement: 18 (16 w/parental consent). Under 21 requires birth
valid for 60 days and is valid in any area in the state of North
- If either
applicant is divorced, a divorce decree is required.
- A social
security card or other proof of social security number (tax return, pay
stub, etc.) is required.
- A picture
ID is required.
- There must
be two witnesses at any marriage ceremony, whether it is civil or
the marriage ceremony, whoever performs the ceremony is required to
give the couple a marriage certificate. This certificate includes the
couple’s names and addresses, the date of the marriage, the
county that issues the marriage license, and the date of the license.
The minister or magistrate must sign the license, then return it to the
register of deeds who issues the license. This is the official record
of the ceremony.
Banks Register Of Deeds Offices
Register of Deeds (Hatteras Island)
County Government Center
Marshall Collins Drive
8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Quarter, NC 27885
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
There are no justices of the peace in North Carolina. Magistrates may
be contacted in Dare County at (252) 473-2010 or for Ocracoke Island,
call (252) 926-4198.
an applicant does not have a social security number, he or she needs to
contact a notary public. The notary public will file a special
affidavit that will officially state the reason(s) why a social
security number does not exist and allow the applicant to get a
planning, you may wish to send your guests information on the islands
so they can prepare better for their stay. To find detailed
information on Hatteres and Ocracoke Islands visit our tourist bureaus
For Hatteras Island information:
Visitors Center Circle
(252) 473-2138 or 1-877-OBX-4FUN (629-4386)
For Ocracoke Island Info:
Chamber of Commerce
Quarter, NC 27885
(252) 926-9171 or 1-888-493-3826
Civic and Business Association
are prohibited by law on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. This
beach house wedding can be both intimate and relaxing. You
need to check with your rental company to make sure that the house you
would like to book allows events. Not all homes are equipped
or allow weddings. You will also need to contact your rental
company if you would like to have the reception onsite and need to set
up tents, chairs, tables, dance floors, etc. Every home is
different, and each rental company has its own requirements,
allowances, and fees. Visit our vendor page for rental
weddings are picturesque and memorable. All of the beaches on Hatteras
and Ocracoke Islands are part of the Cape Hatteras National
Seashore. There are requirements and restrictions for holding
your ceremony on the park’s beaches. Information provided
by the National Park Service
special use permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to
an individual, group or organization, rather than the public at large,
and that requires some degree of management from the National Park
Service to protect park resources and the public interest.
ceremonies including weddings
- Bike tours
- Car rallies
speeches and assemblies
fees vary and are generally in a range between $100 and $500. However,
any activity which requires NPS personnel participation or monitoring,
or which creates extraordinary administrative work, will be charged an
additional cost for such services. Any damage to park resources
including litter cleanup will be billed the full cost for restoration.
sand dunes, beaches, and lighthouses are important components of the
park's renowned resources, as well as important habitats for a host of
plants and wildlife. These resources attract many visitors seeking
scenic vistas, the tranquility of the beaches and unspoiled landscapes.
Preserving the seashore and its cultural resource unimpaired for
visitors remains one of the most important missions of the park.
Accordingly, special uses are strictly regulated.
and requirements that apply to special permits for weddings include:
- A written
permit is required for all wedding ceremonies fixing the date, time,
and place of the ceremony.
for other park visitors must not be impeded. Permits do not authorize
exclusive use of any public lands, and the permittee must insure that
the rights of the general public visiting Cape Hatteras National
Seashore and its memorials are not infringed.
parking is limited and cannot be guaranteed. Permittees and their
guests must park within designated parking areas. Carpooling or private
shuttle is recommended and may be required for some sites. Horse-drawn
carriages are prohibited.
music, CDs, radios and public address systems are prohibited. Acoustic
music will be considered for ceremonies at the seashore but not at
releasing of balloons, birds, or butterflies and the throwing of rice,
birdseed, flower petals or other natural or artificial material is not
chairs, altars, flower containers, arches, railings, ropes, torches, or
candelabras are permitted. Exception: elderly guests or guests with
disabilities may use chairs.
must exercise particular care to avoid disturbing wildlife and
vegetation. Visitors, photographers, and weddings are not permitted in
undisturbed dune areas.
activities must stay within open trails and public areas. No weddings
may be held within or upon any public park structure or its approach or
signage to existing buildings, property, signs, poles or plants is
trash must be placed in onsite trash containers. If the site does not
have containers or if trash volume exceeds container capacity,
permittee must bag and remove trash from park lands. Permittees failing
to effect such cleanup will be charged the cost for such services.
areas of the national seashore are better suited for wedding ceremonies
than others, particularly given the limited parking resources available
within the park. The three lighthouses have different parking space
availability. Please note that all of the sites are for wedding
ceremonies only. There are no facilities for receptions. However, there
are a number of such facilities available privately. Please check some
of the links provided below.
Immediately south of Cape Hatteras, Ocracoke Island must be reached by
ferry operated by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Travel time by car and ferry averages about two hours from Nags Head,
depending on the time of day. The ferry operates at different times
during the day, and the schedule is published at http://www.ncferry.org/.
Parking is extremely limited at the lighthouse, and the lighthouse
itself is closed to the public. Because the area is immediately
adjacent to wetlands and fragile grasses, this site is best suited for
very small and intimate wedding ceremonies of three to 12 people. From
Memorial Day until Labor Day, permits will be issued only for weddings
before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. daily.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Buxton is approximately 40 miles south of Manteo and Nags Head. This is
perhaps the most famous of all lighthouses on the Atlantic Coast, and
it is the tallest. Thousands of visitors come to this lighthouse on a
daily basis during the summer months. While the lighthouse is open to
the public from April until October, weddings cannot be
within the lighthouse itself or on its steps and paths. Continuous
public access to the lighthouse is required at all times. Parking and
restroom facilities are readily available, and this area is more
suitable for larger weddings of up to 25 people. However, the area is
less intimate given the great number of people visiting the lighthouse
on a daily basis. From Memorial Day until Labor Day, permits will be
issued only for weddings before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. daily. Larger
weddings can more easily be accommodated at the beach area just beyond
Bodie Island Lighthouse.
Situated approximately eight miles south of Nags Head and Manteo, this
is perhaps the most accessible of the park's lighthouses for most
visitors. The site includes a nice expansive grassy area, parking
facilities for up 50 cars, and restroom facilities. This is ideally
suited for larger wedding parties. From Memorial Day until Labor Day,
permits will be issued only for weddings before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
There are a number of sites that are well suited for wedding ceremonies
along the magnificent coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Just north
(approximately four miles) of the village of Ocracoke is the day use
area with parking spaces for 35 cars. During the summer season, it is
also a lifeguarded beach. Approximately one mile north of the day use
beach is the campground with parking spaces for 50 cars. And,
approximately three miles north of that is the pony pen area with
parking for 25 cars. All provide beach access and spectacular views of
Adjacent to the lighthouse are a number of beach areas ideally suited
for weddings. Entering the park and across from the visitors’
parking lot is a beach access that leads to a picturesque and large
expanse of beach suitable for larger weddings. Most days there is
adequate parking for larger numbers of people, and immediately nearby
is our new restroom facility. Above that site are the stones marking
the original site of the lighthouse. This area and the adjacent beach
are also picturesque sites for a wedding. Past the ranger's station,
follow the park road leading to Cape Point and a smaller parking area
for approximately 15 cars. This is a beautiful and usually less
populous section of beach. Most beach locations provide an excellent
view of the lighthouse for special photo opportunities.
Immediately east of the Bodie Island Lighthouse is the Coquina Beach
day use area with parking spaces for 115 cars. The beach is very
popular with visitors to the seashore. Vehicles are not permitted on
the beach north of the ramp access. Restroom facilities are available
during the summer and fall months.
you would like to apply for a wedding permit, you may simply address a
letter to the National Park Service, in care of the superintendent:
National Park Drive
in the letter your name, mailing address and telephone number,
including area code; the date, time and place of the proposed wedding;
and approximately how many people will be attending. Send this about 30
days before the wedding date together with a check in the amount of
$100 made payable to National Park Service to the address above. You
can expect your permit in about 15 days.
you have any questions about the process or your permit, please contact
the Special Park Uses Coordinator at (252) 473-2111, Ext. 121.
Transportation and Traffic
airport to Hatteras and Ocracoke Island is Norfolk International
information please visit or call:
International Airport (ORF)
visit our vendor page for limo and taxi information to and from the
airport. There is no public transportation to either island
the exception of the NCDOT Ferry Service. For more
the ferry and schedules visit http://www.ncdot.org/transit/ferry/
or call 1-800- BY FERRY
can be a factor at some rental cottages and at beach
Carpooling or using a limo or taxi service can alleviate some of this
stress, as well as cut down on drinking and driving.
planning a wedding on Ocracoke please visit the ferry information
website to get the current schedule. Ocracoke is only
by ferry year-round from Hatteras Village, Cedar Island or Swan
Quarter. For more information please visit http://www.ncdot.org/transit/ferry/
or call 1-800- BY FERRY
most popular months to have an island wedding are May, June, September
and October. Weather during these months is normally in the
60’s to 70’s and sunshine is abundant. Hurricane
season runs from June 1st – November 30th so you may want to
consider wedding insurance when planning a wedding during those
pictures on this page are courtesy of Daniel Pullen Photography - [email protected],