How to Officiate Weddings in Long Beach
A Long Beach Wedding Guide for Wedding Ministers and Couples
Just south of the action, Long Beach bills itself as California’s “Urban Waterfront Playground™” (yeah, they actually trademarked it, so it must be the case). This southern parcel of the Los Angeles metropolitan area also happens to be the perfect wedding spot for countless reasons, starting with the city’s sunny, balmy beach vibes. Add to that a slew of cultural attractions, some serious cultural diversity, unique events, trendy shopping, killer culinary scene, and it’s increasingly clear why more couples are choosing this place to tie the knot.
Anyway, our job today isn’t really to sell you on Long Beach. We’ll leave that to the city’s well-funded marketing department. Today, we’re going to talk about how to get ordained, plan a wedding ceremony, and perform a legally valid wedding ceremony in Long Beach.
Got questions about your ordination credentials? Minister licensing? Marriage Licenses? Witnesses and Signatures? Other planning questions? Then keep reading…
California State law stipulates that in addition to certain government officials, the following people may solemnize marriage:
“A priest, minister, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination who is 18 years of age or older…”
Once you get ordained with American Marriage Ministries, you become a minister in good standing with our church. That makes you a “priest, minister, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination.” Now would be a good time to become legally empowered to perform weddings in Long Beach California (and everywhere else in the USA). Click here and get ordained.
After that’s taken care of, we recommend purchasing your ordination documents from our store. These official documents could be requested by government officials, and are an easy way to prove that the marriage was legal. They can be shown to the couple, other wedding professionals, the venue, and anyone else who might ask, “are you really a minister?”
Congratulations, you’re a minister, or soon to be! If you were asked to officiate a wedding, that’s a huge deal. Creating a memorable ceremony takes some research and planning. Want help? Check out our wedding training pages. Over the last decade, we have put together training materials to help you prepare for your first ceremony, and ensure that it goes smoothly and that you feel confident up there.
It’s important that you start early, and take advantage of our training materials because like most things in life, you get out of it what you put in, and weddings are important.
There’s just one more matter to cover here -- taking care of the marriage license. It is the couple’s responsibility to obtain and complete the marriage license from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, so double check that they have done so before performing the ceremony. You don’t want the big day to arrive without the proper documents in hand!
Once the ceremony is over and the marriage license is signed, you have performed all of your functions as the wedding officiant. In Long Beach, the signed marriage license must be returned to the county clerk, or county recorder’s office in-person or by mail within ten (10) days after the ceremony.
Before the wedding, you need to apply for a marriage license by appearing together, in-person, at any branch location of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office. The closest location to Long Beach is the branch office headquarters in Norwalk, California. The Norwalk branch address is: 12400 Imperial Highway, Norwalk, California 90650.
The couple needs to complete the application form and present valid identification. Acceptable forms of I.D. must provide photo and age verification include:
- Driver's license
- Military I.D.
- Resident Alien Card
Remember that California marriage licenses are only valid for 90 days from the date of issuance, so plan the license and wedding date with this in mind.
Public license Fee: $91.00
Address: 12400 Imperial Highway, Norwalk, CA 90650
Contact: Ph: (800) 201-8999
Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. / M – F
With almost year-round sunshine, Long Beach couples don’t have to worry too much about rain on their wedding day (even if that is a good indicator of things to come). In fact, the only “chill” you’re going to feel is that cool ocean breeze wafting in off the Pacific Ocean in the evening.
Honestly, the only thing you really have to worry about is parking and trust us, it’s a nightmare! Long Beach is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, so expect some of the congestion and big-city frustration when planning your wedding.
When it comes to venues, you’re looking at pretty much the same spectrum as any other large metropolitan area, but with ocean views added. On the budget end of the spectrum, the pickings are slim, but the city has great public parks and reservations can be made here. Our position at AMM is that what matters most is the quality of the ceremony, and we’ve been to back-yard weddings that totally changed our conception of what a wedding can be, so get creative!
Your options in Long Beach increase considerably as your budget expands. Check out the RMS Queen Mary, where they have been doing weddings for over 70 years. And if it looks familiar, that’s because it was featured in Arrested Development as the location for the Bluth family’s celebration of George’s exoneration. If you haven’t watched it, close this page and start immediately!
Travel – Long Beach is in southeastern Los Angeles County, bordering Los Angeles and Orange County. In other words, it’s at the nexus of some major transportation hubs. Out of towners are probably going to get the best deals through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) but over the last decade, regional carriers have added flights into Orange County/John Wayne Airport and Long Beach Airport, so shop around.
Once on the ground, there are plenty of public transit options, but rideshares, taxis, or rentals are the most convenient. Just keep in mind that parking is a nightmare, and can cost upwards of $60 a day.
Weather -- We’re going to make this simple. The weather is almost always great, as long as you are up for a little SoCal heat during the summer. Overall though, temperatures are moderate and ideal for weddings both indoor and out. High temperatures in the summer range from 70 to 80 degrees with winter highs at a comfortable range between 67 to 73 degrees making Long Beach the ultimate year-round destination.▲ TOP