Santa Barbara Courthouse Elopement

Planning a Santa Barbara Courthouse Elopement

If you’re considering a small wedding or elopement at the Santa Barbara Courthouse, here are some helpful tips to ensure your special day goes smoothly:

  • Scheduling the Ceremony and Photography:
    • The courthouse paperwork and ceremony typically take around 30 to 45 minutes.
    • Allocate enough time for photography after the ceremony. I recommend booking 90 minutes to 2 hours with the photographer.
    • If you wish to capture both the paperwork and ceremony, make sure to book the photographer for the entire duration.
  • Choosing the Right Time:
    • Opt for early morning or late afternoon appointments for the best lighting.
    • During winter, aim for appointments outside 11 am to 2 pm.
    • In summer, consider slots before 11 am or after 3 pm.
    • Keep in mind that the courthouse closes at 4:30 pm.
  • Photography Timeline:
    • If your ceremony is scheduled for 11 am, arrange to meet the photographer around 9:30 am for better lighting.
    • For a ceremony at 3 pm, coordinate with the photographer for a session that extends until the ceremony concludes.
santa barbara courthouse elopement
Santa Barbara Courthouse wedding
  • Additional Photo Locations:
    • Consider taking shots at nearby locations such as Butterfly Beach, Mesa Lane, Funk Zone, and the Santa Barbara Mission.
  • Enhancing the Experience:
    • Integrate real flowers into your attire or decorations for vibrant and elegant photos.
    • Feel free to add personal touches like stylish sunglasses, veils, or accessories that reflect your personalities.
    • Some couples opt for a vintage car rental to incorporate unique vehicle-themed shots.
  • Beach Sunset Photos and Picnic:
    • Consider extending your photography package to capture the romantic sunset at picturesque places like Butterfly Beach or Mesa Lane.
    • For an added touch, plan a cake cutting ceremony by the beach and possibly engage a picnic company to make the experience even more memorable.
  • Understanding Your Options:
    • The Santa Barbara Courthouse now offers appointments for in-person civil ceremonies, combining your marriage license acquisition with the ceremony on the same day.
    • Decide between a civil ceremony or a private ceremony with fewer than 15 guests.
  • What to Bring:
    • Ensure you have a valid state-issued ID (like a driver’s license or passport) and payment to cover the license and ceremony costs, as well as any additional location options you select.
    • Key fee information includes: ceremony appointment reservation ($23, paid in advance), marriage license ($100), confidential license ($111), and ceremony fee ($104).
    • If a witness is required, ensure they bring their ID. A witness is not needed for confidential licenses.
  • Day of Your Appointment:
    • Parking is available around the Courthouse on the streets or at City Lot #7 on 1115 Anacapa Street.
    • Street parking has a 75-minute limit (not recommended as you can get a ticket if youre parked for over 75 min); in City Lot #7, the first 75 minutes are free, followed by a charge of $3 per hour (recommended).
    • Upon parking, proceed to the Hall of Records at the corner of Anacapa and Anapamu Streets for check-in.
Santa Barbara Courthouse Elopement

Kindly contact the Santa Barbara Courthouse and visit their official website to verify the information provided above. While I have conducted thorough research, I cannot be held responsible for any potential omissions.

Remember, your wedding day is a celebration of your love story. Tailor the experience to reflect your unique personalities and preferences. Whether you choose the courthouse, the beach, or other scenic spots, Santa Barbara offers a range of options to create cherished memories. Enjoy every moment of your special day!

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Sarah Vendramini Photography llc
Santa Barbara, California and worldwide wedding photographer