The Santa Barbara Courthouse is a romantic and popular wedding destination in Santa Barbara, California. If you’re looking to get married in Santa Barbara, you’re in luck as we’ve curated an all inclusive guide with steps on how you can throw an intimate ceremony, how to get a marriage license, and so much more all at the Santa Barbara Courthouse! Photo courtesy of Kaitie Brainerd.
Santa Barbara is stunning – from the iconic resorts to the romantic beaches, this coastal city is perfect for couples seeking adventure, and the courthouse is the perfect place to hold your wedding ceremony! Now let’s get into the basics of holding a Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding.
Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding Venue
When you get married at the Santa Barbara Courthouse, you have two great choices for your big day! You can choose whether you want to hold a private ceremony or a civil ceremony. In addition, the Santa Barbara Courthouse is surrounded by the beautiful nature of Santa Barbara and offers the following benefits!
Why should you get married at the Santa Barbara Courthouse?
Santa Barbara is a beautiful and popular wedding destination, filled with adventures for couples, amazing weather, and stunning wedding venues. The Santa Barbara Courthouse is perfect for those dreaming to read their vows on the American Riviera, surrounded by family and friends, in an intimate romantic courthouse. The Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding Venue offers the following high points:
- Two Versatile Venue Spaces, the Sunken Gardens and the Mural Room
- Great location with historical value and stunning architecture
- Ease of Use
- Amazing weather
- Great recreational activities all around
Two Types of Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding Ceremonies
Private Ceremony: For this type of ceremony, you will receive a 60 minute private block of time to hold the ceremony. There is more flexibility with private ceremonies, and you can bring up to 15 guests (including your vendors) for the service. With private ceremonies – you are able to book your wedding ceremony on any day of the week, including weekends. To find the perfect officiant for you and your spouse – you can contact the Wedy concierge team, or explore personalized officiants on the Wedy app!
Civil Ceremony: For this type of ceremony, you will receive a 60 minute time slot where you will both receive your marriage license and then hold your ceremony shortly after. If you have already secured your marriage license (applying less than 90 days before your ceremony date), then you can book a simple 30 minute ceremony session instead! You can hold your civil ceremony on any day of the week except for the weekends. You are allowed 8 people total for a Civil Ceremony, including your vendors. The ceremony is performed by a Deputy Marriage Commissioner (provided by the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office).
Be aware that you do not have to obtain your marriage license in the same county that you will be married. You can make an appointment at any County Clerk’s office in California. Click here for the Santa Barbara Courthouse’s County!
The Mural Room
Capacity: 100 guests seated
Fee: $600 ($200 non-refundable application fee, $400 facility fee)
The mural room has specific guidelines for hosting a ceremony, accessed through the County’s website. For more information – see here!
Capacity: 250 is the maximum capacity
Fee: $1100 ($200 non-refundable application fee, $900 facility fee)
Please be aware that capacity is limited depending on which area of the garden your ceremony will take place. For more information – see here!
Santa Barbara Wedding Checklist
Here’s a helpful list of items you will need to bring with you if you are holding a private ceremony at the Santa Barbara Courthouse.
- Valid State-Issued ID
- Form of Payment to cover the marriage license and ceremony fee.
- Witness with a valid form of ID
- Rings (for you and your spouse!)
- Vows (your officiant can help you create personalized vows for your wedding!)
- Your close family and friends for your special day!
Parking Information: In addition, the day of your wedding, you will need to park directly across the street from Anacapa St. in the four level parking garage. You also have the option of parking at City Lot #7, which is the structure at 1115 Anacapa Street, near the Courthouse. You are allowed 75 minutes of free use, before there is a $1.50 charge per every additional hour after that.
- Ceremony appointment reservation: $23
- Marriage license: $100
- Ceremony fee: $116
- Venue fee: $1100
- Photographer: $1500 for 3 hours
- Officiant: $850 (includes travel fee. Remember, if you are holding a private ceremony, you will need your own officiant)
- Bridal Hair and Makeup: $360 (travel fee may apply)
- Floral: $400 (delivery fee not included)
- TOTAL COST: $4449
How to get a marriage license for a Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding
To get a marriage license in Santa Barbara, you will need to reserve a time slot for $23 with the County Clerk. The marriage license itself is $100 and actual cost of the ceremony is $104. If you are planning to hold the ceremony at either the Sunken Gardens or the Mural Room, then this fee is increased to $116. Please note, that in addition to the $116 you will pay to the county clerk (ceremony fee), you will need to make a separate payment to Parks and Recreation of there will be a separate payment you will make to the Parks & Recreation to reserve one of these locations. The fee is $600 for the mural room and $1100 for the Sunken Gardens.
You can get your license up to 90 days before the ceremony date (as the licenses themselves are only valid for 90 days). You can start the online process here, in addition to reserving your time slot ($23) in advance. For a public marriage license ($100), you only need one witness, and you can have two sign your marriage license. For confidential marriages ($111), you don’t need a witness. Photographers are welcome to sign as witnesses for your marriage license!
Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding Gallery
Where to find Santa Barbara Wedding Vendors?
To plan your Santa Barbara wedding with ease – download the Wedy app! With the Wedy App, you can build all inclusive wedding packages, and get connected to Santa Barbara wedding vendors, including photographers, officiants and more! Find out how to plan the perfect wedding in Santa Barbara!