Be sure to purchase a California marriage license and bring it to your ceremony. It will be valid for 90 days from the date of issue. Blood tests are not required and there is no waiting period to marry after receiving a license. Both the bride and groom must be present to apply for a license. You’ll need to bring a valid government photo ID and, if applicable, bring the date of the death of your spouse or the date of the final judgment for divorce. If either party has been granted a divorce within 90 days of applying for a new marriage license, a certified copy of the final divorce must be presented at the time of issuance.
If there won’t be any guests and you will have a photographer, they may act as your witness. If you won’t have anyone but the two of you at the wedding, then you’ll need to purchase a Confidential License, which does not require a witness.
You may purchase a marriage license at any County Clerk in California. The County Clerks in larger cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco usually require an appointment and can have long waits. Also, once the license has been mailed in by the officiant, those offices in larger cities often have a very long wait time (6 weeks or so,) before sending you the pre-paid certified copy of the license. The office of our nearest County Clerk is in Salinas, and their turnaround time for mailing out a certified copy is usually just a week or 10 days. Click here for their website.
There is another way to obtain a marriage license in Big Sur, using the services of Lauren DaCruz, our local Marriage Commissioner. She would email a marriage license application to you, which you would complete and email back. Then she would purchase a license on your behalf, type in your responses, and arrange for a brief meeting to issue the license when you are in Big Sur. She would guide you through the legal process and as a notary she also would assist you in applying for certified copies. Her service is very convenient, and she usually is available on weekends. You can contact her at LaurenDaCruz@gmail.com.