So now that you are engaged, you’re going down that never-ending checklist of things to do for your big day and it hits you… it’s time to get that marriage license! Lucky bride, you have a new option in 2015 for getting that license, but is it right for everyone?
In most counties in California, a confidential marriage license can be obtained from many officiants on the spot, as a mobile license service. This is perfect for elopements, busy couples, and those who live far enough apart that the traditional trip to the courthouse just isn’t feasible. The catch was, you had to be married in the same county which issued the license. New in 2015, you can now use a confidential marriage license to be married in any county in California. So you can file for a license at home in, say, Orange County, and then jet off to a fabulous winery in Napa for your ceremony.
But what is a confidential license, and why would you want one? A confidential license is just what it sounds like, a confidential record. Only the bride or groom may purchase copies of a confidential marriage license, while a public marriage license may be purchased by anyone. If you do not wish for your marriage to be public record, this is the route you want to take. But here’s the rub… if you ever need to obtain a copy of your license, you will be jumping through hoops because only you, the bride or groom, can get your hands on it. If you are filing in the county where you live, and you don’t plan on moving away any time soon, this really isn’t an issue for you.
Once you’ve determined that a mobile confidential license is right for you, you’ll want to do your due diligence to ensure that the vendor you choose has a great reputation. Your marriage license is a very important document, the last thing you want is to find out it was filed incorrectly and you aren’t really married after all! I have personally worked with Elysia from La Wedding Woman and gladly give her my stamp of approval. She is extremely knowledgeable about the process, goes above and beyond for her couples, and is just an incredibly sweet soul! She can provide you with a license only, a beachfront elopement, or officiate your dream wedding with 500 guests!
Who is a confidential mobile license best suited for?
♥ Couples who are planning to elope, and want to use an officiant who can issue the license and marry you on the spot, right on the beach! (While you are at it, be sure to contact me for an elopement photography package that is perfect for you!)
♥ Couples who live too far apart to make going to the courthouse during business hours together, in person, practical
♥ Busy couples who prefer the convenience of having their license brought to them, and are willing to pay a little more for that convenience
Who is a confidential license not quite right for?
♥ Couples on a budget – prices range from $200 and up, depending on the vendor, compared to around $60-90 at the county clerk-recorder’s office (depending on your county).
♥ Brides who look forward to the tradition of going to the courthouse with their beau, it is an exciting milestone! (This was me, it was so much fun and made it really feel like it was all “real!”)
♥ Anyone who may have difficultly appearing in person to obtain a copy of their license in the future. A friend or family member cannot obtain a copy of a confidential license for you!
And just because I aim to be helpful… here are a few links for more info on obtaining marriage licenses in Southern California!
Orange County Marriage License Information
Los Angeles County Marriage License Information
San Diego County Marriage License Information