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Cape Henry Lighthouse

Your Special Event at the Lighthouse

Your Special Event at the Lighthouse

Cape Henry Lighthouse Wedding or Special Event Rental 

The inviting beachhead and magical sunsets at the old Cape Henry Lighthouse make for a picture perfect wedding. Dozens of weddings ceremonies are held at the Lighouse each year with a range from 10 to 75 guests.  

Preservation Virginia’s Cape Henry Lighthouse

Special Event Rental Regulations


Cape Henry Lighthouse silently guards the entry way into the Chesapeake Bay. Standing near the "First Landing" site of the Jamestown settlers where in 1607, Captain Newport raised a cross to offer thanks for their safe crossing of the Atlantic, the Lighthouse has stood sentinel since it was completed in 1792.

Authorized by George Washington and overseen by Alexander Hamilton, the construction of the Cape Henry Lighthouse was one of the first acts of the newly formed Federal government. The octagonal sandstone lighthouse was designed by New York architect John McComb and was in active use for nearly a century before being replaced by a new cast iron lighthouse still standing nearby. It is one of the oldest surviving lighthouses in the United States.


Today visitors to the Cape Henry Lighthouse can climb to the top of the tower to enjoy spectacular views of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.


The site can accommodate a maximum number of 75 people. Chair rentals must be done by an outside party and arrangements must be made for set-up and take-down. There is room for approximately 40 chairs on the dune. Event locations include the lighthouse doorway or behind the tower near the optical viewing machine. If the event has 20 or less attendees, the event may take place at the top of the tower in the lantern room.




Additional Rental Fees:

  • Site rental is available ONLY to Preservation Virginia members. Annual membership fee is $50 for an individual.  If you are not a member, there is a non-member fee of $75.
  • A $300 refundable deposit to Preservation Virginia will secure your reservation and due at the signing of the contract. This will not be applied to the total rental cost and will be retained by Preservation Virginia should you decide to cancel the reservation for any reason. Once the special event/wedding has commenced with no damage, you will be issued back a check for the $300 within 60 days post event.
  • Rental includes at least three staff hosts for the event and access to a self-guided tour to the top of the lighthouse for your guests.
  • $75 is charged for each additional hour or part thereof.


The event must take place outside of the site’s normal operating hours. The rental cover two hours of time allotted for your special event. Typically, the times booked are either at 8-10am or 6-8pm. Evening set-up may begin at 5pm.




Due to the unique nature of the site and its location on an active military base, the following restrictions apply:


-- No decorations may be mounted to anything; decorating the fence, dune staircase, and stair rail into the lighthouse is permitted.

-- Aisle runners are not permitted.

-- Use of electricity is permitted. There is one outlet on the top of the dune.

-- Candles are not permitted.

-- Typically, persons under 42” are not allowed to climb. For special events, persons under 42” may attend an event on the top dune. They may NOT enter the lighthouse.


Please note:

-- The site is NOT handicapped accessible

-- There is no running water on site.

-- There is no dressing area on site.


A guest list must be provided one week prior to the event to the Site Coordinator in order for guest access for the base. 


 Application and details for Special Uses may be viewed by clicking on the links below: 

Preservation Virginia Membership Form

Special Military Details

Application for Use

Visitor Log