How do I apply for a marriage license?
Both parties should visit any county clerk's office in California. In the San Fernando Valley you would go to the Van Nuys Court House. In Ventura County it would be the Ventura Court House or the County Recorder's office in the Thousand Oaks Civic Center. In other parts of California, you will need to check online for the most convenient office to your location. Find out when their hours are, how much your license will cost, and what forms of identification and/or other documents will be needed. Fees can be paid by cash or personal check only. When your ceremony has been performed and after the marriage license has been signed by the bride, groom and witnesses, I will mail your license to the County Clerk's office based on the county you were married in to be filed. You are responsible for obtaining registered copies. You can be married the same day or any day after your license is issued before the license expires. The license expires 90 days from date of issuance.
Is there a residency or blood test requirement in California?
California does not have a residency or blood test requirement for you to apply for a marriage license.
You only need to want to get married in beautiful California!
When should we apply for a marriage license?
Marriage licenses are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. You must be married on or after the issuance date, and on or before the expiration date of the license. Licenses not used within this timeframe are void.
Are we able to write our own vows or can we use ones you have?
Of course, you may write your own vows! We can work together if you desire to combine some of the language I have into your own written vows. I also have a large selection of vows to choose from if you find that is easier for you.
How long will our ceremony be?
Each ceremony is unique and tailored to fit the couple. On average, a simple casual ceremony is about 10 to 15 minutes. A more formal ceremony can be anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. The length of your ceremony also depends on if you are doing a sub-ceremony.
What do you wear as our officiant?
I generally will wear either a black or navy blue dress when officiating your wedding. Beach weddings are less formal and if you are ok with me wearing jeans let me know. Otherwise, I will wear California casual wear.
Does our ceremony need to be religious?
Your ceremony can be whatever you want it to be. It can be as fun, as religious, as simple, or as formal as you want. Together we will create a wedding ceremony that reflects who you both are.
Do we have to have a rehearsal?
That is entirely up to you both. If your wedding has attendants, it is a good idea to have one so everyone knows what is expected of them and where they should be during the service. It also helps to know what we can fix before the ceremony and helps to coordinate cues for seamless transitions. All wedding party members (including both sets of parents, flower girls, and ring bearers) and your wedding planner (if you are using one) should attend the rehearsal.
Can we meet with you before we decide we want to hire you?
I prefer to meet with every couple at least once before the ceremony. It will be at a place and time that is mutually convenient for both of us. If more meetings are necessary those can be arranged as needed. That way we can have a table with chairs and Wi-Fi available. I am always available by email or phone. This meeting allows us to become familiar with each other and to see if we "fit together". It also lets you tell me about your relationship and what you both see as your wedding vision.
What can be included in our ceremony?
There are many ways to make your ceremony more personal to you and your partner. You can do this by adding a sub-ceremony.
Sub-ceremonies available to do are:
1. Sand Blending
2. Rose presentation to the special women in your lives
3. Bubble blowing recessional
4. Family member or friend does a special reading
5. Unity Candle (not recommended for outdoor ceremonies)
6. Candy Jar (perfect if children are involved)
7. Glass Bits
8. Memory Box
You are responsible for providing the items needed for your ceremony. If you would like me to provide the items needed, there will be an additional charge based on the ceremony above and beyond the $25 inclusion fee.
If you are interested in adding one of these or something else please let me know and we will work it in!
Do you offer military or first responder discounts?
I offer a free sub-ceremony ($25 value). You will need to show proof of service. The bride or groom to be must be the service member or first responder (not Uncle Joe or Aunt Sue!). The couple is responsible for any items needed for sub-ceremony.
How do I obtain an official recorded copy of our marriage license?
Forms to request your official copy of your marriage license are available online from the County Clerk Recorders website of the county where you got your license. There is a charge for this and it varies from county to county.
If your marriage license was issued by Ventura County, you can get the form online, fill it out - but don't sign it. You will need to have your signature notarized. I am a commissioned Notary Public and can do the notarization at your ceremony at the same time we do the license signing or any time after. My fee for this service is $25 and includes mailing. You will need to have your driver's license or valid passport available for me to view and record, and you will need to sign and have your thumbprint placed in my California Notary Journal. Those are state requirements for any type of document notarizations.
This service is optional and must be requested in advance by you.
How do I book your services?
Once I receive your contact information I will give you a call to set up an informal meeting. If you would like to book your date with me at that time, I will need a non-refundable retainer fee of at least $150. This payment confirms your wedding date on my calendar. I will also have you both sign a contract. I will invoice you for the remainder of your package one month before your wedding. Final payment is due no later than two weeks before your wedding date.
If you want to wait and not book me right away, I cannot guarantee your date will be available when you get back to me.