Frequently Asked Marriage Questions:
Here are some of our most commonly asked questions. If yours is not answered, please feel free to email us and ask!
Questions about Marriage, Ceremony, License, and Domestic Partnership
We get ask these questions quite often. Even just the other day a friend was asking about what he and his fiancé need to do to get married. So we made this to help answer you questions. Please feel free to give us a call if your question is not answered here at (323) 942-9342.
We just want to get married – can we do that? There are several components to having you relationship legally recognized. At the most basic level, first you need a Marriage License and second, some form of a Ceremony. (We explain Domestic Partnership below.) We can issue the license directly to you or you can go together and get one from the county. They cost at the County Clerks’ Office in California $85.00 or $90.00 and both of you must go together in person. Also, you both need a current photo ID, be unmarried and not in a domestic partner with anyone else. Either spouse can change their middle or last names. Also you sign the license when it is issued (it is different in other states).
There are two forms of Marriage License in California. One is a Public Marriage License, and the other is a Confidential Marriage License
A Public Marriage License is one where your marriage becomes a public record. There needs to be at least one witness for the ceremony whom will also sign the marriage license. There is room for two people, but only one is required. It is not as easy as it used to be for the public to view your record, but it is possible. You can get this kind of license in any county in California and get married in any other county. This is the most common form of marriage license.
The other kind is a Confidential Marriage License. It has the same rights and privileges that come with civil marriage in California and the United State of America and all the other countries that recognize a USA marriage (something like 140+ countries!) This form of license can be provided by us or you can also go together and get one from the county. For your convenience, we can issue you a Confidential Marriage License in Los Angeles for marriage ceremonies that happen within the county. In addition to the other requirements you must also state that you are living together as a couple. Witness will not be required to sign the license, but are welcome as guest at the ceremony. You do not need to be a resident of California (or even the USA) to get either kind of license. We strongly encourage anyone who works in a sensitive industry chose a Confidential Marriage license. (Examples, Doctor, Lawyer, Police Officer, etc.)
If you would like us to issue your marriage license you can apply here.
So now that you have your license you can go to the next step.
Second you need to have some kind of ceremony. It can be as simple as you ‘Do you spouse1 take spouse2 to be your lawfully wedding husband or wife?’ Then we ask the reverse, and you can be married. Yes, it really can be that simple.
Most people want something a little more elaborate. We offer many different kind of ceremonies from the most formal regal to a fun themed one created just for you. Please look at our Ceremony Ideas page to see which one is right for you.
Big wedding and reception is not required. Many people will have a big wedding, after they are already legally married. Some people do this for medical reasons, legal reasons, convenience of a name change or military service. Any can be your personal reasons and we consider that your private information.
A domestic partnership is an alternative to a marriage license. Currently there are two options for couples: they must either be the same gender, or one or more of the member must be over 62. You must also appeared before a notary and have them notarize. You can also change your last name with a Domestic Partnership. We are happy to notarize and take care of your domestic partnership for you.
There is no ceremony requirement for a Domestic Partnership. However, if you would like one, feel free to look at any of our ceremonies.
Other Frequently Asked Marriage Questions:
We have (or will get through you) a license, We just want a legal marriage, don’t want a ceremony. May we get just something super simple like that?
Absolutely! Many times couples will have just a simple legal ceremony and a big ceremony later, or sometimes that’s all they want. We have one where you can have up-to 5 guest. Once you have your license, it’s all that you need to have to satisfy the legal requirements of marriage. It’s called the Do you Ceremony.
My family is very religious and I am not, help!
We believe religion is a very personal choice. A marriage can unfortunately highlight the differences in faith between people, and some people don’t take to well to that. This is a great thing to ask your officiant’s help.
We will work with you to make a ceremony that you and your family will enjoy, appreciate, and look back on fondly.
I want my (family member) to walk me down the aisle, but I’ve been told no. Can I?
The first time we got a call here from a young bride that was rejected by 4 officiants, including her own Reverend. She wanted to have her daughter walk her down the aisle, but they had all refused. There are no rules to weddings and feel free to have the person you chose walk you down the aisle, or feel free to walk yourself.
The thing we do ask, is let us and your family members know ahead of time. Sometimes one will have a parent and a step parent. You may be closer to one than the other. There are ways we can include everyone and avoid offending someone dear. It isn’t without it’s challenges, and feel free to ask about the bride with six (6!) parents! (We had a lovely ceremony too!)
Do you guarantee that our marriage will last for the rest of our life?
As much as we could love to guarantee our weddings, that is just not possible. We can say, that the overwhelming majority, and much higher than the national average are still together! Many of our officiants love to hear from our married couples long after the ceremony – even if it to remind them how much they loved each other on their wedding day and to remind them they can get through this.
We see many happy couples on this site, but are very private. Do we have to be on your web site?
Of course not! We have been surprised but the number of couples that want to be featured on our web site. It seems they enjoy the feedback, and sometimes the pictures we have turn out to be the best. But we would never put anyone on here who does not want to be. We perform many ceremonies for Celebrities and people with sensitive jobs – and will always respect your wishes and privacy.
I see you perform ceremonies for same-sex couples in California, are these legal?
Yes! As long as the couple has obtained a Marriage License, either through the courthouse or through us then that Marriage is as legal as any other marriage in California. (Yes, we issue Marriage Licenses to Same Sex Couples in California) Currently, there are many, many lawsuits, grassroots efforts, and other challenges to have the USA catch up with France, Argentina, Mexcio, Canada, South Africa and the many other nations that recognize the civil right that come from a non-gender discriminatory marriage license.
Do you know what is happening with Prop 8 and when same sex couples get legally married again?
Currently, the two lower court rulings that said, in a nutshell, that Prop 8 violated the US Constitution is in effect. Currently the Proponent of Prop 8 are trying two more appeals with the California Supreme Court. While that goes on, we are happy to legally marry as many same sex couples as would like to get married.
Prop 8 in 2008 took away the right of Same Sex couples to have their marriage legally recognized in California. We often say, that ‘we can give you everything but the rights that come with a legally recognized marriage.’ Prop 8 has be found by 3 judges in two separate ruling to violate the United State Constitution. Currently we are awaiting a decision on whether or not the US Supreme Court will let the rulings stand, or if they are going to hear the case again. We expect more information in the Spring of 2013.
Update: We are happily issuing marriage license and legally marriage same sex couples again!
Any same sex couple that we have married, that would like to have the marriage legally recognized we will happily re-marry you for a nominal fee (and in most cases we can issue your marriage license in Los Angeles County too.) We are the largest officiant service in Southern California where all our officiants support the right of all adult couples to legally marry.
Note: This information on this post and this site is our experience and option. It should not be consider legal advice in any way.