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COVID-19: How to Safely Elope during a Pandemic


Is your wedding day approaching but now at-risk due to the Coronavirus? More and more couples are starting to explore options where they can continue to get married on their selected wedding date. Having an elopement is starting to become popular now due to current circumstances. Although it's not ideal, it is an easier process and can also be cheaper compared to a formal wedding ceremony.


The first step in the elopement process is selecting a location. It is true that a lot of venues are unavailable due to COVID-19. Therefore, couples are having to be more creative with identifying places to elope. Have you thought about having the ceremony at your house? Or what about your parents' backyard?


Based on information obtained from the North Carolina Judicial Branch, "Effective Friday, May 1, marriage ceremonies will resume at the courthouse on Mondays and Fridays by appointment only from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the total wedding party shall be limited to four (4) people—the candidates for marriage and their two witnesses. No other guests will be allowed to enter the courthouse. The restrictions on marriage ceremonies will be in place until June 1, 2020, and may be extended, in whole or in part, if deemed necessary. To schedule your marriage appointment, please email Mecklenburg.Magistrate.Weddings@nccourts.org."

After selecting a location, you can start to contact vendors in the area and to identify what services they can offer based on your vision. An ordained minister is still required to conduct the ceremony. You will still need a marriage license  to perform the ceremony as well, which is issued by the Register of Deeds. The North Carolina Judicial Branch specifies, "Locally, marriage licenses can be obtained through the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds Office located at 720 East Fourth Street, Room 106 Charlotte, North Carolina 28202. If you have questions regarding marriage licenses, you may contact the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds at 704-336-2443." 


If you are getting married at home or another local area, are you still wanting your guests to see your wedding? You can have a virtual ceremony where you live-stream, and send an invite to family and friends so they can join you on your special day. This options is a great way to keep loved ones safe and adhere to restrictions associated with COVID-19.


Once restrictions are lifted and risk factors are eliminated, you can plan a reception with friends and family to celebrate your union face-to-face with loved ones.

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