Bride and groom on Jetti, Maryland Beach

Ocean City Beach Wedding

Beach at Golden Sand Ocean City MD

Is an Ocean City Beach Wedding in your future? Have you been daydreaming about the sun, the ocean, and soft gentle breeze as you say your “I do’s?”

Is the beach your happy place? When you close your eyes and imagine walking towards your beloved do you see yourself barefoot, with flowers in your flowing hair? When you think of your wedding day, do you smell the ocean air and feel the salt on your lips? Does all this make you long for hot summer days on the beach? 

Bride and Groom on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland

Ocean City Beach Wedding, Make The Daydream Come True

Since I live so close to the beach and have access to its beauty anytime I want, I sometimes take the beach for granted. As a wedding photographer, I am always overjoyed when I book an Ocean City Beach wedding or any beach wedding for that matter. For the sake of this blog, however, I am concentrating on Ocean City, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love to photograph beach weddings anywhere on our peninsula. 

Bride at wedding at Solero Restaurant

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I imagine, that as you are daydreaming of your wedding day, the snow is piled high, with a nip in the air. That when you leave your house, you have to wear a heavy coat, a hat, and mittens. The thought of summer makes you happy and you can’t wait for May or June to finally arrive. If only, if only. 

Decisions, Decisions

So, you and your fiance have made the decision on a beach wedding, moreover, you decided that Ocean City will be the point of your destination. If you are anything like me, this is part life, where I get stuck. I made the decision and now what? I am sure you might be feeling the same way. What are the things you need to know when planning an out-of-state wedding? There are state laws, county laws, and for a tourist town like Ocean City, strict city laws. 

First and foremost, most of the planning for a beach wedding is the same as any wedding. 

Oyster Shells as gift at wedding

Do The Big Stuff First For Your Ocean City Beach Wedding

First, set a date, but be flexible. In the case of a beach wedding, you might want to consider a mid-week wedding instead of the weekend. Hotel rates on the weekends can be outrageous, and I know of at least one couple who was able to pay for the entire week’s stay by celebrating their wedding on a Wednesday instead of Saturday. If you have guests coming to stay for a few days they might appreciate the different days as well. Also, consider the off-season! Our beaches are still delicious in September and October. Daytime temperatures are often in the 80’s and it only gets chilly in the evenings. 

Ocean City Beach Wedding, A True Beach Wedding?

Most beachfront hotels in Ocean City have private beaches for your dream beach wedding. However, in case you are staying in a hotel or motel without beachfront property, there is one tiny step you have to take. You have to get a permit from the major’s office. You can call them at: (410) 289-8931. Also, you need to hire an officiant since Ocean City doesn’t have a Justice of the Peace. 

I have written a blog post about officiants I had the pleasure of working with in the past, you can find more info here:

Eastern Shore Beach Wedding photo of sunglasses on table

Where To Get a Marriage Licence 

Ocean City is in Worcester County, and the county seat is in a small town called Snow Hill. Before you can walk down the beach aisle you have to take a trip to Snow Hill to get your license. I am sure you won’t mind the side trip. Snow Hill is a really nice town, with good food and shopping. 

Here is some info I found on the county website and this is the link if you need more info:

The address is:

Office of Clerk of Circuit Court

1 W. Market Street Room 104

Snow Hill, MD 21863

  • Hours for applying are 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Only the bride or groom need apply. The fee for a marriage license application is $35.00, CASH only, no checks accepted. You will need to show a drivers license or birth certificate for both the bride and groom. No blood test is required. We need to have Social Security numbers for both.
  • The fee for a civil ceremony is $25.00, CASH only, no checks accepted. Please make an appointment at the time you apply. We can accommodate no more than six people.
  • You must be married in Worcester County, if you obtain your license in this county.
  • You must wait until after 6:00 a.m. on the second calendar day after you apply for the license before you can be married.
  • The license is valid for six months from the date of issue.
  • If either party is divorced, we need documentation of same, please bring papers with you. If bride resumes her maiden name, we will need to see documentation of same.
  • If either of you have a deceased spouse, you will need to know the date and place of death.
  • If under 18, please call for information.

The Rest is Easy As

Pie. The rest of the planning is just like any other wedding planning. You pick your colors, pick your flowers, and your dress. Don’t forget to mention on your invitations that this will be a destination wedding and give your guests plenty of time to research places to stay while in Ocean City. 

I will leave you with a few links to help you on your way, and I hope that this blog will make it a little easier for you and I wish you the most wonderful wedding day imaginable.