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Q: weddings in big sur california ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: weddings in big sur california
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: rintin-ga
List Price: $75.00
Posted: 02 Jun 2004 19:46 PDT
Expires: 02 Jul 2004 19:46 PDT
Question ID: 355665
We live in salinas, 30 plus miles from Big Sur, Calif.  Our 26 year
old daughter from Santa Rosa, Calif.  wants to visit here around July
4th, and have a very small, very simple, wedding ceremony near the
ocean, on a beach or cliff overlooking the ocean, somewhere between
Moss Landing and Big Sur.  Then a brunch/dinner at a nearby restaurant
and a motel for them for the night.  We are nondenominational, no
church affiliations.  So  (# 1) who do we get to perform the ceremony
and;  ( #2)  where, how, do we find a wedding site, plus a close by
restaurant and hotel for them.  We are well off financially to cover
the hotel restaurant costs and to pay handsomely whoever could perform
the ceremony.  We are willing to pay a price to have some half way
easy decent ceremony pulled off!!!!  The exact day could be
negotiable, I don't think it HAS to be on the 4th, i.e., the 3rd., but
sometime close to that date. Or if some great other location has good
potential, that would be considered, up towards Santa Cruz sounds nice
Subject: Re: weddings in big sur california
Answered By: aht-ga on 02 Jun 2004 23:29 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

Congratulations! As someone whose own wedding is coming up this
summer, I have a reasonable understanding of both the highs and the
lows involved with planning this joyous event.

The first and most important step that your daughter will need to
take, is to obtain a marriage license so that the wedding can actually
happen. In California, marriage licenses are issued by County and City
Clerk offices. A license issued by any California County or City Clerk
can be used for a wedding anywhere in the State of California, with
the requirement that the license be filed with the issuing Clerk after
the ceremony has been performed. The following web pages provide you
with more information on this:


How To Get a Marriage License and Get Married in California -

California - Marriage License Laws


Now, the best option for your daughter to take is to obtain the
marriage license from Sonoma County, as that is where you mentioned
she lives. This is because one must apply in person for the marriage
license. The Sonoma County Clerk's website with information on this
can be found here:


Sonoma County - Birth, Death, and Marriage Certificates

(click on Civil Marriages and Licenses link in left menu to get to...)


That second link above about Civil Marriages is the most important
one, as it mentions the requirements (photo ID, bride and groom must
appear together in order to apply), specifies that the license is
valid for 90 days from date of issue, and states that there is a $70
cash fee required.

The second link also provides an interesting option for you and your
daughter to consider, as far as an officiant goes. The Sonoma County
Clerk has a "Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day" program, whereby
a friend or family member of the bride or groom can make an
appointment to appear at the Sonoma County Clerk's Office, go through
a short training meeting, and be sworn in as a Deputy Marriage
Commissioner for a Day (the Day being the day of the wedding, so
they'll need to know the exact date before this deputization can

In my opinion, this option will provide you with the greatest
flexibility in planning the actual wedding, as a friend or family
member should be able to accommodate any schedule restrictions that
result from booking the location, whereas a marriage commissioner
might already have other weddings scheduled throughout that weekend.
As well, a friend or family member will know the bride and groom
better than any 'stranger' would, and thus would be able to make the
ceremony much more personal and meaningful... but again that's just my

If you would prefer to investigate hiring a marriage commissioner from
the local area instead, then here are some located in Monterey County
that advertise their services online:


Soaring Starkey

Ken Robins


The cost to use a marriage commissioner will vary depending on the
amount of work and travel required for the officiant. If you do choose
to go with a commissioner, and if both of these commissioners are
already booked, they should be able to refer you to another
commissioner who may be available.

Now, for the location. For a simple wedding ceremony, you will not
need any large, elaborate facility or location. However, it is still
important to note that just about any location will require prior
booking and the payment of some form of location fee in order to
assure that you have the use of the location at a pre-agreed time.
Since the July 3-4 weekend is a holiday weekend, one problem you may
run into is that many of the resorts and parks where the most scenic
ceremony locations are found, will already be full or nearly fully
booked. With some phoning around, though, you may be able to find one
that can accommodate a small day-time ceremony in an outdoor location.
If it were me, I would start with these:


Ventana Inn - Weddings

Ragged Point Inn

Captain's Inn at Moss Landing


Any of the Ventana Inn outdoor locations would be a dream wedding, on
a sunny July day...

Even if these locations are unavailable, the coordinators listed on
their webpages would most likely be able to give you additional ideas
about spots where a small, simple ceremony can take place on an
otherwise busy holidy weekend. An interesting twist for the Captain's
Inn in particular would be to have the "Captain" officiate the wedding
for you!

With each of these resort options, you would be able to take care of
the location, restaurant, and accommodations with one call.

The Big Sur Chamber of Commerce maintains a webpage that lists some of
the resources that I have provided above, along with other supporting
services that you may be interested in:

Finally, if all of this is too overwhelming, then you might want to
consider the services of a local wedding coordinator; as long as you
limit the use of such a service to site selection, the costs should
not be outrageous. The one mentioned on the Chamber of Commerce
website appears to be quite knowledgeable:


Diane Allen - Wedding Coordinator


I hope that this Answer helps get you and your daughter started with
planning the wedding. Your options range from having your daughter's
favorite adult relative officiate a simply ceremony at a secluded
lookout off of Highway 1, to having a more elaborate, yet still
simply, ceremony and reception at a beautiful resort like the Ventana
Inn. Good luck, and please let me know via the "Request Answer
Clarification" button above if any part of this Answer is not clear.


Google Answers Researcher
rintin-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $20.00

Subject: Re: weddings in big sur california
From: aht-ga on 03 Jun 2004 08:04 PDT

Thanks for your generous tip, and I hope all goes well with the wedding!


Google Answers Researcher

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