Updated: March 2011.
The philosophy of Military Mondays is to provide elopement services to all active military, free of charge, as an alternative to a courthouse civil ceremony. During these tough economic times, we, as well as the professional wedding vendors that participate with Military Mondays, wish to help those that serve us so proudly, understanding that they can’t afford a full service wedding or, even a trip to Las Vegas. We are honored to help our hero’s and give back what we can.
Please Note: This is NOT a wedding! This is an elopement and serves as an alternative to the courthouse for a ceremony. There is a limit to the amount of people that may witness, by state law and no exceptions. There are no save the date cards, park permits, no invitations, giving away of the bride, there are no chairs, altar, flower petals, etc. This is an elopement. A courthouse celebration but, with a much prettier view.
- Full-Time ACTIVE Military ONLY. ID Required. (Reserve, Retired, etc. not eligible)
- No Vow Renewal services.
- Couple MUST have valid marriage license. (No License, No Ceremony!)
- Booking request is no more than 6 weeks out.
- Free elopement services are ONLY offered on Mondays and ONLY at the La Jolla Location.
THE FOLLOWING Q&A’s MUST BE READ AND UNDERSTOOD. PLEASE READ……
Is the elopement ceremony really free?
Yes, there is no charge on our part at all for the elopement ceremony or the filing of your marriage license on your behalf with the County Clerk following the elopement (if requested). Most military couples wish to file the license themselves to help speed up the process with the County Clerk.
Are there any costs?
Yes; the cost of the Marriage License (Public or Confidential) and the fee the County Clerk/Recorder imposes for a registered copy of your license once processed. These costs are paid directly to the County Clerk/Recorder.
Do you or any other vendors expect any payment, gratuity or gift?
There is no payment due for your elopement ceremony. Each and every volunteer associated with Military Mondays is a premier, professional wedding vendor in area who is donating time, talent and/or product to your special ceremony. With this said, all we ask is that be mindful that these services are indeed a gift. At a minimum, be gracious. As for a gratuity or gift, that’s up to you…
We were already married in a quick civil ceremony, can we still have an elopement?
Sadly no. We do however offer Vow Renewal services with a Military Discount through Say I Do Again™. We understand that you wish this service was available when the two of you got married however, for us to turn away another couple because we have booked time with another couple who is already married, just would not be right!
Are we required to attend premarital marriage classes or counseling?
Not at all.
Do we need a witness?
You will need at least one witness for a “public license” ceremony. No witness is needed for a “confidential license” ceremony. In most cases, the Military Mondays™ photographer and/or Chaplain Mary and Rev. Christopher are present and can also act as the witness for you.
Why are you offering this?
It’s just a way for us to say “Thank You” to those that serve our country, no matter the branch of service, rank or time in the military. You do have the choice; get married in a quick civil ceremony at the local courthouse by the Justice of the Peace or Clerk or join us seaside in a more romantic setting.
What type of ceremony will our elopement be?
In addition to being romantic with a beautiful view, it’s your choice… we serve as Wedding Chaplains; this allows us the opportunity to observe all faiths, beliefs and yes, even non-beliefs. Unlike the civil ceremony at the courthouse, you may request as much spirituality or observance of your faith as you wish!
How many people can join us?
Seven (7). Our policy is 10 people total, including the three of us! This meets the State Laws regarding public land use at most San Diego beach locations.
Can we have chairs and an altar?
No, this is an elopement, this is not a way to get a free wedding ceremony; it’s an alternative for the two of you going to the courthouse. As long as you’re not taking advantage of us, we’re here to serve you!
What about acts of celebration?
Sure, we allow the Rose, Sand Ceremony or Lei ceremonies to be added. Just be sure to bring the items with you and we’ll include them in your elopement ceremony.
What about photography?
Your friends are more than welcome to take as many photos of the celebration as they wish. Please be aware that some professional photos will be taken for you, free of charge.
What about signing a photo/video release?
By requesting Military Mondays elopement services; you are agreeing to the following in addition too any other release an individual photographer/videographer may ask for. Any and all images may be used by the individual photographer and Vows From The Heart Ministries for advertising and marketing purposes without any compensation. This also must be agreed to by any and all individuals taking part in the Military Mondays celebration. All images (high quality) will be given to the couple by Vows From The Heart Ministries with Copyright Release for non commercial use.
Can we hire our own professional Photographer, Videographer, etc.?
No, This would defeat the entire philosophy of Military Mondays; which is to provide elopement services to active military members as an alternative to the courthouse ceremony. Let’s be honest, if you can afford a professional wedding photographer, you should be able to hire all your wedding vendors and really don’t need our service. Lastly, please keep in mind as well that it would be insulting to all of us that are donating our time, talent and resources to make this a special day for you knowing someone is getting paid.
Do I have to be stationed locally?
Not at all, if either of you are FULL TIME ACTIVE MILITARY and the two of you can be here on a Monday, and if we’re available, let’s make the magic happen!
Do I have to wear my uniform?
We would prefer it of course but, this is an elopement and you can wear whatever you wish. Besides, this is San Diego; shorts and flip-flops are considered proper attire on the beach for an elopement! Ask us to wear beach attire and we’re in!
Where do you offer these elopements?
We currently only offer these services at the Cuvier Park area of La Jolla. This area allows for scenic locations in the park itself, the beach, cliffs and rock area (based on availability).
Are there restrictions to the locations and times?
Yes, we offer this service on our availability and on a first come, first served basis. For example; if we have already scheduled a sunset elopement in La Jolla then all other requests for elopement services on that specific Monday will take place in La Jolla working backwards from that sunset time already booked. If we already have a ceremony scheduled at Noon, additional requests will go forward from there and so on.
Are there any Mondays you don’t offer services?
Yes, ANY Holiday Monday! Not that we don’t want to be part of the magic but, getting anywhere near the coast, beach or park in San Diego on a Holiday is next to impossible. Also, County offices are closed and obtaining a license is not available. There are a few Mondays that we will be out of town and unavailable as well.
What do you need from us?
The two of you and a valid California Marriage License and Military Identification showing current active Military status! Plus, I also ask for the following….
+ Be courteous. If you change your mind; (which does happen from time to time), call us and tell us so I’m not sitting at the location waiting for you. Also, please send us an email fro, the same email address where your confirmation was sent.
+ Be on time if not early!; If you’re running late, you may have to wait for the next opportunity that day or reschedule for another time. On busy days, there is no room for tardiness.
+ Be understanding; If we become ill or traffic issues arise. We may need to reschedule or, you may have to continue with your original plans with a ceremony with the County Clerk. We will NOT be held responsible for ANYTHING if we are not able to attend and must cancel nor will we be able to supply another Officiant.
Are you available last minute?
If we’re available, of course! Just give us a few hours to get everything together and I’m there for you!
How do we make it happen?
Fill out the online form, put in the Monday(s) that would work best for you and I will send you back an email with what is available. It’s really that easy!