Just about anyone can perform a civil ceremony in California, which means you can be married just about anywhere. We strongly suggest finding a location where both the ceremony and reception are appropriate, though this isn’t always possible.
The following people can perform ceremonies in the State of California:
- A priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination
- A judge or retired judge, magistrate or retired magistrate
- A legislator or constitutional officer, or a member of Congress who represents a district within California, while that person holds office
- Captains of the Salvation Army
- Some ship captains
- A medicine man
- Any person deputized for one day to perform civil marriages (FAQ: www.dhs.ca.gov/hisp/chs/ovr/marriage/faq.htm) For details, visit the State of California web site: (www.dhs.ca.gov/hisp/chs/OVR/Marriage/GeneralInfo.htm)
The upside of the ceremony-only location:
- You can opt for a mix of a traditional religious ceremony with a matched fun and funky location — making God, parents, and friends happy.
- Fulfill your dream of a fantasy location. Hire a bus to transport guests from one event to the next.
- Worried about guests getting chilly in the fog, hold the ceremony at the beach and head inside for the reception.
Things to consider:
- Transportation cost and logistics of moving out-of-town guests from one place to the next.
- Additional catering complications if you’d like to serve hors d’oeuvres and drinks before the ceremony.