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5 Steps For Getting Married At The Old Orange County Courthouse

UPDATE as of June 12, 2020

The Old Orange County Courthouse is currently under construction. This means we can only take photos in front of the courthouse.

Due to Covid-19, only one person can go in with the couple.

Face coverings are strictly enforced. You cannot enter the building without a mask.

All marriage licenses and ceremonies are by appointment only. No walk-ins accepted at this time.

Photos can still be taken inside but they are limited to the foyer and staircase. The second floor is closed off.

At this time we recommend setting aside 20-30 minutes before or after your ceremony for a beautiful photo session. We have all the best locations to take you to. All within walking distance to the courthouse.

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Midweek elopements at the historic Old ORange Counry Courthouse are perfect for romantic portraits.

1. Choose Your Date

Your first step is to decide on the date you want to elope.

  • The courthouse is open Monday-Friday from 8 am -4 pm 
  • Walk-in reservations are currently unavailable.
  • Complete Your Application and Make an Appointment online.
  • Up to date info can be found here.
  • To request a marriage license and appointment online Link here
  • You can book your ceremony for up to 6 months in advance.
  • If you want to get married on a Saturday you are in luck. The courthouse is open 1 Saturday a month. Check the schedule for current dates.

Read more here on how to avoid the busy times.

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Moments before the couple has their private civil ceremony at the Old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana.

3. What You Need To Bring

There are 2 really important things you need to bring to get married.

  1. Both parties have to be at the courthouse in person.
  2. Valid I.D
  • Valid I.D. Be sure to bring a valid form of government-issued photo I.D.
  • A current driver’s license or a passport.
  • Your I.D. must be shown to the Orange County Clerk-Recorder’s office to apply for your marriage license.
  • Both individuals have to show their I.D.

3. Don’t Forget A Witness

Important* The court WILL NOT provide a witness for you. 

  • Witness. Don’t forget your witness.
  • You must bring a witness to sign the marriage license and be present at the ceremony.
  • This can be any person you choose.
  • Even the photographer you hire can be your witness.
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4. Know The Fees

There are 2 fees that will need to paid in person at the courthouse.

  1. Marriage license The current fee is $61 for a public marriage license or $66 for a confidential marriage license.
  2. The ceremony fee This fee is $28
  3. Acceptable forms of payment: Cash, personal check, cashiers check, and most major credit cards. Be sure to always check the website for up to date fees.

5. Civil Ceremony

All marriage ceremonies will be performed at the service desk/counter. Ceremony rooms are not available at this time. 

  • The ceremony is 5 minutes long. No joke.
  • A civil non-sectarian ceremony will be performed by a Deputy Commissioner of Marriage.
  • Civil ceremonies are available by appointment only. Walk-ins will not be accommodated. Book your ceremony appointment here.
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After the civil ceremony, we take photos of the newlyweds in the room where the wedding is performed.

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