We are in the middle of one of the most stressful national emergencies to rock the entire world, and if you plan to get married during this time, we understand you have lots of questions. Dee and Kris Photography teamed up with one of Sacramento’s best non-denominational minister, Reverend Jeri Murphy to answer all the important questions in regards to getting married and obtaining a legal marriage license during the Corona Virus outbreak.

It’s important to note, marriage licenses rules are set by the county clerk, therefore they vary greatly between counties even right here in Northern California. Secondly, these rules and restrictions change often so it’s important to check your county clerk’s office online for the most up to date information. For the purposes of this article, a majority of this article is focused on Sacramento County.

Are County Clerk Offices Open to Obtain a Marriage License?

Yes, some county clerk offices are still open during the Corona Virus pandemic. However, with limited services and hours. Jeri Murphy has contacted most of the counties in the Greater Sacramento area to confirm, they are still open to file for a marriage licenses, with restrictions. It’s important to research the county you live in before you head into the office.

The Sacramento County Restrictions are as follows:

  • The only Sacramento County Clerk office open to process marriage licenses is currently the County Service Center – South.
  • You MUST fill out the application online before your appointment.
  • You still need to visit the county clerk in person. (The Governor has announced the amendment to the law regarding meeting the clerk via video call, however, Jeri has not found a local county office that has implemented this digital service yet)
  • You MUST make an appointment. Walk in appointments are no longer accepted. You can make an appointment HERE.
  • Your marriage license is valid for 90 days. Jeri recommends setting a reminder for the day 90 days prior to your wedding date to plan to get your license.
  • The county office is only taking limited appointments, so plan ahead in order to get your appointment before your planned date.
  • One party must live in Sacramento County.
  • Guests are NOT allowed inside the building.

*San Joaquin County Exceptions*

Thanks to Jeri’s extensive research, she found San Joaquin County’s Stockton Office, is currently open their normal hours and couples DO NOT need to be a resident to San Joaquin County.

Wedding Ceremony

Once you obtain a marriage license, the rest of your marriage ceremony should be able to commence. You are free to marry where ever you choose, whether you choose to elope just the two of you, or if you choose to host a smaller intimate wedding while practicing physical distancing. During your ceremony, you must verbally announce your commitment to one another in front of a witness and an ordained minister. (With the exception of a confidential marriage license which does not require a witness)

A Digital Wedding Ceremony

Some people are wondering, can we meet with my officiant and witness via video chat to say “I do?” Up until very recently, digital ceremonies were not allow, however due to Covid-19 and shelter in place orders, Governor Newsom has allow officiants to perform marriage ceremonies through digital video services.

However, even with the rise of canceled events, Jeri has found most people are choosing NOT to utilize digital services. She says a wedding is a personal event that needs to be cherished and couples are choosing to keep it that way.

If you want to get married quickly, for whatever reason, you have the option to do so.

Getting Married With the Help of Jeri Murphy

Weddings big and small are stressful enough, which is why we recommend enlisting the help Sacramento Wedding Officiant! Reverend Jeri Murphy has been a licensed non-denominational for over 20 years. She is describes herself as “as not being affiliated with a particular church or religion, but seeing all people as spiritual beings.”

She write personalized wedding ceremonies for every single couple she officiants for. Starting with a meeting with both parties to get to know they as a couple. Before the corona virus hit, Jeri would meet all of her clients in-person. If you are looking to find the perfect Sacramento officiant for your wedding now, you can contact Jeri to set up an online meeting.

If you choose to get married soon, Jeri plans to adhere to all required government guidelines, including physical distancing.

Vow Renewals

Jeri is a firm believer in couples getting married for the right reasons. Couples who truly love each other and plan to spend the rest of their lives together. Which is why vow renewals are so special. They are filled with so much loving energy from couples who want to reaffirm their commitment. For couples who have to cancel their big 2020 wedding, but still want to get married now and party later, have the option to do a vow renewal. A vow renewal is a way to celebrate your marriage by announcing that you are continuing to choose each other.

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