Getting Married on North Carolina’s Outer Banks
Permits, Ordinances, Licenses, Fees
Couples planning their wedding on North Carolina’s Outer Banks need to be aware that oftentimes they will be required to obtain a permit or follow a county or town ordinance. From noise and alcohol permits to beach ceremony permits to marriage licenses, couples must learn about all the rules that need to be followed when getting married at the Outer Banks.
Town of Duck
Registration is required for weddings with 50 or more people in attendance. Cost: free.
Application must be received 30 days in advance of the event.
Regulations for signage, noise and trash: www.townofduck.com
More information: Department of Community Development (252) 255-1234
Town of Kitty Hawk
Phone: (252) 261-3552
Town of Kill Devil Hills
Phone: (252) 449-5310
Town of Nags Head
No permite is required for ceremonies on the beach; however, guests should observe the “no parking” signs on S. Virginia Dare Trail and South Old Oregon Inlet Rd. Alcohol may not be served on the beach. Tents are not allowed on the beach in order to maintain clear access by beach patrol lifeguards. Forty chairs are allowed on the beach during ceremonies for the elderly or infirm. Chairs must not obstruct access on or across the beach in any way. Benches on the beach are not allowed. Reception tents over 400 sq. ft. must be inspected by Nags Head Fire & Rescue; call (252) 441-5909.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Event permit is required. Cost: $100.
Application must be received 30 days in advance of event.
No flowers, garlands, arches or rice/birdseed are allowed; only chairs for handicapped persons are allowed.
Currituck County (includes Corolla and the 4-WD Beaches)
No event application is required; however, if a tent will be erected, an application for a Tent Permit is required: http://co.currituck.nc.us/pdf/form-planning/temporary-use-permit.pdf.
Tent application fee: $50. Temporary tents designed for less than 50 people located on residential properties do not require a temporary tent permit.
Marriage licenses may be obtained from any North Carolina Register of Deeds office. A license is valid for 60 days. Fee: $60
Vacation Rental Home Event Fees
Many of the homes that allow weddings/events require an event fee and/or a security deposit. Check with your property management company for details.
Event Liability Insurance
Most vacation rental companies require couples to purchase temporary/event liability insurance. If you are having a large event, it is more than likely required for extra coverage. It is recommended that you contact your insurance agent or visit www.wedsafe.com for coverage.
Dare County Noise Ordinance
Dare County’s noise ordinance does not allow amplified sounds from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Although these are set hours, the county defines noises as: “Any sound which endangers or injures the safety and health of humans or animals, or annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities, or endangers or injures personal or real property.” This means if you are disturbing someone’s peace of mind, no matter the time of day, the disturbed persons have the right to call the authorities.
It is suggested that you notify your adjacent neighbors of your plans. Most of the time by making everyone aware of your event, it will avoid conflict. At 11:00 p.m., please tone down your celebration, or take it inside the home.
More information: Donna Creek, Planning Director
Dare County Planning Department, firstname.lastname@example.org (252) 475-5873
Currituck County Noise Ordinance
A permit is required to be submitted at least 72 hours prior to the event start time. Permit fee: $25.
Adjoining property owners surrounding the event location must be notified by the applicant at least 72 hours prior to the event start time. Notice to the adjoining property owners shall include a statement indicating that comments or concerns regarding the issuance of a permit at the proposed location may be made to the Sheriff prior to the event. These conditions are mandatory on all “permit to exceed” applications. No permitted event may last more than four hours in duration and may not exceed beyond 11:00 p.m.
More information: Currituck County Sheriff’s Office, (252) 453-8204
A limited special occasion permit authorizes the permittee to bring fortified wine and spirituous liquor onto the premises of a business, with the permission of the owner of that property, and to serve those alcoholic beverages to the permit holder’s guests at a reception, wedding, party or other special occasion being held there. An application and $50 fee is required. Note: In order to purchase large quantities of liquor, you will need to obtain an alcohol permit. http://abc.nc.gov/Permit/ApplyLSO
If the reception is held at a vacation rental home or other private residence and the hosts are supplying the alcohol, no permit is required, as long as you are not selling the alcohol.
If a company is catering your event and they are providing the alcohol, they must have a license and insurance. Most caterers will gladly supply you with a copy of their policy and license.
Ordinances in effect on January 1, 2016