Last Updated: October 5th, 2023
5 Essential Facts to Know Before Officiating a Wedding in California
The facts below cover all the important aspects of what requirements you need to meet to be able to legally officiate a wedding ceremony in California.
Who Can Officiate Weddings in California?
This is the relevant exerpt from the California Law § 400.
" (a) Although marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil, and not a religious, contract, a marriage may be solemnized by a priest, minister, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination who is 18 years of age or older. A person authorized by this subdivision shall not be required to solemnize a marriage that is contrary to the tenets of his or her faith. Any refusal to solemnize a marriage under this subdivision, either by an individual or by a religious denomination, shall not affect the tax-exempt status of any entity. "
Basically, this means that as long as you are ordained through any church, you can officiate weddings.
Are Online Ordinations Recognized in California?
Yes. All online ordained ministers, including those ordained through AMM are recognized in California.
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Is Government Registration Required to Officiate a Wedding in California?
The California Government does not license, register, or certify ministers or wedding officiants. Officiant registration is not required in California to officiate a wedding.
What Office Do I Register with Before Officiating a Wedding in California?
The California Government does not have any office that licenses, registers, or certifies wedding officiants.
What is the Minimum Legal Age to Officiate a Wedding in California?
All Wedding Officiants in California must be at least 18 years old.
Preparing to Officiate a Wedding in California
As there is no officiant registration required in California, once ordained your next step is to start preparing to officiate the wedding. If you have not officiated a wedding before, or it has been a while, check out our California Officiant Ceremony Preparation page.
PREPARE FOR THE CALIFORNIA WEDDING CEREMONY