How to Officiate Weddings in San Jose

A guide for officiating weddings and planning ceremonies the capitol of Silicon Valley


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San Jose is world famous as the unofficial capital of Silicon Valley, the center of technology, social media, and innovation. The area also happens to have wonderful options for hosting the perfect wedding. San Jose has a sprawling metro area comprised of tech campuses, cozy suburban neighborhoods, and a business district filled with high rises.

 

San Jose is surrounded by the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range as well has being near the Pacific Ocean, the Sierra Nevada, and hundreds of wineries. All of these provide for numerous opportunities for scenic outdoor wedding ceremonies. Plus, with 300 sunny days a year you’ll have plenty of options to plan your special day.




How To Perform Marriage in San Jose

Steps for the Wedding Officiant

STEP 1: Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries

 

First the Minster must get ordainment process. According to California’s government website: “marriage may be solemnized by a priest, minister, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination who is 18 years of age or older.

 

If your are ordained through AMM, you are officially an ordained minister in the eyes of the law. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.

 

When it comes time to perform your duties as the officiant, Santa Clara may ask you to present proof of your status as an ordained minister. You can give their county clerk’s office a call to ask if they’ll need it. If that’s the case, or you just want to be prepared, AMM can provide your official documentation, available from our store.

 

STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Santa Clara County

 

Getting ordained is easy, and now we can help you prepare for the wedding ceremony itself. Being asked to officiate a wedding is an honor, but sometimes can feel like a lot of pressure. Make things a little easier on yourself by going to our wedding training pages. These are a library of information that will help you prepare for your first ceremony and ensure that it goes smoothly.

 

There you can find everything from sample wedding ceremony scripts, to  brainstorming prompts, tips for preparation, and more.

 

STEP 3: Officiate the Wedding and Complete the Marriage License

 

Now, back to taking care of the marriage license. It is the couple’s responsibility to obtain and complete the marriage license, but just be sure to double check that they have done so before performing the ceremony.

 

Once the festivities are over and the marriage license is properly signed, you have successfully performed all of your functions as the wedding officiant. Just remind them to return the marriage license within 90 days of the ceremon

 

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How To Get Married in San Jose

Steps for the Couple

File for the Marriage License from the Santa Clara County Clerk's Office

 

You can find a printable PDF of the marriage license application online and fill it out ahead of time to get a head start, if you want. In order to complete the process, one or both members of the couple will have to visit the Clerk-Recorder’s Office 70 W. Hedding, 1st Floor, East Wing San Jose, CA 95110 with the following:

 

 

Santa Clara County Marriage License Info

 

  • Issuance Office: 70 W. Hedding, 1st Floor, East Wing
  • Fee: $80 
  • Waiting Period: None
  • Expiration: 90 days
  • Return: by Couple


Wedding Venue and Planning Tips



The Basics -- San Jose and Santa Clara County have numerous locations for every sized wedding budget. Options range from garden paradises, to rustic barns, to lush wineries.

One of our favorites is the historic Hotel De Anza. With gold accents, etched glass and distinctive fixtures, this is the perfect spot for a fan of Art Deco. Guests will walk through French doors that lead to a sheltered courtyard enclosed by terracotta-colored walls crawling with ivy. The sound of flowing water are provided by two fountains set into the walls. The area is surrounded by palms, ferns and flowers and add color and freshness.

 

If you want to get married surrounded by towering redwoods, then Freedom Hall & Garden is the spot for you. You can take wonderful wedding photos with a backdrop of a natural garden, splashing fountains, or large ponds. The bride, groom, or couple, will dazzle their guests as they glide across a bridge that goes over a pond, onto a brick pathway to stand in front of the fountains for the ceremony.

 

Transportation -- The main public transit in San Jose is buses and light-rails provided primarily by VTA.

 

San Jose’s downtown is compact enough and flat enough that you and your guests could get to all the best destinations on foot. If you don’t want to walk, all the major areas downtown are accessible by VTA's free DASH shuttle, which operates all day on weekdays.

 

If you are arriving by rail, Diridon Station is the city's primary station, located at the west end of downtown VTA's free DASH shuttle connects Diridon Station to the rest of downtown.

 

Mineta International Airport is served by VTA Route 10, which connects to the Metro/Airport Light Rail Station and Santa Clara Caltrain Station. Buses are free and feature luggage racks, and service operates daily every 15 minutes throughout most of the day. From downtown, travelers should board any light-rail line and ride north to Metro/Airport to catch the bus.

 

Weather -- San Jose, like most of the Bay Area, has warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. There are about 300 days of sunshine a year. There are usually less than three days a year that the temperature hits freezing.  The city is inland and surrounded on three sides by mountains. These give San Jose  shelter from rain. 

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Weddings in San Jose FAQ

 

  • In California, Is there a waiting period after you’ve completed the marriage license before you can use it?

    No. California marriage licenses are only valid for 90 days, so you must obtain your marriage license within the 90 days immediately prior to your wedding date. There is no waiting period.
     
  • How much does a marriage license cost in San Jose?

    For in town residents, the price is $80.
     
  • Do both members of the couple need to be present in order to apply for a marriage license in Ann Arbor?

    No, as long as one of the members bring all the required documents (listed above) to the county clerk’s office when they apply.

     


 

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