Angela Glass Beach Bride

North Carolina Beach Wedding Rules and Regulations

 General Info

  • See Register of Deeds’ Office to get a marriage license. In the state of North Carolina, it does not matter which county you get the marriage license from (meaning you don’t have to get the license in the same county you plan on getting married in). The license is $60 and after it has been signed, must be returned to the county you purchased it in.

  • The legal age for marriage in North Carolina is 18 years old. Anyone 16 or 17 years of age must bring their parents with them to apply for a marriage license, as their signature is required on the application. Anyone age 14 or 15 must obtain a court order to be allowed to marry in North Carolina. No one under the age of 14 can legally marry in the state.
  • Both parties must show proof of age in North Carolina with a valid driver’s license, military or state identification, passport or birth certificate.
  • The license is valid for sixty days after purchase.
  • All counties do require that both parties be present to apply for the marriage license unless there is a circumstance that does not allow for one of the party to be in attendance–an example being stationed overseas or hospitalization. If that is the case, the Register of Deeds will require a notarized affidavit of absence to be submitted.
  • Also need to show proof of Social Security number with either a Social Security Card, W-2 form, payroll stub, or any official document with your Social Security number on it.
  • You don’t have to live in North Carolina to be married in North Carolina.
  • There are no blood tests required to be married in North Carolina.
  • You can marry your cousin as long as you aren’t closer than first cousins (double first cousins). Example: Tommy marries Callie and Callie’s sister marries Tommy’s brother. Both have children. These children cannot marry each other.
  • There must be at least two adult consenting witnesses at the nuptials.
  • The license must be turned in to the courthouse you originally purchased it from no later than 10 days after it has been signed.
  • In North Carolina there are no justices of the peace.

Laws and Regulations Regarding Getting Married on the Beach

Onslow County

  • No permits are required to get married on the beach.
  • As long as you’re not on private property (in front of a hotel or business) then you are fine to get married.

Onslow County Register of Deeds Office is located at 109 Old Bridge Street, Jacksonville, NC 28540; 910-347-3451 or you can visit them online

Surf City

If the wedding is held within the town limits of Surf City a permit is not required, but it’s a good idea to check with the Parks & Recreation Department at 910-328-4887 to see if anything else will be happening at the location that you want to use. Also, make sure the Police Department (910-328-7711) is aware of the event. The wedding party and guests should be aware that cars must be parked completely off all paved streets, bike paths and sidewalks and walking on or disturbing the dunes is not allowed.

If you are going to have a band or DJ, you must get a noise permit from town hall.

North Topsail

There are no permits required to get married on North Topsail Beach. As long as you leave the beach the way you found the beach, you are good to go!

If you would like to reserve the gazebo or picnic shelter please contact Kim Weaver at 910-328-1349.

Onslow Beach

Onslow Beach is available for weddings. No permit is required to use this beach. However, to use Onslow Beach for your event requires a sponsor in either the form of a government employee or military personnel.

Marston Pavilion is also available for use for the reception. To use Marston Pavilion, a sponsor is also required. Marston can and will cater the reception with either a standard catering menu, available online at, or they will work with you to customize your menu. Marston will also cater at different venues should you choose to keep the reception at the beach, or hold it elsewhere on base.

Onslow County has Many Locations that would serve you well as a Wedding Venue or Place to Pop the Question! Such as:

The New River Waterfront Park, the gazebo at Wilson Bay Park, Onslow Beach, North Topsail Gazebo, Swansboro’s Hammocks Beach State Park and Bear Island, Swansboro’s Centennial Park or any of the town/city/county parks in Onslow County.

If you’d like additional information, please contact Onslow County Tourism at 910-347-3141 ext. 222.

For a detailed list of businesses ready to help you achieve your dream wedding, please visit the Jacksonville • Onslow Chamber of Commerce online at

Other Rules and Regulations

Onslow County Parks

It is recommended to reserve a shelter if it is your intention to use any of Onslow County’s Parks for your wedding destination. Shelters are available for $30 for the first two hours and $10 every additional hour thereafter. Additionally, a ten dollar permit is required if you are bringing in a DJ, chairs, tents, etc. As a reminder, there is no alcohol allowed in any of the county parks. A permit is required for any of the beach access points. This permit is $10 and is necessary if you plan on plugging into the county’s sound system as well as allowing notice for the beach parking attendant. For more information, and to set up an appointment for guidance with the county parks superintendant, please contact Onslow County Parks and Recreation at 910-347-5332.

Please note: While you have reserved the shelter or gotten a permit for the beach, these areas are still public and the public will have access to the surrounding areas.

Jacksonville City Parks

Jacksonville’s two city parks most commonly used for weddings in Onslow County are Wilson Bay Park and Sturgeon City Park. Wilson Bay has a beautiful gazebo with views of the water and Sturgeon City has a beautiful grassy hill that also has gorgeous view of the bay. Permits are not required to use these parks, but if you are planning on having a DJ, a noise permit is required by the Jacksonville Police Department.

It is recommended to reserve any shelter or gazebo you plan on using for your wedding. There is no alcohol allowed on park premises. Tables and chairs are allowed, but staked tents are not. The cost of reserving the gazebo is $15 for two hours, and the cost to reserve the shelter is $20 for two hours. Each of these areas is rented in two hour increments. The Wilson Bay Park shelter holds only 60 people and parking is limited at this facility. Note: Street parking is not allowed and guests will be ticketed if they park on the street. The smaller shelters in other city parks are $15 per two hours and the larger shelters go for $20 per two hours. For more information on getting married in any of Jacksonville’s City Parks, please call 910-938-5312.

Please note: While you have reserved the shelters or gazebos, city parks are public places and people may still use nearby areas.

Pelletier House

Coming soon…

Memorial Gardens

In order to get married in the Memorial Gardens here in Jacksonville, you must reserve the area. For this, please call Zachary Kirkendoll at 910-450-1042.

North Topsail Beach Town Park

North Topsail Town Park is very similar to North Topsail Beach. There are no permits required to get married in the Town Park, but please be aware North Topsail [Park? or Town?] does have a noise ordinance and does not allow DJ’s. No glass is permitted at the park, but tents, chairs, etc. can be brought in for the event.

Swansboro’s Riverside and Centennial Park

To get married in the town parks in Swansboro you must fill out a permit at Town Hall, located at 502 West Church St., as well as pay a fee to use the grounds. There is a large sheltered area, a small sheltered area and a picnic area that are each rent by the hour. For fees, please call Swansboro Town Hall at 910-326-4428.


When getting married on the beach in Eastern North Carolina, please keep in mind the tides. We’d hate to have any of our guests set up for their wedding early in the day and come back only to find everything swept away! For information on times of tides, please visit

Hurricane Season

Hurricane season on the Atlantic coast officially runs from June 1st through November 30th, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Hurricanes affect southeastern North Carolina most frequently between late August and mid to late September.