Can you get married at Los Angeles city hall?
September 9, 2010 9:24 PM   Subscribe

Can you get married at Los Angeles city hall?

I live in Los Angeles. I was reading an article the other day on post-Prop 8 stuff, and a reference was made about a photo-op same-sex wedding performed at city hall...and then it said "city hall doesn't normally preform wedding ceremonies." I was shocked and crushed! I'm not engaged myself but being an atheist, tomboy, life-long city girl and art deco buff, it was never a church wedding or ostentatious princess show or hippie woodland nymph outdoors ceremony I've fantasized about, but a "run downtown to city hall n' get hitched then meet friends for drinks" sort of dream I've always had. Someone please tell me that they HAVE gotten married at LA city hall! Or, if not, what are the options for that sort of wedding in downtown LA? I saw that you can get married in some dmv-like 1970s building in Norwalk, which is a pretty disappointing alternative.
Again, I'm not engaged so this is just trying to figure out what to alter my girlish wedding fantasy to :P

some examples of my current dream wedding:
posted by hellameangirl to Law & Government (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: *I should that I'm straight and this is not a same-sex marriage question, though of course it should be the same question either way*
posted by hellameangirl at 9:28 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you opt for a confidential marriage license you can be married by an officiant damn where anywhere you want to be, as long as you're not trespassing, of course.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:45 PM on September 9, 2010

There's a wedding chapel on Wilshire. Otherwise, you get the application for a license at any County Clerks office, $90, no blood test, but you both have to show up, with valid photo IDs.

Then you can get married by anyone you like--rabbi, judge, county clerk, minister, active or retired judge.

If you really love Art Deco, why not get married at the Silent Movie theater?
posted by Ideefixe at 9:49 PM on September 9, 2010

In Seattle, they don't have a "wedding" office like you see in the movies, but you can get a license, wait three days, and then make an appointment with a judge at City Hall. Maybe you can do something like that in LA as well? (I realize this probably isn't the most helpful answer, but not many people had chimed in, so I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents)
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 11:35 PM on September 9, 2010

Union Station!
posted by Sophie1 at 7:48 AM on September 10, 2010

Response by poster: Blue jello elf, thats what I mean, but it looks like you can't! I grew up in San Francisco and knew lots of people that married at city hall..its what you did if you wanted to get married but not have a ceremony. Those other places you guys mentioned seem like ceremony places..I'm talking about somewhere court-like where you don't bring guests. Just bride groom judge and witness for a small fee. It seems down right un-American if our City Hall doesn't provide this!
posted by hellameangirl at 8:14 AM on September 10, 2010

Sorta hella.

The officiant I talked to last month when all this prop8 craziness was going on was just some average joe who got licensed to marry folks. When you get a confidential license you don't even need witnesses. But it's not quite the same, this much is true.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:12 AM on September 10, 2010

Best answer: marriage licenses are a county matter in california and the city and county of los angeles are distinct (unlike in san francisco), which is why ceremonies aren't normally performed at city hall in los angeles.

but you could probably get your councilperson to perform a wedding in their offices or even elsewhere on the premises. there are also public spaces at city hall that are almost certainly available for rent for ceremonies and receptions (the rotunda, the observation deck, etc). there's no reason you couldn't do an impromptu service on the observation deck. you'd still need to go to a county facility to file the actual paperwork.
posted by jimw at 12:33 PM on September 10, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks jimw! I actually know an LA judge but didn't want to ask him about it--since I'm not actually engaged--but when/if I am I'd want him to perform it.
The dream is still alive! :)
posted by hellameangirl at 2:57 PM on September 10, 2010

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