Bay Area County Clerks Bracing For Wave Of Valentine’s Day Weddings

Valentine’s Day is shaping up to be a popular day to get hitched in parts of the Bay Area, according to staff at county clerks offices throughout the region.

In Santa Clara County, 54 couples are signed up to take their marriage vows at civil ceremonies being held at the County Government Center in San Jose.

New this year, there is an “express marriage ceremony” service option available for walk-ins. The service doesn’t require an appointment.

The ceremony that takes place at the service window costs $120 including a witness fee, while the prearranged ceremony is $80.

An average day sees about 12 marriages at the clerk’s office. Last Valentine’s Day there were 53 marriages performed.

In Contra Costa County, clerk-recorder Joseph Canciamilla is ready to step in to help with officiating the deluge of ceremonies on the love-centric day.

In anticipation of large crowds coming in today, the office has added a third ceremony room along with the usual two. The ceremony rooms are decorated with flowers and arches and hold about 15 guests.

All appointment slots have been filled, according to office staff.

A clerk staff member said ceremonies will be held every 15 minutes between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The extended hours are part of a Valentine’s Day tradition, the longtime employee said.

“It’s always fun,” she said.

The charge for a civil ceremony is $60 and requires a marriage license, which costs $86 for a regular license and $90 for a confidential license.

Santa Cruz County assistant county clerk Tricia Webber said today will be a love-filled day with 23 ceremonies already booked and a waitlist growing.

“We do them all day,” she said.

The extended hours are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Decorations, including flowers for the new couples, have been donated and the ceremonies will be streamed live on the office’s “Wedding Cam” which can be found at

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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