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How Many People Need To Be Present For My Elopement To Be Legal?

I'm eloping in Monterey, and neither my fiance nor I wish to have a lot of people present. We would prefer to have our officiant, and each other.

We will be eloping on the beach, and would need a non-religious officiant who would travel and meet us there. What type of officiant would provide that? And would we need witnesses?

Re: How Many People Need To Be Present For My Elopement To Be Legal?

  • edited December 2011
    I am not a lawyer... but according to my research in this matter, you need an officiant and 1 witness in the state of CA.

    In CA you can have pretty much anyone marry you. You could get a justice of the peace or someother officiant and that will cost you in upwards of $300. Most of the "for hire" officiants I found got their certification from some sort of religious affiliation. CA has something called "Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day Without Compensation." Basically means that pretty much any one can marry you in CA. There is some paperwork to fill out and the fee varies by County and not every county offers it but you can get it from a different county if need be. For example. My FI and I are getting married in Mendocino County, we got our license in Calavaras County and  did the "Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day Without Compensation." for my Uncle in Alameda County.

    Do you perhaps have a couple close friends who could come with you? One could be your officiant and one could be your witness.

  • aghouston86aghouston86 member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Legally only 1 person. You will find that out when you apply for your marriage license.

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  • edited December 2011
    Just an officiant (licensed in CA) and a witness. I was a bridal assistant for a couple who recently eloped in Sonoma, and I was everything - maid of honor (held bouquet), best man (held rings), witness (signed license), stylist (fixed hair and makeup for photos) and basically carried all of their things and took care of all the little details. It was amazing and I really got to bond with the couple! Even if it is just the two of you, I highly recommend having a bridal assistant or friend go with you to take care of these things for you :)  
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