how it works

Simple, fast, innovative elopement ceremonies tailored just for you

up, up, and away: wedding at 4500 feet * photo by Elizabeth Oakes

MarriageToGo = Simple, Legal, and Safer Elopement Ceremonies.

Availability is extremely limited. Please contact us ASAP if you need legal marriage.

How Do I Get Started with a MarriageToGo "Safer Elopement"?

First, you need to obtain a marriage license. There are two ways to do this:

1. Apply online with the L.A. Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office and book an appointment to purchase your license in person at one of RR/CC's many offices in the L.A. area.

2. If you currently cohabit, you can obtain a confidential marriage license through an authorized notary public.

We're sorry, but as of May 2023 Elizabeth Oakes is no longer offering confidential notary marriage licensing. However, if you're booking an elopement ceremony with us, we can give you a referral to a local authorized notary who can help you out. Please drop us a line for more info.

I Have A Marriage License. Now What?

Now you have your marriage license, you need to have it solemnized to complete your legal marriage. We offer you a couple choices:

  • a "Safer Elopement" civil or custom ceremony, designed to minimize viral exposure for those who still wish to be careful about COVID and other infectious agents. These are private, outdoor, distanced ceremonies for couples only (and a witness if needed).
  • Our minimal-but-still-legally-binding "Sign and Go" service.

Call us at 310.288.6658 or email us with your preferred appointment date and location. We'll get back to you with a rate quote and our availability right away.

What Next?

Once you approve your rate quote, finalize your date and time, and review and agree to our contract terms and "safer elopement" protocol, we'll email your service agreement and payment information. A non-refundable non-transferable retainer is required to reserve your appointment; for short-notice, same-day, or holiday/high-demand dates, a 100% retainer payable upon booking may be required.

For the safety of your financial information, we accept secure online payment via PayPal ONLY. Sorry, we don't accept cash, money orders, or checks of any kind, nor do we accept payment via other payment apps.

Once your retainer payment has been received, your date and time are locked in! You'll have access to our ceremony materials and authorized notary referrals, and can contact us with questions or concerns at any time. Everything can usually be completed with just a couple emails; I keep the lead-up as simple and clear as possible, and you can rest easy knowing that your legal marriage will soon be complete.

Our "Safer Elopement" ceremonies are quick, easy, and worry-free. We work hard to ensure you have a pleasant experience and happy wedding day.

How Does a Sign-and-Go Solemnization Work?

Fast and easy! Once you have your marriage license, call or email for my availability. We'll arrange a place and time, you'll make your booking payment via PayPal, and then we'll meet up to sign your marriage license. There are no vows, no rings--just your legal consent to marry and a pronouncement. If a witness is required, you'll need to provide one (though on occasion we may be able to provide a witness at an additional charge). Come as you are--that's what I'll be doing--but be sure to bring your marriage license packet, your IDs, and your witness if needed. A few minutes later, you'll go forth as married people! Great for those who have another ceremony planned or who just don't like a lot of fuss.

What If We Want To Meet You Beforehand?

I'm happy to do a "vibe check" by phone or a videoconference via Skype or Facetime before you decide. There are tons of officiants out there, all with different approaches and price-points, so it's important to feel comfortable with your officiant before you sign on.

How Much Does MarriageToGo Cost?

Want to get a basic idea of our rates? Click here to view our Rates page. MarriageToGo is not a discount service, but we provide excellent value with our proven reliability, experience, and attention to detail. Check out our Yelp ratings to see what our clients have to say.

What About Videoconference, Virtual, Proxy, and Phone Marriages?

During the pandemic emergency, some states and counties--including California--authorized virtual marriage license issuance and/or ceremonies online via videoconference with a County Clerk. However, virtual ceremonies are now no longer allowed in Los Angeles County. Marriage licensing and ceremonies in L.A. County must now take place in person to be valid.

Proxy marriage is a legal process where a party to the marriage who cannot be physically present has an attorney-in-fact appointed to represent them during an in-person ceremony. Proxy marriages are currently prohibited in California. California law allows proxy marriages for military personnel who are overseas serving in an officially declared war or conflict, but these provisions are only activated when war or conflict has been officially declared.

Please do not confuse proxy marriage--a legal process with participants present at a live ceremony--with phone marriage. Phone marriages are strictly illegal everywhere. Lawful proxy marriages are only available in a few jurisdictions nationwide and are often legally problematic, even if legal to perform in those jurisdictions. Despite what you may hear, phone marriages will not be recognized by any authority, and proxy marriages, even when legally performed in the few states that offer them, are often not recognized for immigration purposes.

Do not believe those who tell you otherwise. They will be long gone with your cash by the time questions arise about the legitimacy of your marriage. Consult a qualified attorney if you and your remote partner need to marry for immigration or legal purposes. You are ultimately responsible for making sure your marriage will be recognized in any jurisdiction you are dealing with, and most proxy marriage services are not transparent about the fact that your proxy marriage will likely be disallowed by U.S. Customs and Immigration Services if you attempt to apply for U.S. residency.

What Should I Do If I Encounter Marriage Fraud?

If you are aware of a coerced or fraudulent wedding, suspect an unlawful marriage has taken place, would like to report an illegal notary marriage licensing for incarcerated and detained persons, or any other marriage scam, we strongly encourage you to contact the appropriate authorities to protect yourself and others. You can find fraud reporting links and more info on our Wedding Fraud Alert page.

More Questions? Contact Us!

If you have questions about our services, drop a line. I'm happy to answer your questions by phone, email, or videoconference before you choose your notary/officiant--no obligation, of course.

Please call 310.288.6658 or email anytime if you want to know more. We look forward to hearing from you.

Hope to be of service to you soon!