SAN DIEGO — The wedding bells rang a little longer outside the San Diego County Administrative Center on Wednesday.
Some couples can now get married there at the registry in the evening. More than 80 lovely couples walked into the county clerk’s office, got married and walked out with their marriage certificates at a time that was a little more convenient for them.
The love at the county clerk’s office continued after hours Wednesday, as the couples said their “I do” after work.
“It’s definitely a huge help with the workload I have. We both live hand to mouth. For San Diego, being open after hours is certainly a big help. It couldn’t be like this,” newlywed Samuel Thorne said.
The County Clerk’s Office said he realized most couples book their weddings there during his last office hours. Thus, for the first time, it allows couples to get married from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
“A lot of our couples wanted to get married in the evening, especially our military couples. People who couldn’t get off between 9am and 5pm. So we thought we had to do more. We need to bring love after hours,” Jordan Marks of the County Clerk’s Office.
Getting married in the county administration building also makes more economic sense, as the cost of venues, food, labor, and supplies have increased due to inflation.
“Things have gone up so much and couples are seeing a big jump from a $30,000 wedding all the way up to a $60,000 wedding,” said Suher Haidar, wedding planner of Refined Forever Events.
Haidar says she sees clients cutting back or delaying their weddings in response.
“We just decided to do it here. Very soon, but eventually we will do something bigger,” newlywed Angel Oliveras said.
The cost of a marriage license and ceremony at the county administration building is only $158.
“$30,000, $60,000, whatever against coming here. It’s like a beautiful place and being able to do that. More sentimental. It was about us. Not the great hall. Not everybody. It was just us here, doing what we wanted and that’s what made it more special than ever,” newlyweds Samuel and Gabby Thorne said.
If you missed your chance to get married on Wednesday, the Clerk’s Office will offer another “Love After Hours Wedding Services” opportunity on September 17 at offices across the county.
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