Wouldn’t it be amazing to get married in LA? From its bustling nightlife to the iconic Hollywood sign, Los Angeles is a popular wedding and honeymoon destination all-in-one.
With glistening beaches, infamous museums, and renowned shopping plazas, there’s so much for you and your guests to do and see in the “City of Angels.” As home to one of the world’s first pride parades in 1970, Los Angeles is a strong supporter of inclusivity and provides a welcoming community for same-sex couples.
As a newly engaged couple, planning a wedding in Los Angeles can be an exciting, yet time-consuming process. For that reason, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to navigate you through all the necessities. From COVID-19 updates to finding Los Angeles vendors, you’ll have everything you need for your dream LA wedding!
Use our jump-to links below to navigate this guide:
Whether you prefer a fabulous beach ceremony or the backdrop of a luxurious mansion, there are plenty of Los Angeles wedding venues to choose from for your special day.
To start, our list of pre-screened wedding venues in Los Angeles will help you find the perfect options that fit your wedding size, setting, and budget. Choose from dozens of beautiful locations throughout the city. Here are a few popular venue options in Los Angeles to consider:
When planning your LA wedding, an important step is to apply for your marriage license. You will need this to get legally married in Los Angeles county.
COVID-19 Update: All offices of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (L.A. County RR/CC) are closed to the public due to the pandemic. Marriage License requests and other services, however, are still available online, by mail, or by appointment.
At your convenience, you and your partner can complete the application for a marriage license online. The process is simple and should only take a few minutes to complete. Here’s what you will need:
After completing the application, you can book an appointment through the same portal.
Yes. To legally marry in Los Angeles county or any city in the State of California, you will need a California marriage license.
The L.A County RR/CC distributes marriage licenses. Currently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply for your marriage license online through the county’s website. Once reopened to the public, you and your partner can apply for a marriage license at one of its seven branch office locations.
It takes an hour to complete and process the marriage license in person. Currently, during COVID-19, the virtual appointment to process the license is 30 minutes.
Yes. Since California has no waiting period after issuing a marriage license, couples can get married the same day in Los Angeles. To do so, you must have at least one witness during your wedding ceremony (not including the wedding officiant).
Anyone who is ordained in the State of California can officiate your wedding. Acceptable Los Angeles wedding officiants include, but are not limited to, ministers or priests of any religion, commissioners of civil marriages, a California congressperson, or a judge. The most convenient place to find a same-day wedding officiant is City Hall. There are also many same-day wedding officiant services available throughout Los Angeles, such as through wedding planners.
Yes. There are universal ministries that provide online ordination services, even some within the same-day, to people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and sexual orientations. This allows couples to choose whom they desire to officiate their weddings. Out-of-state and out-of-country marriage officiants can perform marriages in the State of California as long as they are ordained or invested by a denomination.
City Hall weddings are increasingly popular for affordable, same-day ceremonies. The City Hall is easy to book, LGBTQIA supportive, and can serve as a neutral ground for couples with different religious backgrounds. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the L.A. County RR/CC offers to conduct civil weddings virtually via online appointments. Virtual civil weddings cost $35 in addition to license fees.
From tech and television industries to world-famous theme parks, Los Angeles is known as the entertainment capital of the world. Hosting a wedding in this stylish and chic city gives you instant access to luxurious metropolitan, amazing cuisine, and celebrity ambiance.
Planning during a pandemic may require patience and flexibility, but can also breed creativity. Beaches, vineyards, and castles are a few of many diverse places to recite your wedding vows. Check out our wedding colors and trends for 2021 to learn more unique ways to personalize your LA wedding.
Wedding costs can vary greatly depending on the location. Large metropolitan areas tend to have steeper prices, especially for venues. The average cost of a wedding in Los Angeles is $34,492, which is a bit higher than the 2020 national average of $33,900. Keep in mind that the average costs include elopements and ceremony-only weddings, which skip venues and have much smaller guest numbers.
Other factors, such as the time of year, catering, and the number of guests also contribute to the total cost. Before planning any wedding details, it’s best for you and your fiancé to set a budget. To help save money, some budget-friendly Los Angeles venues include public beaches and parks, which may only require a special event permit, and the City Hall.
With warm weather almost year-round, you can’t go wrong with an LA wedding. Instead, it’s best to consider your venue options and guest preferences.
Spring: March, April, May
With temperatures in the low to mid-70s and fewer crowds, spring is a comfortable season for walking and visiting outdoor attractions. There’s rarely any precipitation in LA during the springtime, making it ideal for outdoor weddings. Also, hotel rates are likely to have discounts during this time, which is great for traveling guests.
Summer: June, July, August
Summertime in LA is peak tourism season, and also when the city experiences the hottest temperatures of the year. While you can expect higher hotel rates during this season, it is also a time when several popular summer festivals take place, including LA Pride.
Fall: September, October, November
Fall has cooler temperatures in the high-70s and is a great time to find flight and hotel deals when planned. If you prefer to avoid the peak tourist season, a fall wedding might be your best option.
Winter: December, January, February
Instead of snow, Los Angeles receives a lot of rain during the winter. Don’t let precipitation rule out a winter wedding just yet. This is also a season when you can find good flight and hotel deals, which can especially come in handy to catch famous award shows in LA at this time, such as the Grammys.
Los Angeles has several popular events and weeks throughout the year for your guests to enjoy. When planning your destination wedding, keep in mind that these may impact hotel and vendor availability and rates, as well as traffic and parking. Here are a few annual events to consider:
Bear in mind that activity restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic are constantly evolving and may differ by the area. From weeks up to the official day of your wedding, make sure to follow news and updates from the County of Los Angeles Public Health.
Currently, Los Angeles County can only have small private gatherings with a maximum of 15 individuals. Private gatherings must be outdoors with all guests wearing masks and maintaining a 6-foot-distance. If you, your partner, and all other wedding guests are fully vaccinated by your wedding date, you’re free to have an indoor wedding without restrictions. Be aware that certain venues may have stricter guidelines than Los Angeles County.
Looking for some inspiration to plan your California Dreamin’ wedding? Check out our inspiration page where you can browse hundreds of wedding photo submissions by season, location, and trending wedding styles. Here are a few romantic ideas from our real Los Angeles weddings:
Romantic Outdoor Wedding at Descanso Beach Club. Consider lush green bouquets for a cheerful spring garden wedding.
Magical Oviatt Penthouse Wedding. Sophisticated yet simplistic, matching black bow tie tuxedos can add a classic touch.
Fairytale Destination Wedding in Disneyland. Tap into your inner childhood with a beautiful backdrop of the Disney castle.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
From gorgeous coastlines to wondrous architecture, Los Angeles is full of inspiration for wedding photography. Here are some famous locations around the city to liven your backdrops:
Even before the state recognized same-sex marriage equality in 2013, justice for inclusivity was a part of Los Angeles’ history. Since having one of the world’s first pride parades in 1970, the city now hosts two of the largest LGBTQIA annual events in the nation, the Outfest in April and the LA Pride parade in June. Los Angeles is home to one of the largest LGBTQIA communities in the world, West Hollywood (WeHo), where couples can enjoy numerous same-sex nightclubs and find supportive wedding vendors.
By now, your heart is set on a Los Angeles dream destination wedding and you’re ready to dive into the planning details. Once you’ve set a wedding date, it’s time to bring in the wedding professionals. Remember, a good rule of thumb is to book venues and other wedding planning vendors at least 12–18 months before your date.
To get you started, use our filter to sort vendor categories by price, venue style, wedding theme, and more:
If this will be your first time visiting Los Angeles, you will soon receive a warm welcome from “LA traffic.” With such a large population, rush hour in the city gets congested quickly, which can strongly impact your plans for the day if not carefully planned. To help you prepare, here is an overview of the logistics and travel details so you get the best experience with your loved ones during your wedding.
Getting here by train: There are several Amtrak rail trains you can take to LA from nearly anywhere in the nation, including Amtrak Southwest Chief from Chicago and Amtrak Sunset Limited from New Orleans.
Getting here by bus: LADOT Transit is another common form of public transportation in LA to get to main commuter areas through the city, including downtown LA, for $1.50 fare one-way.
Getting here by car: This is the most convenient way for tourists to get around Los Angeles. If coming by car, major highways leading to Los Angeles include I-10 from Phoenix, I-15 from Las Vegas, Highway 101 from northern California, and I-5 from San Diego.
Metro Rail: Once in Los Angeles, you can take the LA metro rail to get around town using a $7 1-Day pass.
Now that you and your wedding guests have an idea of how to get here, the next step is deciding where to stay. Since LA has great weather almost year-round, you and your guests may prefer sightseeing areas where you can walk to notable attractions. Here are some of the most popular neighborhoods in LA to consider:
Beverly Hills: If you were hoping to bump into one of your favorite TV stars, this is the place to be. Beverly Hills is home to some of the most luxurious estates and mansions. Hop on an open-air bus tour to celebrity homes or a fun shopping spree on Rodeo Drive.
Downtown (DTLA): As one of the most pedestrian-friendly areas, DTLA is a diverse neighborhood full of museums, theaters, markets, boutiques, and more. You may be able to catch a concert or fashion show while you’re there!
Santa Monica: This beautiful, beachfront city sits west of LA and plenty of family-friendly attractions. Along the Santa Monica pier are plenty of restaurants, souvenir shops, an aquarium, and Pacific Park, a full-service amusement park.
West Hollywood (WeHo): Known for its vibrant nightlife, WeHo is known as LA’s largest LGBTQIA community. Take a stroll through Sunset Strip to check out comedy clubs and live music, or head over to the Design District for shopping and buzzworthy cuisine.
Koreatown: Another buzzing night scene, Koreatown or “K-town” is one of LA’s most diverse neighborhoods. Enjoy some delicious Korean dishes, coffee shops, and multilevel malls.
As you can see, Los Angeles is such a lively city with so many hidden gems, you don’t know where to start! If you’re only in town for the wedding and are short on time, here are our top bucket list activities to do in LA before you leave:
With this guide, you and your partner have everything you need to plan the perfect LA wedding. Be sure to check out more expert advice for additional tips and resources on all things wedding. From destination wedding checklists to invites, Zola has everything you need all in one place.