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.
Are your wedding ceremonies legal?
What form of I.D. is required?
You have several options: A Current NON EXPIRED Driver’s License, State issued I.D., a valid passport, a government issued Driver’s License or I.D. from another country, a U.S. certificate of naturalization or an Permanent Resident Card or a valid 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.
Do you offer postponements?
1. Postponements: If you yourself are ill, or for any other reason, you will have up to 1 full year to postpone your wedding with a service credit. You will not lose your non-refundable payments made to our chapel just because you need to reschedule. This applies even to last minute notice. Rest and have ease of mind that we will honor your payment for another date in the future. You may even choose to elope with us now and hold your larger gathering or reception later in the year with the remaining credit of what you paid. Lets’ find your date today. Please text 323-937-4919 for help with that.
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.
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 $17 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 6-10 weeks after the date of marriage. If you forget to bring a check, we can issue a $17 check to the R.R.C.C. on your behalf for $25 ($17 check + $8 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 allows anyone over 18 with a valid (non expired, bonafide government ID such as a valid driver’s license or passport) to be married. We follow the exact same procedures as the county clerk follows, as we are regulated by their office. However we can save you the hassle of waiting in line as we are open daily and 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.
If you require further information we suggest you obtain or contact an Immigration attorney to help you.
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 6-10 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.
Do you perform ceremonies in Spanish ?
Yes we do. Upon booking, let us know that you will want a Spanish speaking officiant for your wedding date (No extra change).
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 $150 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 $150 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.
What time should the guests arrive?
When to Arrive?
Here is the best approach,
Example: Your wedding is booked with us at 12pm.
11:30AM – Bride arrives with her hair and make-up already done, her dress in a garment bag ( to avoid wrinkles ). Please bring a travel bag to put your change of clothes and sneakers in once you change into the wedding dress.
11:45AM – Groom arrives already fully dressed. Guests arrive at this time as well. This is how. You tell the guests that the wedding starts sharply at 11:45AM and if they are not here they cannot get in. It is not true, they can get in, but we need to motivate the guests to arrive basically on time.
12:00PM – Booked start time
12:15PM – Actual start time. We must start sharply at 12:15PM. We cannot start a later than that.
Please use this format to calculate when to arrive and when to invite your guests. If your wedding is at 5pm for example it would be the same format. You arrive at 4:30pm, your guests and groom at 4:45pm, you booked for 5pm but the actual wedding starts sharply at 5:15pm.
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, but there is Not limitless parking. 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 for a reception if it is not being held here. Or use UBER / LYFT or a Party Van/Bus for convenience.
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 until 6pm.
The other nearby parking option is a public paid parking indoor parking lot at “Lassens” on 8th St just a few feet east of La Brea Ave, half a block from us. (The lot is at 710 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036.) It is even free for 90 min with any purchase, like water or chocolate.
OR Why drive? Party on your way to the chapel! Choose a long limo, a party van or a party bus service to be able to keep your guests together and make the ride even more fun.
Rent a Party Van/ Party Bus/ Party Limo Service:
We suggest you call John, a highy rated, well reviewed Party Vehicle Provider at Angel Limousine.
If you invite your guests in the proper format (Please refer the the above FAQ question ” What time should the guests arrive?”) then your guests should usually fine parking rather simple and easy. if they get here to early, they will have a tougher time to find parking.
Do you allow flower petals at your venue?
We do not. 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, confetti 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.
Or we suggest streamers. They are much more fun, they add an excellent visual for your video or photos. The bridesmaids can hand them our before the ceremony or formally down the isle. Here is an amazon link to view and buy them:
Can I get a refund? We need to change our wedding plans.
All payments are NON-REFUNDABLE. Service credit only.
In order to marry at our chapel you must be personally sure you fulfill this criteria:
1. You must be certain you want to be married. ( It is a legally binding act )
2. You must be certain you would like to marry at our chapel. ( You will need to commit with a non-refundable deposit as all payments are non-refundable.
3. You must be aware that during Covid times, millions of brides have have opted to postpone* their dates. We have a very creative team than can help you re-design your wedding as in making it smaller or bigger.
*You can push the wedding back up to 12* months from the wedding date you booked to use the full value of your money paid.
(IE if your wedding is booked for 9/2/21 you will have up until 9/2/22 to use the full value of the money paid with us for another date.
Why no refunds?
Bonus Reading ( A blog on refunds from the owners in efforts of transparency and clarity )
Marriage is a deepest form of commitment and it is reflected in the marriage service industry. The couple is committing to each other and we are committing to the couple that we will be there to perform their wedding in an excellent manner AND the couple is committing that they will show up on the day of. ( Sounds crazy – but yes it has happened and every wedding venue owner in the world knows that feeling. ) You will find that all reputable venues do not give refunds or even any service credit for that main reason. In other venues, they would most likely even hold the couple responsible for the entire amount still owed beyond the deposit. There are even “event insurance” companies that sell wedding insurance policies for couples that might to cancel an event. Interested? Learn more from WedSure Inc> At Albertson Wedding Chapel we feel we are the leaders in wedding venue date/time flexibility. We have been in business 48 years and we understand emergencies can come up including a global pandemic. That is why we allow easy rescheduling. You can book up to 12 months past the date you booked or even move the date sooner. A problem will arise if you say “We decided to marry in Alaska, we want a refund.” Or we prefer booking an Air B & B. ( Actually we do have “to go” services that can help with that such as travel photo/video, officiant and more. Be aware that gatherings in Air B&B locations are being shut down on the the day of by nosey neighbors and police.) Or “I know we booked 6 months in advance but I think we are not ready for marriage. we want a refund.” Or “I thought we wanted to have just 32 guests but now we need 80 guests. I want a refund.” There are obviously situations where it is beneficial to couple and to our chapel to NOT book a wedding just yet. For if you are not ready to commit to a date, our chapel or even to each other yet, then please don’t book/pay yet. Only book when you are sure. The are no “next day annulments” in California and we do not give refunds.
Do you sell alcohol?
Albertson Wedding Chapel does NOT sell alcohol nor we include alcohol in any of our reception packages.
However, YES, if you have booked a reception with us you may bring your own Champagne bottles and/or premium beers and wine selections for you guests IF you have purchased “host liquor liability insurance” prior to your event. This type of insurance costs $125 and must be purchased no later than 72 hours prior to your event. You may purchase the insurance via this link: https://www.wedsure.com/?ref=qBG6tWzV
Once purchased we will get an instant copy of the agreement for our files. The form is already pre-filled out with our info at check out.
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.
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?
The both of you will be at the chapel approximately 90 minutes if you have ordered a package with us that includes photography. The actual ceremony at the alter lasts about 25 minutes. However, with photography, signing the license, the wedding march etc, about 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.
If you did not a photography package and are just doing a ceremony with us, plan to be here approximately an hour.
Do you provide music?
Yes we stream music for your guests to listen to before the ceremony starts. We also can play 1 specific song for you for your entrance. The song should be at least 3 minutes in length. The song will play for the entrance of the entourage and for the bride. We find that 1 song works best for continuity. The song you can select must be able to be streamed from “apple music” or “spotify”. We do not have the ability to play a song from “youtube”.
If you are having a VIP reception, bringing your own device with your own music to help tell your love story is highly recommended. Please provide 2 hours of music.
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 🙂
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 package deals that are discounted further than if you bought the services a la carte. Here is our package deals page:
We do offer 5% off* 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.
*These offers/discounts cannot 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 46 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!