Dear PoP – Hosting a Lesbian Wedding in DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user BrennaLM

“Dear PoP,

I got really strange request from my friend. She sent an email to our circle of friends asking if a lesbian couple she knows can use someones DC residence for their wedding ceremony. She said the marriage officiant just needs to be able to use my address for the marriage license. I’m a Columbia Heights resident and she could probably use my empty second bedroom or the meeting room in my condo. I just don’t understand why they can’t get married at a courthouse. Don’t really know about the gay marriage laws in DC. I’m just wondering if the other DC residents are getting these kinds of request as cheap way to do their nuptials.”

This is bizarre. Anyone know the proper laws here? You don’t actually have to live in DC to get married here do you?

16 Comment

  • My coworker and his boyfriend got hitched by a burned out unitarian minister in rock creek park for $100.

    He went to the DC courthouse and filled everything out. He put down their Virginia address and there were no problems.

    I picked it up a week later so I got to be his best man.

    Suggest a nice (and free!) outdoor location. It will probably be more fun or all than inside your house, even though I am sure you house is great.

  • You don’t have to live in DC, but the ceremony has to take place in DC. It can be done at the courthouse, but I think it then has to be done by a Justice of the Peace or someone connected to the courthouse. If the couple has an officiant in mind (who needs to be registered with DC as someone who can perform marriage ceremonies in the district), then an alternate location with a DC address is needed for the ceremony. A free outdoor location might be tough to find, but there are a few connected to Rock Creek Park – including Meridian Hill park if memory serves correctly – that are $100 or so.

  • Good for them! It’s a shame people have to go to such extremes just to get married. Unfortunately I can’t offer any advice because my girlfriend and I are not interested in getting married right now (plus we live in DC).

  • My wife an I got married last year at the Jefferson Memorial. The permit witht the Parks Dept cost $50.

  • Is this the plot to a porno?

  • my best bet would be to check with Home Depot

  • houseintherear

    Let the homophobic “jokes” begin…

  • my spouse and I got married at the courthouse in DC – we are both DC residents. you don’t have to be DC residents to get married in DC. the marriage will be recognized in DC and in any other state where same sex “marriage” is recognized. you can get married in DC but that doesn’t mean it will be acknowledged by other states or on a federal level. you can decide where you want to live but you can’t force your state/local government to abide by or enforce other laws. this was a major factor for us when it came to home ownership for us.

  • The DC marriage license application requires you put some sort of address on it to document that the marriage took place in DC. But you can have the officiant “marry” you — i.e. execute the license with whatever formalities he or she deems is necessary — in a spare room of your condo and have your reception/party wherever you want (including beyond the DC border). That’s what the two guys who blog about food at did last year.

  • How depressing. After all the fighting to get the right to marry can’t people think of something more romantic than a courthouse or somebody’s condo? Step it up a notch, people! Demand your equal right to spend too much money on a huge reception and dance the night away.

  • Here’s the deal. Yes, they can get married at the courthouse, BUT, aside from the fact that it’s a dumpy room, you don’t have a lot of flexibility on the time or date(s) offered you. So, if you want to get married on a particular date — as my wife and I did — or even on a Saturday so that others can more easily attend, then it becomes necessary to find another location somewhere in DC.

  • After searching for information yesterday about marriage licenses in DC for my own wedding I came across a couple of links that may help.

    The top link for a google search for “dc marriage license” is The court web site is surprisingly helpful.

    The #2 link is the washington visitors bureau wirte up about the process.

    One thing to note, and this applies for any couple is that you have to wait 3 business days to actually get the marriage license. They can do the ceremony at the court house, but apparently you have to book that a few weeks in advance. I’d recommend having them visit the court house web site.

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