couple walking on delaware beach
Kirsten Smith Photography

Delaware may be one of the smallest states in the U.S., but it’s a major hotspot when it comes to weddings. If you’re lucky enough to be getting married in Delaware, you have so many options when it comes to venues, from lush country clubs to scenic beaches, historic estates to glam hotels. And because it’s conveniently located on the Eastern seaboard, your guests will have no trouble traveling to this Mid-Atlantic hub.

Learn more about getting married in Delaware, from choosing a venue to obtaining a marriage license and much more.

The Basics

Couples who are getting married in Delaware should first decide where in the state they want to wed. Cities like Wilmington, Newark, and Dover offer convenience and a variety of venues, and beach towns like Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, and Lewes provide a relaxed setting to wed on the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout the state, you can expect to pay an average of $7,000 on a venue and $6,150 on catering, which are the two biggest wedding-related costs.

If you’re planning a Delaware wedding, it’s important to check if there are any major events or festivals during your wedding weekend. A few major events in Delaware include the Dover Days Festival in Dover in May and the Firefly Music Festival in Dover in June. Couples marrying in one of Delaware’s beach towns during the summer months should be aware of heavier traffic and booked hotels, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Getting There and Getting Around

If you’re getting married in Delaware and have many out-of-town guests flying in, they might choose to fly into Wilmington International Airport, which receives flights from Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, New York, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia. However, it might be easier for your guests to fly into nearby Philadelphia International Airport (about a 30-minute drive to Wilmington) or Baltimore-Washington International Airport (about a 90-minute drive to Wilmington). If your guests are located on the East Coast, Amtrak is another great option for travel into Wilmington and the surrounding environs.

Once your guests have arrived for your Delaware wedding, they will probably want to rent a car to get around, though there is bus and rail service in Wilmington via the Delaware Transit Corporation. Depending on where your guests are staying, having a car will allow them the most flexibility. You might also want to investigate renting a shuttle to get your guests to and from your venue.

bride and groom outdoor wedding recessional
Tyler Boye Photography

Weather

Delaware is located in the Mid-Atlantic region, and has a fairly moderate climate. The average temperature in the summer is about 74 degrees, while in the winter it’s about 45 degrees. Along the coast temperatures are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Delaware tends to be rainy in the spring and summer, so it’s best to have an indoor option if you’re planning an outdoor wedding.

Wedding Venues

There are a variety of Delaware wedding venues to choose from, depending on your guest count and style. Whether you’re getting married in a city like Wilmington or Dover, or in one of Delaware’s popular beach towns, you’ll certainly have your pick of wedding venues in Delaware. Here’s a rundown of the most popular venue types in the First State:

  • Unique
    If a classic event space isn’t your thing, don’t fret! Delaware is home to some of the most unique wedding venues in the country, from museums to music venues, historic estates, Art Deco hotels, and more.
    See more unique wedding venues in Delaware »
  • Outdoor
    Couples dreaming of exchanging vows in the fresh air will be delighted at the numerous outdoor wedding venue options in Delaware. There are gorgeous gardens, country clubs, grand estates, and more, where you’ll be able to say “I do” with stunning natural scenery as your backdrop.
    See more outdoor wedding venues in Delaware »
  • Small
    Is your guest count on the smaller side? If so, you’ll definitely want to check out these small wedding venues in Delaware. Fortunately, there are lots to choose from, including seaside bed and breakfasts, glorious gardens, and nautical-chic restaurants.
    See more small wedding venues in Delaware »
  • Beach
    A major bonus of getting married in Delaware is the proximity to the beach in such towns as Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, Lewes, and more. And fortunately, there are lots of beach wedding venues in Delaware where you can host a toes-the-in-sand celebration.
    See more beach wedding venues in Delaware »
  • Barn
    Delaware does have its more rural areas, and there are indeed a few barn venues if you’re considering rustic-style wedding ceremonies and receptions. You’ll love the casual feel and relaxed vibe of these barn wedding venues in Delaware.
    See more barn wedding venues in Delaware »

bride and groom walking in garden
Femina Photo Design

Marriage Requirements

If you’re getting married in Delaware, it’s important to know the state’s marriage laws and requirements so you can legally wed. To obtain a marriage license in the state of Delaware, you’ll need to apply for one at the county clerk of the peace office. You’ll need to bring appropriate identification, as well as a $50 fee if you’re a Delaware resident, or $100 if not. The waiting period is 24 hours, and Delaware marriage licenses are only valid for 30 days after it’s received. No blood test is required to receive a marriage certificate.

Wedding Accommodations

Couples hosting many out-of-town guests should try to reserve room blocks at several hotels near their wedding venue. It’s important to research hotels at a variety of price points, so that your guests will have options depending on their needs and budget. If you’re not getting married at a hotel, you’ll likely want to provide transportation between your wedding venue and your guests’ hotels for their convenience and safety.  

Things to Do in Delaware

Delaware offers a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions, particularly in the warmer months. We recommend providing your out-of-town guests with a list of your favorite activities so they’ll have plenty to do during your wedding weekend (when they’re not celebrating, of course!). Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Delaware.

  • DuPont Mansions
    The famed du Pont family plays a major role in Delaware’s history and their numerous estates are definitely worth visiting (many of them are also popular wedding venues!). These mansions include Nemours Mansion and Gardens, Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, and the Hagley Museum and Library.
  • The Beaches
    If you’re getting married in Delaware in the summertime, your guests will probably want to hit the beaches. Whether they’re into the bustling boardwalk of Rehoboth Beach or the more natural Delaware Seashore State Park, there are lots of beaches to choose from and enjoy.
  • Museums
    Aside from the du Pont mansions, there are several museums that your guests may enjoy. From the Delaware Museum of Natural History in North Wilmington to the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, your guests will find an informative and enlightening experience.  

Delaware Wedding Inspiration

If you’re getting married in Delaware, get inspired with these real weddings in the First State.

Elise and Daniel’s boho-chic library wedding in Wilmington »

Candace and Michael’s relaxed beach club wedding in Rehoboth Beach »

Ashley and Steven’s glam hotel wedding in Wilmington »

Yelena and Jonathan’s blue and gold estate wedding in Newark »