I bet you never heard that phrase before. But, yes, this is a real sentence we just heard from a deputy marriage commissioner during the actual wedding ceremony. This happened at City Hall after California fully reopened on June 15th and most mask mandates were dropped. But that's not all.
First things first: Before COVID, couples already had to spend a long time registering, completing the paperwork and waiting for the available officiant and for the other couples. Things were behind the schedule quite often. Today things are still very slow even though City Hall is practically empty. For some reason, Rotunda now is barricaded which makes photography harder and gives an overall "caged" feel.
A lot of our couples reserved the ceremony through the County Clerk's office. And while there are some wonderful and awesome people , other officiants will still require couples to wear masks during the ceremony which gives photos Chernobyl style apocalyptical taste. Even those who okay with couples not wearing masks often use N95 masks themselves. And if you are familiar with it's shape, you'd probably agree that this is not the most photogenic background for your wedding ceremony.
Below you can see the Rotunda before it was barricaded. Click on 4th Floor Ceremony Icon in the 3D tour to see a couple having a Ceremony without a County Clerk's office.
It's actually quite simple: City Hall is a public building anyone can enter from 8AM till 5PM (City Hall now closes at 5PM). We encourage couples to bring a small group in accordance with rules. Once you enter, your officiant will take you to the available spot (there are many on all 4 levels and in 90% of the chances you will even be able to choose) and have an intimate Ceremony without the hassle of registering through the County Clerk's office.
You will need a marriage license obtained anywhere in California and a wedding officiant. There a number of highly professional, reliable and charming officiants who will turn your marriage ceremony to an unforgettable experience. Tim Mills, Cynthia Gregory and Nilou Weddings are one of them.
Note: None of the officiants we worked with required any reservations with City Hall. All they need is an available spot to marry you.
Below is a wedding performed by a friend at an available location without County Clerk's Office involvement.
And occasionally a nice person from a County Clerk's office may be okay performing a Ceremony at an available spot.
The information above is provided to the best of our knowledge and over 15 years of experience. We cannot guarantee availability and encourage couples to verify things with City Hall.