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Restrictions on Gatherings Such as Wedding Receptions Due to COVID-19

September 1, 2020 Update

Effective Friday, September 4, 2020 at 5 pm, Executive Order 163 will remain in effect until October 2, 2020.  Associated FAQs specifically address weddings. 

  • Wedding receptions and other private events remain subject to the mass gathering limits.
  • The Order limits mass gatherings to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoor in a single confined indoor or outdoor space. Social distancing and face covering requirements remain in effect. 


Executive Order 141 is in effect until 5 pm, September 4, 2020. Associated FAQs specifically address weddings.

FAQ Highlights 

Does this Executive Order mean that I can gather freely with individuals outside of my household?
Under Safer At Home Phase 2, North Carolinians can hold small get-togethers that do not have more than ten people indoors, or 25 people outdoors. Individuals are encouraged to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.

Are houses of worship allowed to hold services in Phase 2?
The mass gathering limit and other requirements of this Executive Order do not apply to worship, religious, and spiritual gatherings, funeral ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, and other activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights. Individuals are encouraged to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.

Are weddings and funerals allowed to be held in Phase 2?
Yes. Even though there is no mass gathering cap on the people who may attend a wedding or funeral ceremony, receptions or visitations before or after weddings and funerals are subject to the mass gathering limit. Individuals are encouraged to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.

Permits Not Required for Wedding Ceremonies on the BeaCouple getting married who are walking on the beachch

A Town permit  is not required for wedding ceremonies on the beach in Nags Head; however, please read the information below.

Beach Rules

Please keep in mind the following when planning a wedding on the beach in Nags Head:

  • Please make sure guests observe the "No Parking" signs on S Virginia Dare Trail and S Old Oregon Inlet Road.
  • Alcohol may not be served on the beach.
  • Tents are not allowed on the beach in order to maintain clear access by beach patrol lifeguards.
  • Forty chairs are allowed on the beach during the ceremony for the elderly or infirm. Please make sure the chairs do not obstruct access on or across the beach in any way. Chairs must be removed immediately after the ceremony. The number of chairs is limited to 40 to allow for emergency beach vehicle access.
  • Benches on the beach are not allowed.

Tents & Tent Inspections

If using a tent during your wedding (a tent installed somewhere other than on the beach) that is over 400 square feet, you must have a tent inspection performed by Nags Head Fire and Rescue. They can be reached by calling 252-441-5909.

Contact Us

Please contact Michelle Gray at 252-441-5508 or email Michelle Gray for additional information on rules.

Contact the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau at 877-629-4386 and the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce at 252-441-8144 for details in planning your wedding on the Outer Banks.

Marriage Licenses

Marriage licenses can be obtained from the County Register of Deeds office - located in the Dare County Justice Center in Manteo, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Their phone number is 252-475-5970. Address is:
1044 Driftwood Drive
Manteo, NC 27954