Assateague Island Beach Weddings
Assateague Island is a beautiful spot for beach weddings. It is a 37 mile Island that begins in Maryland and stretches south into Virginia. The MD portion is 25 miles long and beach weddings take place on the northern tip. We’ll go over how to get a marriage license, what permits you’ll need and the best spots for a ceremony. Assateague Island wedding packages begin at $450.
Which part of Assateague is best for weddings?
The State side is usually better for weddings than the Federal side. The fees for your guests are lower and they’re less likely to get lost as there’s only one parking area. The restrooms on the State side are more spacious and convenient.
The Federal may be best for campers, brides with dogs in the wedding or couples that would like to have a bonfire on the island. Are unique series of beach wedding planners are perfect for brides considering getting married on Assateague Island.
The Maryland side is divided into two areas: “The Federal” side (known as the National Seashore) and the “Maryland State Park” side. Beach Weddings are permitted on the State Park Side. To reach Assateague State park, you will need to follow Route 611 until it becomes the Verrazano Bridge. Once you cross the Verrazano Bridge, proceed about a mile until the road dead ends at a roundabout. Make the last right turn before the curve. There will be a small entrance gate that is usually manned from 9-5. Once inside the Maryland State park, you will notice a single structure that houses bathrooms, changing areas and a lifeguard station. There is a wooden pathway to the right of this structure. Walk along the path to the fence at the crest of the hill. On the other side of the dune is where the beach ceremony usually occurs.
Where do you get an Assateague Marriage License?
Brides getting married on the Maryland side of the island will need an Assateague Marriage License from the Worcester County Clerk in Snow Hill, MD. Couples may apply in person or through the mail. Any minister who is legally ordained to perform weddings and recognized by the state of Maryland may perform the ceremony. The most popular ceremony on the island is a simple elopement.
Do Assateague Weddings require a permit?
The Federal side does require a wedding permit to be issued by the park ranger. In addition to the permit, each guest must pay full price to enter the park. The State side does not require a wedding permit but guests must pay the park entry fees.
The entrance fee to the state side is $6 per person. The state side does not require a permit but asks that you notify them at least a week prior to the wedding.
Cell phone reception on Assateague Island is spotty and wedding guests unfamiliar with the island may get lost. Please allow at least forty minutes by car from downtown OC. Occasionally you may encounter a wild pony on the beach. In the decade we’ve been servicing Assateague Island weddings, it has happened a few times, but is a rare treat!
The federal site is known as the Assateague Island National seashore. Weddings are permitted here if you get a permit from the park ranger. This side is quite vast and not as wedding friendly as the state side. Wedding Photographers and other vendors are required to have a special license to perform ceremonies there.
Here is a video of a wedding at the Assateague island State Park:
Is Assateague Island good for Weddings?
You’ll have beautiful photo opportunities but there are some drawbacks. There are no hotels or restaurants on the island. The wedding party will need to book a wedding venue in Ocean City or camp out on the island. Brides getting married on Assateague Island should have a back up plan in case there is a storm. Cell phone and gps can be spotty on Assateague. make sure your guests allow plenty of time to arrive. If you’ve never been to Assateague, an Ocean City beach wedding may be a safer choice. If you’re familiar with the island and have a weather plan, then the Assateague State Park may be perfect your ceremony.
Is Assateague the same as Chincoteague?
Chincoteague is part of Assateague Island but they are not the same. Chincoteague is in Virginia and the Assateague State Park is in Maryland. Chincoteague beach weddings take place on the southern tip of the island and have their own set of rules.