Hosting your destination wedding in South Lake Tahoe may be your smartest decision since you set the date. With so many gorgeous venues for your ceremony and wedding reception, you are bound to have the wedding day of your dreams. You have the rings all picked out, the beautiful gown and ordered some of the most stunning floral arrangements you’ve ever seen — but wait! There is one small thing you need to take care of, or all of your planning and preparation will be put on hold. To get married in South Lake Tahoe you need a marriage license.

Patrick Frost photo

photo credit: Patrick Frost

California rules
Is your wedding ceremony taking place on the California side of South Lake Tahoe? Two of the most elegant venues in South Shore claim a California address. If you are getting married at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel at Heavenly or at The Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa you will need an El Dorado County, California marriage license.

El Dorado County has two locations where you can obtain a marriage license — one in Placerville and one in South Lake Tahoe. Both bride and groom must be present in order for a license to be issued. To obtain your marriage license you will need an appointment, so make sure to call ahead. Don’t have time? You can wait at the county offices for an opening, which could be up to two hours, depending on how many appointments are ahead of you. Your marriage license must be registered in El Dorado County after the ceremony, which is generally the responsibility of the person who officiates at the marriage.

Ordained for a day
El Dorado County also offers a Deputy Commissioner of Marriage program, where someone can be certified for a specific day and time to perform a marriage ceremony for friends or relatives. This is a popular choice for couples who don’t have a particular church affiliation, or who want to include someone very special in their wedding celebration.

Confidential, or Public?
A Confidential Marriage License can be issued for two people who have been living together who plan to be married by a person authorized to preside at a marriage. Good for a 90-day period, this license may only be used in El Dorado County. If you are requesting a Public Marriage License, your ceremony may be performed anywhere in California. Both Public and Confidential Marriage licenses and certificates are available at the Recorder-Clerk’s office. Both parties must be present to receive a license. You may also choose to hold your ceremony at the county offices, which requires an appointment.

Nevada rules
Getting hitched on the Nevada side of South Shore? Venues on the Nevada side include both the stunning views at The Ridge Tahoe and the beautiful grounds at Edgewood Tahoe, the elegance of Monte Bleu Resort Casino & Spa and the fun and vibrant vibe at the Hard Rock Cafe. Douglas County, Nevada will be the office to issue your marriage license.

Licenses are issued six days a week at the Douglas County Clerk’s office. Both parties need to be present, and there is no blood test requirement or waiting period. Appointments are not necessary. Douglas County marriage licenses are good for one year from date of issue. Your license must be returned to the Recorder’s Office within 10 days after your ceremony to be officially recorded. Usually the person who performs the ceremony is responsible for returning the completed license to the clerk’s office. The Douglas County Clerk’s office does not perform wedding ceremonies on site.

Your South Lake Tahoe wedding will be a day to remember — no matter which side of the state line you are on.

Contact Information:

California Recorder-Clerk
3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd. #108, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Phone: (530) 573-3409, Fax: (530) 544-6463
website

County Administration Building – South Lake Tahoe, Nevada
175 Highway 50 – 2nd Floor, South Lake Tahoe, NV 89449
(775) 586-7270
website