Understanding California's marriage laws is important not only for those about to get married but also for those considering divorce, annulment, or legal separation.
To legally get married in California, one must be an adult (18 years old or older) or, if younger, must have parental consent. Both parties to the marriage must enter it with full consent and an understanding of the nature of the union about to be entered. They must also have legal "capacity," meaning that they are of a sound mind. A marriage license must also be obtained from the county clerk for the marriage to be legal, and a marriage license is only valid up to 90 days after issuance.
For those under 18 who wish to get married, a court order must be obtained allowing for the marriage. And typically, the court will require special premarital counseling as well. Plus, at least one parent of each minor getting married must give permission in written form and submit that paperwork to the county clerk.
As a final note, realize that marriages made in other states of the U.S. or its territories, or in a foreign state, are normally always recognized in California. And same-sex marriages have been recognized in California since Prop 8 was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.