How to Officiate Weddings in Chula Vista
A Chula Vista Wedding Ceremony How-To for Wedding Ministers and Couples
Chula Vista translates to “beautiful sight” or “cool view” -- an apt name for this peaceful, suburban community just south of the hustle and bustle of San Diego. It’s an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with its miles of trails, coastline, mountains and ever-present sunshine. But the town’s name takes on extra meaning if you’re talking about its wedding venues. Whether you’re dreaming of a glamorous SoCal celebration at the yacht club or a quaint and meaningful ceremony in a vast meadow under an ancient oak tree, Chula’s chock full of beautiful views that are perfect settings to say “I do.”
For wedding ministers, you’re in luck too. California’s marriage laws make it easy for you to get ordained online and perform wedding ceremonies. There's our simple online ordination, preparing the ceremony, and dealing with the marriage license, and you're good to go!
Here at AMM, our job is to help you navigate the logistics of getting married so that you can focus on the fun parts of wedding planning, like weighing the pros and cons of a forest setting versus an ocean view. Let’s get the legal stuff out of the way first, starting with getting your officiant-of-choice ordained.
In the state of California, the following persons may perform wedding ceremonies:
“a priest, minister, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination who is 18 years of age or older”
If you do not fall into any of these categories, no sweat. You can get ordained with AMM to fall within the priest or minister category. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.
When it comes time to perform your duties as the officiant, San Diego County may ask you to present documentation, which AMM provides for a fee. Having your papers on hand is always a good idea, so you can show them to parents, wedding venues, and others that might want to know that you are an ordained minister.
Now that the easy part is out of the way, we can help you prepare for the wedding ceremony itself. Being asked to officiate a ceremony is an honor, but can feel like a lot of pressure. You will appreciate our wedding training pages, which are a library of information to help you prepare for your first ceremony and ensure that it goes smoothly.
Here you can find everything from sample wedding ceremony scripts, to brainstorming prompts, tips for preparation, and more.
When it comes time to sign the marriage license, it’s the couple’s responsibility to obtain and complete the marriage license, but as the officiant, you should be sure to check that they have a valid marriage license before the ceremony and make sure it is notarized properly.
In Chula Vista, once you have performed the ceremony and notarized the marriage license, it’s also your job to return the original marriage license to the county clerk’s office for recording within 10 days of the ceremony.
First things first: print out the marriage license application, which must be completed prior to your appointment. To obtain your actual marriage license, both members of the couple will have to visit the Chula Vista branch office at 590 3rd Ave. Make sure to book a time slot via their online portal before you go, as the office doesn’t take walk-ins. Business hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday except holidays.
When you go, just remember to bring:
- $70-89 in cash, check, and credit or debit card (the marriage license fee price differs depending on whether you want a public marriage license or a confidential marriage license)
- State issued photo ID
Also, bring a couple just bucks if you want to take advantage of some of the fun merch available at the office. “Just Married" bumper stickers are one buck and you can purchase a framed photo for $10. A portion of the proceeds from each photo sale is given to the Polinsky Children's Center every year.
Issuance Office: 590 3rd Ave. Chula Vista, CA
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 90 days
Return: by Officiant
The Basics -- Chula Vista is like San Diego’s chill, quiet sister. If you want excitement and nightlife, San Diego is the place to be, while Chula Vista is peaceful and suburban. It’s the same beautiful weather minus the tourism, traffic and long lines. And you can’t put a value on its unbeatable Mexican food. Of course, you can always head to San Diego and find dozens of great venues, but you’d be remiss to overlook the options available in Chula. There are some real gems at good prices.
Swiss Park & Hall is an old club with great indoor spaces and grounds on the southwest side of town. You can say “I do” on its perfectly kempt lawn, surrounded by dense trees. After dark, it looks gorgeous lit up with string lights. If you want to move the party inside, there is a grand reception hall with huge windows, hardwood floors and high ceilings perfect for a celebration with an extensive guest list.
But if you are dead set on a venue on the water, you can’t go wrong with the Coronado Cays Yacht Club which is beautiful at sunset and has all the amenities you could be looking for. The price point is also pretty reasonable, and the venue offers a $999 deal if you book on a Tuesday.
Or, if you want to take full advantage of the beautiful nature of SoCal on your wedding day, we recommend that you check out the San Diego county Parks & Recreation website, which has a helpful list of the area’s parks available for wedding ceremonies with short descriptions. You’ll be surprised at the number of beautiful structures that accompany some of these nature preserves -- gazebos, ranches, plazas, amphitheaters -- that make perfect settings to say your vows while still being in the peaceful outdoors.
Transportation -- If you’re a guest coming in from out of town, the bus is an affordable option to get around Chula Vista and San Diego if you’re on a budget. Check the maps on the city’s website and see if its routes will accommodate your travel needs. If not, your best bet is to rent a car, or use Lyft and Uber, which are available in the area.
Weather -- Weather in Chula Lipa is some of the most beautiful in the country. From through February, highs average at 70 degrees. In July and August, it can be scorching. When choosing your wedding date, take into account that fall is peak wedding season in California -- so that’s when venues and hotel rates will be at their highest. Winter is the least popular season for weddings, so if you’re trying to be thrifty, you should consider choosing a date between December and March.