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Civil Ceremonies in Southern California courthouses and where to go.

You’ve decided that the civil ceremony is the way to go!

Let me just say, when my husband and I got married almost 16 years ago…this is the route he would have preferred. We headed to Santa Ana to get our marriage license and much to my surprise, arrived at a quite historical/really cool looking building.

“What’s there to think about, Em? It’s an old building. It’s beautiful. We can be in and out in 20 minutes and then head to Tahiti.”- (Neil…probably. It’s been almost 2 decades).

I mean, he did have a point. But at that point in my life, I wanted the big ta’ do. If I had to do it all over again, I can’t say I’d disagree with him. Get legally married here in the states and then elope in Greece or something on a fancy ass beach? That sounds magical. All this to say, you live and learn.

If you’re considering a smaller ceremony and want to go the civil route, there are plenty of lovely areas to tie the knot and “be in and out in 20 minutes.” Whether or not you head to Tahiti is completely up to you. (But I DO suggest that as a Honeymoon or even an elopement route. It’s pretty damn incredible.)

Make sure you call ahead to plan for it’s availability.

Here’s a list of buildings, links to licenses and locations for you to say your, “i do’s” before your, “bon voyages”.

*For those looking to have a marriage ceremony performed in Orange County, you must complete your marriage license application before visiting the office at

 North County Branch Office in Anaheim -Wells Fargo Building, 222 S Harbor Blvd #110, Anaheim, CA 92805

South County Branch Office in the Laguna Hills Civic Center -24031 El Toro Rd, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

The Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana.-211 W Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92701

*For those looking to have a marriage ceremony performed in Los Angeles, you must complete your marriage license application before visiting the office at

Your ceremony will be conducted by a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages at one of the following locations, by appointment only:

  • Beverly Hills (Wednesday & Friday)-9355 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
  • Lancaster (Friday)-42011 4th St W, Lancaster, CA 93534
  • LAX Courthouse (Friday)-11701 La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
  • East Los Angeles (Friday)-4848 E. Civic Way, Los Angeles, Ca 90022
  • Norwalk (After Hours)-12720 Norwalk Blvd., Norwalk, 90650
  • Van Nuys (Wednesday & Friday)-14400 East Irwin Street Mall, Van Nuys, Ca 91401

Pasadena Courthouse is a BEAUTIFUL building that although doesn’t do ceremonies, they allow for photography as long as your photographer has a license. *psst. I do. Just saying.

PS. I am dying to shoot a civil ceremony here but….

Headed up the coast? Santa Barbara is a must check out.

Santa Barbara Courthouse – 1100 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Can’t wait to hear which one you’re choosing!

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