In a landmark decision on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex partners have a constitutional right to marry, bringing marriage equality to all 50 states. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion. "In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were."
To help couples tie the knot in one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the world, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board has created The Essential Los Angeles Wedding Guide, which outlines steps to getting married and includes everything from from getting married in court to wedding venues to officiants, catering and entertainment.
The following information will help couples navigate the Los Angeles wedding process. From obtaining a marriage license to planning the ultimate honeymoon, this guide is designed to help couples take the first steps towards the biggest day of their lives.
STEP 1: MARRIAGE LICENSE
A Los Angeles county marriage license can be issued at one of the locations on this list of Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Branch Offices, weather you’re getting married at a courthouse such as the LAX Courthouse or Beverly Hills. Before obtaining an la county marriage licenseor going to the County to get a license or begin planning a ceremony, couples should thoroughly review the detailed information about the marriage license and civil ceremony process.
Key requirements for obtaining a marriage license:
- Show a valid California I.D., driver’s license, passport, certified birth certificate, baptismal record and photo I.D., or alien resident card proving that you are over 18 years of age.
- Both of you must be unmarried.
- If you were previously married, you must provide a copy of dissolution/annulment papers.
- Pay a public marriage license fee (or private marriage license fee if applicable) of $91.
- Pay a $25 fee if you are getting married in a civil ceremony.
- Blood test
- Health certificate
- Same last names
- A change of name
- Residence or citizenship status
Acceptable forms of payment:
- Check (with valid I.D.)
- Money order
- Credit/debit card
STEP 2: CIVIL CEREMONY / WEDDING
If you want to know how to get married at the courthouse, a civil ceremony is the simplest way to get married. Marriage ceremonies conducted by the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriage are performed at several branch offices of the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. The fee for the civil ceremony is $25. Payment can be made in cash, check, credit/debit card or money order, made payable to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk or RRCC. If paying by check or credit card, valid identification (i.e., Driver's License) of the signer is required and must be presented at time of request. If you’re getting married in California, at least one witness must be present at the ceremony, unless the couple is marrying using a confidential marriage license in which case no witness is required. Availability of civil marriage ceremonies is limited, so be sure to book as far in advance as possible. For more information on getting your marriage license and the civil ceremony process, visit here.
For a more elaborate ceremony, L.A.’s gorgeous weather, world-class hotels and spectacular scenery make it the perfect city to host an unforgettable wedding. Hotels throughout L.A. are offering a myriad of extraordinary wedding packages, read our exclusive guide: Unforgettable Los Angeles Hotel Wedding Venues.
STEP 3: HONEYMOON
To make your wedding celebration a truly unforgettable experience, spend your honeymoon at one of L.A.’s TAG Approved Hotels — ”LGBT-welcoming” hotels, resorts and B&Bs that meet six gay-welcoming qualifications.
Once you’ve checked in, you can visit one of L.A.’s many world class cultural attractions, explore its miles of hiking trails, or shop for everything from bargain finds to haute couture. And when the sun goes down, Los Angeles heats up with world-class dining experiences and legendary nightspots, from Downtown L.A. and Hollywood to the Sunset Strip and beach communities. No matter how you choose to spend your honeymoon in Los Angeles, you'll be in a vibrant, welcoming city that celebrates your love unconditionally.