Civil Ceremony

As I mentioned in my Welcome post, we had two ceremonies: a big religious wedding with family and friends where we live in North Carolina, then a civil ceremony two days later in Vermont.  To put a positive spin on it, I like to say we got to have two weddings, a big celebration and an intimate elopement.  The downside – beyond the insult of the whole thing – is that we had to pay for a second ceremony.

Our civil ceremony was very small, just the two of us, a Justice of the Peace, a photographer, and a few sheep in the background.  We held it outside the Comstock House Bed & Breakfast, where we were staying.  Owners Warren and Ross helped us find a JoP – they recommended Olivia Gay, who had performed both their civil union and wedding (when each had become legal in VT).  Of course we couldn’t pass up the chance to have our ceremony performed by a woman named Gay!  H arranged a photographer she found on the internet, and the four of us held a short, simple ceremony on the back lawn of the Comstock House.  Afterward we toasted with Prosecco, signed the marriage license, and went out to dinner.  It was beautiful but to be honest, after the wonderful wedding we had just had at home, it was kind of a downer.


JoP signs our VT marriage license


Our witnesses

To tally up the cost I won’t include the trip to Vermont, since that was for our honeymoon and we could never consider a trip there to be a burden (have I mentioned how much we love Vermont?).  Instead I’ll include just those costs associated with the ceremony itself:


  • Justice of the Peace: $100
  • Photographer: $500
  • VT Marriage License: $45 + $10 for a certified copy (that’s less than in NC, we saved $5!)

Total: $655

Time: 1/2 a day for the ceremony, 2 hours planning time.

Cost if we were a straight couple: 

$60 for the license, all other costs would have been part of our religious ceremony

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