Let’s get started

#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 (local time) 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 - ..

* If you are coming in on a weekend or holiday (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.
There is a $150 extra fee for going to the court on Sundays and most holidays.


If you are staying on island then you can go to the court house days before your wedding.
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.
 
#2 - Check Availability - Email valerie.peters@valevents.com to check availability for your dates for your minister, photographer, videographer, boats, helicopter, reception. Let us know what locations you are interested in having your ceremony.

 #3 - Reserve your minister, photographer, and/or videographer.  Check out our wedding services page for information regarding flowers, arches, chairs, music, and more.  We will send you a proposal and legal forms based on your requests.

Event Planning Fees Based on how much help you need:

Ceremony planning and Coordination – 2ppl to 20ppl
We will organize all the details for your ceremony - minister, décor & flowers, photographer and any other details that make your ceremony truly unique. See a-la-carte services

Large Ceremony, Reception and More -
Get a quote based on how much logistic are involved. From the single day event in multiple locations to the multi-day celebrations to include welcome receptions, rehearsal dinners, large ceremony set-ups, wedding receptions and farewell brunches, and more....


Event Planner Services - We handle the entire event from beginning to end with your instructions. 
We will take charge and make all the arrangements according to your wants, specifications and needs. 
We will be present on site for the duration of the event(s) and handle all of the details for you so you can truly enjoy YOUR day. 
$50.00 per hour - Estimate provided based on an initial complimentary phone consultation - please e-mail
valerie.peters@valevents.com to schedule.

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

#5 - Transportation - You can hire a taxi, chauffeured sedan, limo or rent a car. See transportation options 
If you are coming off a cruise ship you will definitely need to pre arrange for transportation to your wedding before you get here.

 #6 - Hire Valevents- Return a signed copy of the final agreement and deposit. 


ONCE ON ISLAND :
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 without it being pre-arranged. See transportation options.

 #7 - Court House - Once you are on island a quick trip to the court house will be required to pick up your marriage license.
- Please note that this is a court house and you should be dressed appropriately. No swim wear, short shorts, tank tops, or bare feet.
     Casual wear such as shorts and skirts are fine as long as they are at appropriate lengths.
- You will both need to be present and bring your photo IDs.
- 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.

#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 difficult 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 or there is always a couple nearby who are more than happy to sign off on the paperwork.

 #9 - Marriage License Back to the Court House - 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 3 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 $2 per certified copy. We would recommend getting at least 2 copies. If you can make it to the court house before 3pm then you can bring cash.

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 $10 will get you 5 copies of your license.

If your minister handles the paperwork then your license 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 Apostle.
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 have any questions regarding the Apostle then call 340-774-2991 and tell them you have a question regarding Apostles and they will transfer you to the correct department.

#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.


Planning steps