You Are Getting Married!
One of the most wonderful moments in your life is about to happen and I am thrilled that you have landed on my page for me to help make this magical moment a reality.
Love does not discriminate. It is an honor for me to unite any couple to start the next chapter in their beautiful life. Your partnership and dedication to each other is one that is to be shared with family and friends, and I am here to help make this happen.
I am currently offering my officiating services in Orange County. I will help with each step and ensure that all legal documents are filed appropriately.
See below for my pricing, references, and templates to help you along the way. I look forward to hearing from you.
We charge a flat fee of $325 to officiate your wedding.
We charge a $50 travel fee if your venue is located more than an hour’s drive from Dana Point. There are no other charges or surprises.
A $100 deposit is required whenever you would like us to block off your wedding on our calendar. The balance is due the day of the wedding. Because we schedule weddings so far in advance, your deposit is not refundable, however, we’re happy to reschedule dates for you if our schedule allows.
Please note: I won’t hold a date for you until we’ve received your deposit, because scheduling/booking weddings without a deposit gets too confusing. The deposit can be paid using any electronic payment like Venmo, Zelle (714-209-8500), or credit/debit card (with a 4% service fee added).
After your wedding, click HERE for the Orange County Clerk’s form to request a certified copy of your marriage license by mail. You’ll need to find forms for other counties on their website.
Whether you have one in mind or need me to help create one based on your vision, I am here to help. Here are some articles to help you zero in on the type of ceremonies that will work for you.
There is a lot to do and think about when planning your big day. Whether you are having a small intimate backyard wedding or a large elaborate wedding, having the right vendor for your needs is key.
Here are a few of my favorite lists and vendors:
We will officiate your wedding at an Orange County jail or prison for a flat fee of $275 (no discounts). A jailhouse wedding can easily take 4 or more hours of our time, between waiting in line at the County Recorder with the bride to take an oath, and waiting through the visiting lines at the jail and performing the ceremony.
These instructions apply to getting married at James A. Musick Facility in Irvine, Theo Lacy Facility in Orange, and Men’s Central Jail IRC in Santa Ana. The Santa Ana Jail has slightly different rules, but we’ve had weddings there as well.
NOTE: You MUST have your fiance’s driver’s license, California ID, or passport in your hand – or the Orange County Clerk will NOT issue you a marriage license. Feel free to call them about their requirements.
Here are the requirements for Orange County:
Read these requirements carefully, and follow them to the letter!
First, the prisoner must submit an inmate message slip to the Classification Sergeant, requesting permission to get married while in jail (this requirement is enforced at Men’s Central, but no one seems to care at Theo Lacy – but it’s better to be safe than sorry). A week or two later, the Classification Sergeant will send the prisoner a permission slip and the prisoner MUST HAVE THAT PERMISSION SLIP in hand, or the wedding will not be allowed to take place. On 12/29/2018, we have turned away from officiating a wedding at Men’s Central Jail, because the prisoner did not have written permission. This rule applies to all O.C. Jails, but probably Theo Lacy and Musick won’t enforce the rule.
The marriage license applicant who is able to appear before the County Clerk-Recorder must obtain an “Inability to Appear” form from the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department and have it notarized by a Notary Public who visits the prisoner at the jail. This “Inability to Appear” form must be signed by the prisoner in front of a notary. This form is available by walking into the Marriage License office in Santa Ana, or I have a copy.
The notary can NOT be the same person as the officiant. A Notary Public with security clearance can visit the prisoner during the same hours as the attorneys. A regular Notary who does not have security clearance may visit the prisoner with you on the weekend as a regular visitor, but note that some prisons limit visitors to 2 per day.
Here are two reasonably priced notaries, who have Security Clearance at the jails:
Barbara, cell: 949-566-4191, e-mail: BarbarasellsOC@gmail.com. I believe she charges $100 to notarize at the jail, but please ask her for her rates.
Teresa, cell: 949-702-3551, e-mail: Info@IDinOC.com. I believe she charges $150, and she may charge an extra $15/signature. Please ask her for her rates.
Please note: You MUST have a current driver’s license or passport or government-issued photo identification for the prisoner, or the County Clerk will not give you a marriage license. If you aren’t sure that you have acceptable identification for the prisoner, you should go to the marriage license office and show the clerk what identification you have, to see if it is acceptable, before you spend money on a Notary, or your wedding minister.
The applicant (Bride or Groom) must appear at the County Clerk-Recorder Department (in the Old Courthouse in Santa Ana, on the corner of Broadway and Civic Center) to obtain the marriage license. Your minister, the person “solemnizing the ceremony” (that’s me) MUST ACCOMPANY YOU. Original Government Issued Photo I.D. for both the bride and groom are required (no exceptions), along with proof that the person is currently incarcerated – a recent receipt from the jail works, but the receipt must be dated within the past few weeks. If you have any questions, ask the person working at the Marriage License counter.
IF your fiancé is in Immigration Holding (ICE), he must also get permission from that department prior to getting married.
Here’s a checklist for when you go to pick up your marriage license:
1. Make sure your fiancé has a written permission slip from the Classification Sergeant – especially at Men’s Central or the IRC.
2. Bring $275 cash for your wedding Officiant, or, you can pay us in advance using VENMO, Zelle, Chase QuickPay, Square, or Paypal to Family & Friends. We can email you in invoice that you can pay with a credit card as well. Money order or cashiers check are fine, but not a personal check, because we don’t have time to cash it.
3. Bring $65 to pay for your CONFIDENTIAL marriage license (I believe the County Clerk accepts debit cards and checks)
4. Bring the notarized Inability to Appear form. Pick up the form at the Old County Courthouse, Marriage License Office, corner of Santa Ana Blvd. and Broadway, in Santa Ana. Or I can email you a copy of the form.
5. Bring proof that your fiancé is incarcerated. Any recent papers from the court showing your fiancé is in jail, or a recent receipt from depositing money into your fiancés account at the jail will suffice. The County Clerk will not accept an old receipt. Nor will they accept a receipt on your cell phone. They want a paper receipt. It is RIDICULOUS.
6. Bring your driver’s license.
7. Bring your fiancé’s driver’s license or passport (no exceptions – if you haven’t got your fiancé’s ID, call the County Recorder to ask for advice).
Before you go to pick up your marriage license, fill out the online application form for a CONFIDENTIAL MARRIAGE LICENSE on the County Clerk’s website.
To get a confidential license, you must state that the two of you have been living together at the same address. Don’t get a public license, because a witness will not be allowed to go with you on your prisoner visit.
- Meet your Officiant on the FRONT steps to the old courthouse, or in the computer room at the Marriage License office. The front of the courthouse faces Santa Ana Blvd., with the morning sunshine on the steps and canons on the grass.
- Go inside with your Officiant. If you haven’t filled out the online application, stop at a computer kiosk and fill out the information. You will need to know information about your fiancé’s parents (names, places of birth, etc.) and the dates of past divorces.
- Tell the clerk to leave the date of marriage blank, just in case the marriage happens on a different date. Plans can and do get messed up! For instance, the jail could go on lockdown, and your visit for the day would be canceled.
- After you receive your license (they’re really slow), you and your Officiant will drive to the jail and get in line to visit the prisoner, where you will wait to visit the prisoner. It is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY that you tell the guard when you check-in that you need a visiting booth where you can “pass papers”.
- Get the name of the guard who you told that you need to pass papers, and when it’s your turn to visit the prisoner, double-check that you will be assigned a booth where you can pass paper – and get the name of that guard as well. The guards like to play games, and pretend like you and/or your Officiant didn’t request to pass papers, so get their names so you can say, “Officer Hernandez out front said we would be able to pass papers.”
- Once in the visitor’s booth, your Officiant will try to get your fiancés signature on the paper at the beginning and will conduct a legal wedding ceremony, after which your Officiant will take the completed marriage certificate (we will get it to the county recorders office), and leave you to spend the rest of your visit time with your new spouse.
The Officiant must complete and return the marriage license.
Based on countless weddings I have officiated, here’s an oddball list of what seems to work, and what doesn’t work (in no particular order), at wedding ceremonies:
- Personal vows. ALWAYS a winner!
- A friend singing
- Throwing flower petals and/or blowing bubbles
- Giving flowers, a rose, a lei, to mothers / dads / grandparents during the ceremony
- Live music – a friend strumming guitar, strings, bongo drums
- Having someone who loves you contribute to your ceremony by reading a poem, saying a marriage blessing, or even telling a little story.
- Being surrounded by people who love you.
- Having both mom AND dad, or two dads, or just mom – walk the bride down the aisle.
- Having the parents walk in with the groom – in some cultures, that’s tradition.
- Bringing in any and all cultural traditions to your ceremony (stomping on a glass, jumping over the broom, tea ceremony, lasso, coin exchange, etc.).
- A sand ceremony – works great at beach weddings – and it’s really fun when the bride and groom have their kids participate
- Having a glass of champagne (or a shot of tequila) BEFORE the ceremony. It calms the nerves. However, having SEVERAL drinks goes on my second list.
- A bubble machine.
- Creating your own unique wedding traditions to hand down to your children.
- Serving a glass of champagne to your guests as they arrive. The celebration starts the moment they get there.
- Bare feet or flip flops at a beach wedding.
- Cramming everyone into a party bus or a limo to get to the wedding site, on to the restaurant, and back to the parking area (it’s fun!).
- Getting someone (your sister or your wedding coordinator) to call ALL YOUR VENDORS with a friendly reminder the day before your ceremony.
- Anything that makes you happy and makes you smile.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK
- Fake rose petals at the beach or at a public venue. You have to pick them all up!
- Water-soluble mascara. Ladies, buy waterproof mascara if you’re sentimental and likely to cry.
- Having shiny makeup. Your cheeks and nose will glow like a flashlight in pictures (have powder handy).
- Careful with the spray on tan! You may end up looking yellow in all your wedding pictures.
- Any downtown Laguna Beach location near downtown on a summer Saturday afternoon. Tourists are everywhere, traffic is awful, and there’s no parking. Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach have the same problem.
- Expectations will mess you up every time – instead, relax, go with the flow, and enjoy your day.
- Any busy park location where cars are driving by. Someone always yells, “Don’t do it!”, as they whiz by.
- Thinking your ceremony will start on time. They always seem to start 15-20 minutes late.
- Having a runner on the ground for the bride to walk down the aisle at a grassy park or beach wedding. The runner always gets messed up, stepped on, crumpled, or blows away (throw down rose petals instead).
- Being late for a sunset wedding. The sun won’t wait for you!
- A bridal gown that the bride can’t sit down in. The bride always seems miserable in those stiff uncomfortable dresses.
- Having a lot of décor items at a beach wedding. When you’re getting married on the sand, apply the KISS* principal!
- Too much verbiage in your ceremony. Your guests get seriously bored, and the ceremony becomes less meaningful to the bride and groom when the talking goes on and on and on and on.
- Planning your wedding ceremony to please others. This day is all about YOU.
- Having your guests sit in full sunshine on a hot summer day can be miserable. Solution: Provide cheap oriental umbrellas and have a bucket of cold water bottles available.
- If you’re getting married at the beach, check the tide calendar – then go to your beach when the tide is about the same as it will be on your wedding day.
Have Kay Officiate Your Special Day
It would be my honor to legally unite your sacred partnership.
If you have any questions about my service or would like to learn more about the next steps, contact me today!
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