◀︎ Perform Marriage in California

How to Officiate Weddings in San Francisco

An AMM Guide for Wedding Officiants in the Bay Area

San Francisco was made for weddings.

From Baker Beach’s sweeping vistas with the Golden Gate Bridge rising in the background, to quirky hippie haunts on Haight-Ashbury Street, there’s a reason thousands of couples choose the Bay Area for their weddings every weekend. But it’s important to plan ahead, especially when it comes to filing for your marriage license. The Office of the County Clerk requires that couples must have a California Marriage License issued within 90 days of their Ceremony appointment.

Below, we cover everything you need to know when planning your wedding ceremony in San Francisco, California and provide links to important resources with the local city and county governments.

Who can perform weddings in San Francisco?

American Marriage Ministries ministers are legally allowed to perform weddings in San Francisco California. Marriage ceremonies in the State of California must be performed by an authorized person defined in CA Family Code Section 400. Ministers ordained by American Marriage Ministries are legally allowed to perform weddings in California under the designation of “an authorized person of any religious denomination who is 18 years of age or older.”

How can I prepare to perform a wedding in San Francisco?

The Wedding Training section of our site provides you with all the information and training required to officiate your first wedding in San Francisco. Additionally, AMM Ministers that register their weddings gain access to exclusive personalized ceremony scripts and other tools that help them prepare for, and perform marriages.

We have also taken the hard work out of preparing for and performing weddings with our Minister Ordination Package, which contains everything you need to perform marriage ceremonies in San Francisco. In addition to everything that might be required for San Francisco government minister licensing, this package contains our guide to officiating weddings, full accreditation and proof of your new title, and is presented in an elegant holder.

How do I fill out a marriage license in San Francisco?

Completing the marriage license as an officiant is not a complicated task but it is one that you want to do properly the first time. If you have any questions about the specific fields on the marriage license and what you should write, follow this link to read our Officiant Guidelines for Handling the Marriage License

What are my legal responsibilities as the Wedding Officiant?

Your legal responsibility as the Wedding Officiant is to:

  1. Ask the couple to present their Marriage License: The couple should have the marriage license with them, as it is their responsibility to apply for and obtain the document from the City and County of San Francisco - Office of the County Clerk
  2. Confirm that the Marriage License is valid: All states have different laws governing the window of time during which the marriage license is valid and can be signed. In the City and County of San Francisco, marriage licenses must be issued within 90 days of your ceremony.
  3. Complete and Sign the Marriage License: Once you are satisfied that the marriage license is valid and all the information is presented correctly, complete the fields relevant to you and sign the license along with any required witnesses.
  4. Return the Marriage License to its Issuance Office: This is the couple's responsibility and the marriage license can be returned either in person, or by mail. The specific instructions regarding how to fill it out and return it will be included when the couple files for the marriage license so read the instructions carefully.


  • How do I apply for a marriage license in San Francisco, California?

    Marriage licenses are issued by the City and County of San Francisco - Office of the County Clerk. Appointments must be scheduled in advance – no walk-ins are accepted. Follow this link to schedule your appointment.

  • How much does a marriage license in San Francisco cost?

    Wedding licenses issued by the City and County of San Francisco - Office of the County Clerk cost $107.00 (*price subject to change) – collected at the time of scheduling. You can pay with cash, money order, credit card or debit card in person.

  • When should I apply for a marriage license in San Francisco, California?

    It is important to carefully consider the date and time of your reservation before scheduling, as California Marriage Licenses must be issued within 90 days of your Ceremony appointment. That means the ceremony must take place in California within 90 days of when the marriage license is issued.

  • What is the status of same-sex marriages in San Francisco, California?

    Since June 28, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dissolved the stay of the order enjoining the enforcement of Proposition 8, which restricted the rights of LGBTQ couples to marry. Currently, every county in the State of California is required to recognize the rights of same sex couples to legally marry. American Marriage Ministries is a LGBTQ embracing non-denominational church, and our ministers are empowered to unite all consenting adults in the institution of marriage.

  • Visit our Wedding Ceremony Training for instructions on how to Officiate a Wedding.