I've got the collar. I've got the bible. I memorized that "speak now" bit. What else is there?
August 1, 2008 2:16 PM   Subscribe

What's involved in my performing a wedding in Los Angeles?

I need to perform a wedding in Los Angeles in October. I got a card that says I'm a reverend from World Christianship Ministries way back in pre-internet 1993 and it says I'm clear to perform weddings in most states. So what else do I need and what do I need to know or do? Do I have to apply for the license for the couple? Do I need to fill out any forms? Or is it just a "show up in a collar and sign this document" sort of thing?
posted by rileyray3000 to Grab Bag (3 answers total)
Rules on wedding ceremonies vary by county. In the state of California, the onus is upon the couple to determine that their officiant is legal to perform wedding ceremonies. If you believe, based on reviewing California state law, that you are a legal officiant, then your duty is to make sure that the couple satisfies the wedding ceremony requirements, after which you must sign the wedding license avowing such, and submit to the county clerk.

I would strongly urge you to consider the California Deputy Commissioner for a Day program. Here is information from the Los Angeles County website:
The Registrar/Recorder-County Clerk has a program that allows individuals to be deputized for a day to perform a wedding ceremony.
Then there would be no question as to whether you are legally a "1) a priest, minister or rabbi of any religious denomination." I know it says "two months before-hand", but in my recent experience they will not accept applications received MORE than two months beforehand.
posted by muddgirl at 2:33 PM on August 1, 2008

You need to be deputized for a day. The LA County Clerk says:

The Registrar/Recorder-County Clerk has a program that allows individuals to be deputized for a day to perform a wedding ceremony. All those requesting to be deputized should fill out the form provided on the web or send in a letter detailing:
  • the full name of the person to be deputized
  • the telephone number and address to contact that person
  • the name of the parties
  • the date of the wedding
  • the location of the wedding
The letter or application should be mailed in to the address below with a check or money order for $35, made payable to RR/CC, 2 months prior to the wedding. Applications received less than two months prior to the wedding may be rejected. Mail the letter or application to:

Kathy Treggs
Division Manager
Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
12400 Imperial Highway
Room 5001A
Norwalk, CA 90650

Once the letter and fee are received a confirmation letter of approval will be sent to the sender. The confirmation letter will request the individual who is to be deputized to contact our office and make an appointment to be sworn in. Individuals are deputized on Thursdays only, at 11:00a.m. and only by appointment. No appointments will be issued without the fee being paid.

Individuals coming in to be deputized should expect to spend an hour here at the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. Deputies are welcome to bring guest, however because space is limited we ask that they bring no more than one guest.

The $35 is non-refundable; however it can be applied to another deputy appointment within the same calendar year.

Should you have any additional questions please call (562) 462-2081.

The application is here, in PDF. Hurry up, you've only got two months.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:34 PM on August 1, 2008

This from the ULC (Universal Life Church) about state by state regs for performing a marriage. Just more info.
posted by elendil71 at 2:51 PM on August 1, 2008

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