Bakersfield, California Wedding Guide

Become a Wedding Officiant in Bakersfield as an AMM Ordained Minister. Learn more about getting ordained in California, officiant training, wedding ceremony planning, and more.

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How to Officiate a Wedding in Bakersfield, California

If you've never visited Bakersfield, then you’ll experience Nashville West, as it is affectionately known, in one of two ways: a breath of fresh air, or a complete snooze fest. While it’s less exciting than glamorous Los Angeles or the bustling Bay Area, this shy Southern California town harkens back to a simpler time -- people are friendlier, housing is still affordable, and old fashioned ice cream parlors and honky tonk cowboy bars remain the social watering holes. 


Generations have passed since its Old West days, but this town’s roots in the Gold Rush era and its blue collar backbone is still very much a part of the spirit of the community.


So, if you’re getting married in Bakersfield, we’d be honored to help you plan a wedding that will pull at the heartstrings of your guests as much as this roughneck California drilling town pulls at ours. But before you start dreaming of a dreamy sunny California day of white lace, cowboy boots and bolo ties, let us help you get the logistics of your special day squared away.

California Wedding Tips and Tricks

Become a Wedding Officiant

For The
Wedding Officiant

Step 1: Get Ordained with American Marriage Ministries


Let’s start with the ordainment process. According to Kern County Clerk’s website, anyone who is authorized to perform marriages in California, as provided in Family Code Section 400-401, may perform your ceremony.


If you’ve been asked to officiate a ceremony, you can get ordained with AMM to fall within the “priest or minister” category shown in the Family Code. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.


When it comes time to perform your duties as the officiant, it’s possible that Kern County may ask you to present documentation, which AMM provides for a fee. (You can call the county clerk’s office before you perform the ceremony to ask if they will require you to present a certificate.)


Step 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Kern County


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.


Step 3: Officiate the Wedding and Complete the Marriage License


When it comes time to sign the marriage license, it’s the couple’s responsibility to obtain and complete the marriage license, but just be sure to double check that they have a valid marriage license before the ceremony.


In Bakersfield, once you have performed the ceremony and notarized the marriage license, you have successfully performed all of your functions as the wedding officiant. The couple will take care of the rest.

California Wedding

How To Get Married in Bakersfield

For The

File for the Marriage License from the Kern County Clerk's Office


Now let’s turn our attention to the couple’s responsibilities. To obtain your marriage license, both members of the couple will have to visit Kern County Administrative Building at 1115 Truxtun Avenue on the first floor. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am - 3:00 pm. 


When you go, just remember to bring:


  • Government issued picture IDs
  • $101 for the public marriage license ($123 for private) as cashier's check or money order made payable to Kern County Clerk
  • Birth certificates (optional, but it expedites the process)


That’s it! Once you’ve applied, there is no waiting period, so you can use your marriage license anywhere in California for up to 90 days.

Kern County Marriage License Info

Important Facts to know before filing for a marriage license in Bakersfield, California.

Issuance Office: 1115 Truxtun Avenue Bakersfield, CA 93301
Fee: $101 for Public Marriage License, $123 for Private Marriage License
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 90 days
Return: by Couple

Bakersfield Wedding Tips and Tricks

Wedding Venue and Planning Tips

For The Couple
& Officiant

The Basics


After Bakersfield was founded on the heels of the California Gold Rush, it became an oil-industry town, which remains the foundation of its economy to this day. Some naysayers complain that there isn’t much nature in Bakersfield, besides the farmland and oil fields, but if you head outside the city limits, there are some true gems to be discovered.


Lake Isabella, which is just an hour’s drive, is a recreational oasis and home to one of our favorite venues in the area, the Lodge at Painted Rock. It’s smack-dab in the middle of that rustic California desert scenery with the comfortable amenities of the grand lodge and surrounding manicured landscaping that provides an ideal setting for a big reception.


But if you’d rather stay closer to center, you can get a taste of country western at the JEH Ranch, just 20 minutes from downtown Bakersfield. In addition to the beautiful main house and backyard, it’s got a barn and riding arena, cigar bar and separate western saloon within its green acreage. It’s 1800s period decor will give your wedding photos serious West World vibes.


The historic Noriega House is another similar option -- a 4,000 square foot Queen Anne Cottage built in 1900 and restored in 1997 with a charming interior, impeccable garden and black-and-white tiled outdoor dance floor that will inspire you to learn to square dance.




Public transportation in Bakersfield is pretty decent. There are two bus systems available: for travel in the city and its suburbs, there is the Golden Empire Transit (GET), which services most major streets. Kern Transit connects Bakersfield with other neighboring cities and conveniently, to Los Angeles. However, if the wedding venue and/or other wedding-related events are spread around Bakersfield, you may want to opt for Lyft or Uber if you’re from out of town, or even consider renting a car for a couple of days. (You’ll enjoy rolling through the farm-scape with an In-n-Out burger in hand.)




Fall and spring are Bakersfield’s best seasons, as they fall between the infamously hot, dry summer and winter season, which can get surprisingly cold. March and April are ideal, as temperatures stay in the 70s. In May, temps rise to the 80s and stay in the 90s and 100s through September. October and November can also be great months to plan a wedding, as the weather cools down to a perfect temperature, and luckily, rain is scarce in the region, so there is a low risk of an autumn downpour putting a damper on your day.

Bakersfield Officiant FAQ

Bakersfield Officiant & Couples FAQ

For The Couple
& Officiant

Do both parties have to be present in order to obtain a marriage license?

Yes, both members of the couple need to go down to the Kern County Clerk’s office at the Kern County Administrative Building in order to apply for and obtain a marriage license.

Can we use the marriage license outside of Bakersfield?

Once obtained, the marriage license can be used anywhere in California.

What are the citizenship requirements to obtain a marriage license in Bakersfield?

You do not need to be a U.S. citizen or California resident to apply for a marriage license in Bakersfield.

Do we need to bring our birth certificates in order to obtain a marriage license in Kern County?

No, but it will expedite the process if you do.

Once we’ve obtained the marriage license, how long do we have to wait before we can use it?

You will receive your marriage license immediately after you submit your application and can use it the same day.


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Who Will Officiate Your Wedding?

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Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Our premiere package contains everyting you need to officiate like a pro.

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

It's finally here! Timeless scripts and heartfelt vow inspiration to bring life to your ceremony.

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