Yes. Our Wedding Ceremonies are 100% legal and binding per CA state law. You will be legally married the day you have the ceremony performed if you meet the exact same requirements established by the Los Angeles Registrar Recorder/County Clerk.
Download this PDF version of the Marriage License Application. Print it out and fill it out. Bring it with you on your wedding day.
Are your wedding ceremonies legal?
What form of I.D. is required?
You have several options: A Current Driver’s License, State issued I.D., Any valid passport, Government issued Driver’s License or I.D. from another country or an Permanent Resident Card or a Matricula Consular.
How old do I have to be to get married?
In the state of California, you must be over the age of 18 to be married.
Are same sex weddings legal in California?
Yes. They are 100% legal and the same laws and qualifications to marry are required as a non same sex couple.
How to get a marriage license in Los Angeles?
We can issue a “confidential marriage license” on the day of your wedding saving you the hassle of waiting in line at the county clerk. We strictly follow the exact same procedures as the Los Angeles Registrar Recorder/County Clerk. You must present valid form of ID., be over 18 and be living together as spouses and if divorced less than two years ago, must present valid proof of divorce.
The County Clerk issues 2 types of marriage licenses, “public” and “confidential”. Public marriage licenses require a minimum of 1 witness and a maximum of 2 witnesses to sign the license at the ceremony. Public licenses are open records and are filed in Sacramento. “Confidential” licenses are closed records meaning only you and your husband or wife have access to certified copies of your marriage license. Witnesses are not required. Confidential licenses are filed in Norwalk, California.
Only the County Clerk can issue a public license. Authorized Notary Publics can issue only confidential marriage licenses. We only issue Confidential marriage licenses at our chapel. If you would like a public marriage license, please obtain one prior to your scheduled wedding and the marriage officiant will sign the license after the ceremony, thus validating the license.
Visit the County Clerk website for full eligibility requirements:
How do I obtain a certified copy of my marriage license?
Our Notary public will issue you copies of your license the same day for instant legal proof of marriage. Consider it a “temporary” proof of marriage. However your “certified copy” also known as the “marriage certificate” like a “birth certificate”, comes from the Registrar Recorder/County Clerk , or the “R.R.C.C.”
You can Pre-order your certificate with us at our chapel on the day of your wedding. The County Clerk charges $15 per “marriage certificate” – BRING A CHECK PAYABLE TO “R.R.C.C” on the day of your wedding. The “marriage certificate” will arrive to your home from the county clerk approximately 6-8 weeks after the date of marriage. If you forget to bring a check, we can issue a $15 check to the R.R.C.C. on your behalf for $25 ($15 check + $10 our fee).
Must I be a resident of the U.S. to be legally married in the U.S?
No, you do need to be a resident to be legally married in California. The Registrar/Recorder County Clerk will marry anyone over 18, with a valid (non expired, bonafide ID). Our Notary Publics are authorized by the Registrar/Recorder County Clerk to marry anyone with a valid as well (non expired, bonafide ID) as we follow the exact same procedures as they do. However we can save you the hassle of waiting in line as we are open on weekends.
If you want your marriage recognized in a foreign country, you must order an “apostille” which is higher grade of certification from the Secretary of State. The government fee for an apostille filing is $20 ( The Secretary of State fee) plus $65 for notary public fees. There will also be shipping fees which vary from the post office ( Approx $65 in mailling fees – with tracking numbers). We can help you with obtaining your apostille.
For immigration, you will need to order the optional “certified copy” of the marriage license also known as a marriage certificate for $15.
You will receive the “certified copy” or “marriage certificate” in approximately 6-8 weeks ( Registrar Recorder/ County Clerk processing time) after the ceremony. However, we do give you a photocopy of the marriage license instantly. That copy is used by immigration attorneys to begin your filing instantly.
If you have deeper questions about immigration, you should contact a proper immigration attorney. Most all of them give free consultations.
How do I change my last name once married?
From the official county clerk website:
Changing your name
Please read the following important information about name changes BEFORE completing your marriage license application. Changes to your name CANNOT be made once your license is issued.
The Name Equality Act
The Name Equality Act of 2007 (AB 102, Chapter 567, Statutes of 2007) gives specific rights to parties, at the time they are applying for a California marriage license, to choose and list on the marriage license the name that each party will go by after marriage.
Parties are not required to have the same name, nor are they required to change their name.
How Does it Work?
One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the middle and/or last names by which that party wishes to be known after solemnization of the marriage. Each party applying for a marriage license may choose to include on their marriage license the new name in the spaces provided on the marriage license application without intent to defraud.
NOTE: Changing one’s name through this process can only be done at the time the marriage license is issued by the County Clerk or authorized Notary Public, as applicable.
Each party to the marriage may adopt any of the following last names:
- The current last name of the other spouse.
- The last name of either spouse given at birth.
- A name combining into a single last name all or a segment of the current last name or the last name of either spouse given at birth.
- A hyphenated combination of last names.
Each party to the marriage may adopt any of the following middle names:
- The current last name of either spouse.
- The last name of either spouse given at birth.
- A hyphenated combination of the current middle name and the current last name of the person or spouse.
- A hyphenated combination of the current middle name and the birth last name of the person or spouse.
What You Cannot Do
- You may NOT change your first name using this process.
- You may NOT amend the marriage license after it has been issued to add or change the name you wish to be known as after you are married. The name you indicate on the marriage license application will be your name on the marriage license/certificate and cannot be changed by the County Clerk.
- If one or both parties do not wish to identify a new name on the marriage license (fields 30A through 31C, as applicable), the marriage license will be completed with two single dashes. You may not change the information on the marriage license after it has been issued by the County Clerk.
Use of Your Marriage License
The marriage certificate is used by multiple local, state, federal and private agencies, each of which have different rules and/or regulations regarding what documents are acceptable to change your name on their records following marriage. It is recommended that you contact these agencies to verify their requirements
It is unlawful for County employees to answer questions of a legal nature. County Clerk staff cannot advise you how to complete the marriage license application as it relates to your entry of a new name or retention of your former name on the marriage license application.
For your protection, if you have any questions regarding whether you should or should not list your new name on the marriage license application, and/or how the Name Equality Act of 2007 may affect you, please consult an attorney prior to applying for your marriage license.
WHEN TO BEGIN SIGNING YOUR NEW NAME?
You do not sign your new name on the day the wedding on the license. You will need to wait until the certified copy comes to your home 6-8 weeks after the ceremony. After it arrives take it to social security office to update your status from single to married and get a new card. Next go to the DMV and do the same. We also suggest doing the same at your bank. After all of that is completed, you may use your new married name.
Wasn't your chapel on Wilshire Blvd ?
Yes for over 40 years. But Metro is constructing a purple line subway station at our old spot on Wilshire and La Brea. We are happy to say we designed and opened our Brand New, Gorgeous, Deluxe Albertson Wedding Chapel just 1 block away. We are on La Brea Ave 1 block south of Wilshire. It is the most stylish wedding chapel in the U.S.! Visit us today at 834 South La Brea Avenue Los Angeles, California 90036. Free Parking in front lot.
Is there a fee to bring my own photographer?
As long as they are pocket cameras or phone cameras, then there is no charge. However, if you bring professional equipment ( We consider DLSR cameras with detachable lenses are pro equipment) then we do charge an $80 fee. The fee will allow your pro photographer or camera operator access to all areas of the chapel to shoot your pictures during and after the ceremony. The fee includes access for videographers.
Please note: If you order ANY of our photo packages we WAIVE the $80 fee and your “pro” photographers will be allowed to shoot with our outstanding photographers. Our photography packages are highly recommended as we have a tremendous amount of experience shooting at our chapel and we see other outside photographer’s work and it is usually subpar.
Do you allow flower petals at your venue?
We are sorry but do to safety and insurance liability issues, we do not allow real or fake flower petals on the premises. The same goes for bubbles or rice. However, flower girls are welcomed to have a basket with flowers in them, or they can hold cute signs you can make or purchase online for the wedding march. Just nothing can be scattered on the floor.
Is there easy parking?
We are actually the only wedding chapel in L.A. with free parking options:
The main lot in front of our location is free to guests on a first come first serve basis. However, parking is not unlimited. I suggest that invited guests practice “carpooling” as best as possible. That will also help when heading to the next location such as a restaurant or someone’s house. Or encourage the use of UBER & LYFT to keep the party going.
There is also free street parking available on La Brea Ave, 8th and 9th st. We are located on La Brea Ave between 8th and 9th. Sycamore Ave. also has free 2 hour parking.
The other nearby parking option is $2.50 an hour at the “Lassens” Market public lot on the corner 8th and La Brea, half a block from us. (710 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036.) It is even free for 90 min with any purchase, like water or anything.
There are 2 disabled access parking spots right in front our venue as well. Limos can drop you off at our front door but must wait on La Brea Ave.
Is your chapel in a good neighborhood?
Yes, in fact we are the only wedding chapel in a safe, trendy neighborhood in Los Angeles. We are at La Brea ave and Wilshire Blvd. 5 minutes from the LACMA, The Grove, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. We also have free parking for your guests. Your guests have easy access to us from the 10 and the 101.
We are near many 5 star restaurants and hotels in Los Angeles.
We need to change our wedding plans. Can we?
Here at the Albertson Wedding Chapel, we understand that unforseen events may alter your wedding plans. You have up to 4 months from the original date you made the deposit to reschedule with no questions asked and no penalty fees. However, payment is non-refundable.
We have more than 36 guests? Can we invite more?
Our max is 36 guests on saturdays excluding the both of you. Kids under 5 do not count towards the guests count. BUT you can book up to 40 guests on Sundays. We find that nowadays, the actual ceremony is usually a much smaller affair than the reception. Many of our brides have their ceremony in the earlier part of the day, then have a blow out party in the late afternoon or evening. The ceremony would be parents, immediate family, best friends. This allows for a fuller day, with a chance to take pictures afterwards around L.A. landmarks, or go to a luxury restaurant to a select amount of guests. The after party, whether at a house, hotel, restaurant, dance hall, club etc. will be for non immediate family and friends. Or skip the reception and after the restaurant hop on a plane to the Bahamas or Italy! If unfortunately or venue is too small for you, we also do wedding ceremonies TO GO anywhere in L.A. you choose. We can send the officiant, photographer, videographer, bouquet, flower set up all to your location. See http://www.laweddingstogo.com to see prices and learn more.
Also, you can request to have your wedding LIVE STREAMED online with an HD webcam. Share the link on Facebook or in your twitter post or email the link. Have a virtual audience of thousands!
What time should we get there?
The couple should plan to get here exactly 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. At that time the bride will have access to our bridal room.
The groom may arrive separately but should also plan to be here 30 minutes ahead of schedule to meet and greet guests and finish any paperwork.
The Groom and any entourage like bridesmaids and groomsmen must arrive already dressed. There is no changing room for the groom or entourage, just the bride.
We are running late. What can we do?
Running late can be an issue as we will most likely have a wedding scheduled after yours. We recommend getting here 30 minutes prior to your wedding.
Per our sole discretion, we might allow a 15 minutes grace period for missing guests. However, if you or your guests arrive more than 15 minutes late, you may be charged $50 per each additional 15 minutes your wedding is held up. (IE: your wedding starts at 4pm. 4:16pm to 4:31pm incurs a $50 charge and so forth. Better to get here at 3:30pm)
If you are running extremely late, your photo session might be shortened, or worst case scenario, your wedding start time will be held up until we have another opening in our schedule later that day.
How long will we be at the chapel?
Plan to be here approximately 90 minutes in total. Ceremonies last about 20 minutes for a civil ceremony and 25 minutes for a spiritual ceremony. However, with photography, mingling, signing the license, bridal room prep time, the wedding march etc, an hour and a half is realistic. (IE: If your wedding is scheduled to start at 4pm, book your dinner reservations at a restaurant, or your reception location start time to be 5:45pm or 6pm depending on the distance.
Do you provide music?
Yes we have the classic bridal entrance music, “Here comes the Bride” and the “Wedding March”. We also have “Thinking out loud”and “1000 years by the Piano Guys”. But you may also bring a personalized playlist on your phone or ipod to personalize your wedding. (Please bring your own ipod DJ to facilitate this… just a friend to hit play and fade the music or to play music for your guests pre-show). Please bring your own mini to mini headphone wire to connect to your system, the same wire you use to connect to your car stereo).
Is it customary to tip the Photographer and Minister? How much?
Yes and any tips should be in given in cash directly to the minister, coordinator and/or your photographer. That would be a wonderful way to show your appreciation to those that help you on the day of 🙂
We are traveling from another country. Will our U.S. marriage be valid in our country?
Yes it can be, but you should contact the US consulate in your country or the consulate of your country in Los Angeles. You may need an “Apostille” attached to your marriage certificate for your country to validate the marriage. This is a higher grade of certification that allows foreign government agencies need to recognize the validity of your marriage certificate. We can facilitate that for you for approximately $150 in fees. This price includes the government fee from the Secretary of State and shipping fees and our office fees and support.
To receive a certificate from the county clerk takes 6-8 weeks ( normal county clerk processing time). To have an apostille made usually adds another 6 weeks to the time needed before the completed apostille is in your hands, in your country. It’s a slow process but always arrives.
Must I download my video and photo gallery?
Yes. Please do so as soon as you receive your link from us for safe keeping. We do not guarantee safe back ups of your files as the original files get uploaded to cloud services like smug mug.com, vimeo.com, and youtube.com. Hard drives may crash, cloud services like the ones listed could be hacked. All digital media is subject to potential loss. Please download your images and videos upon receipt.
Can I bring my own officiant or pastor to marry us?
Yes you can. If you know someone dear to you that would love to officially marry you, by all means bring him or her in. As long as the ceremony is 25min or less ( standard actual ceremony time at the “alter”) then having your friend, family member or your own pastor is a great idea to personalize your wedding. The person must be ordained in order to marry you.
Do you offer discounts?
We do offer 5% off* our prices if you are an active military personal ( with military I.D.) an active L.A.P.D. officer or in the L.A.F.D. * We also offer a 10% off* for “Renewal of Vows” ceremonies if you are currently married and wish to re-commit to your spouse. We also give 3% off wedding booked 3 months in advance if paid in full.* Or 3% off any payments made in cash (cash discount)*
*These offers/discounts can not be combined.
Why are you so much better than anywhere else I have found? What's the catch?
Ha. There is no catch! We are the best because our owners are fashion designers and true romantics. We are the best because this has been a family owned establishment for 43 years and counting. We are the best because our venue is in an excellent trendy neighborhood. We obsessively maintain our chapel so it is always pristine for you and we try every day to improve the quality of our services. We believe everyone deserves a dignified, respectful, sincere wedding without paying an arm and a leg. We are the best because we put all our prices online, unlike most every place else you find. We are also proud to show you real video and photo samples of couples that have been married here. We are the best because we have always fought for love in Los Angeles. We believe that no matter where you were born, your background, your orientation, your religion, if you believe in love… then Albertson Wedding Chapel is for you.
We believe we are the best wedding chapel in the U.S. However, the ultimate truth is we are only as great as the couples that get married here. Your love makes us great!