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The art of marriage is not only marrying the right person, it is being the right partner.

Anon

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California Wedding Legalities

Minimum Residency:

There is no minimum stay involved when marrying in California or Florida. But it is advisable to collect your licence at least one day before the ceremony.

Marriage licence application process:

In California, the County Clerk issues all marriage licenses. There are 58 counties in California - click here to get a list of them and find the one close to your wedding venue.

1) Couples must apply for a marriage licence through a County Clerks Office. You don’t have to apply for a license in the same county you are marrying in, as long as the ceremony is taking place somewhere in California.

Some Clerk offices request that you apply in person, others you can apply online (LA County for example). But you must collect in person.

2) Marriage licences are usually issued on the same day of application and are valid for 90 days so get married within 3 months of picking it up!

Essential Documents:

* Passport

* Some counties also require birth certificate

Additional Documents - where relevant:

* Details of a divorce or death if applicable (some counties require copies of divorce decree or death certificate so take just to be safe).

Witnesses

Rather unusually, California only states that you need one witness at your wedding ceremony.

Additional Information

There are two types of marriage licence - 'Public' and 'Confidential'. Under most circumstances British citizens will be applying for a Public licence.

Click here to get the specific details for the California County you are marrying in.

Click here for more general information about getting married in California.

Fees:

$70 - payable on the day of application (2009)

Marriage Certificate - California Wedding:

The person who performs the ceremony is required by law to complete the marriage licence and return it to the County Recorders office within 10 days of the event for registration.

You can request a copy of your marriage certificate (fee payable to the County Recorder). There’s a link to the application form on the website.

Florida Wedding Legalities

Marriage Licence Application Process

1) Couples need to apply in person at an Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court in any Florida county (there's 67 counties in Florida).

You don't have to get your licence from the same county you are marrying in - as long as your wedding is being held somewhere in Florida.

2) Licences are issued straight away for non-Florida residents and are valid for 60 days.

Essential documents for your Florida marriage licence:

* Passport

Additional documents - where relevant:

* Details of the date of divorce, annulment or spouse's death.

Fees

$96.00 payable on the day of application.