Monday and Wednesday I was helping train a new person. M. had transferred in to Vitals. And so had to learn how to marry couples. He observed me both days and he did two weddings with me as his backup. And he did a great job. Very steady, made them comfortable, and acted as if he were doing something important. Which he was.
We had lots of weddings, finally. Busy, no falling asleep at the desk. M. did get to see me do one doozy.
Wednesday the first wedding was a young couple and one witness. We went upstairs, as we entered the Wedding Room the groom said, " We are Muslim". I told him that's OK, it is a civil marriage. He said, "No, we are Muslim and are already married. We just want the marriage certificate." I am standing there with a license and paperwork. They need a ceremony, which they have paid for. I asked him when they had the ceremony( notice I did not say when married) if they had a license. No, it was a cultural wedding, just give us the certificate. So I explained California recognizes all organized religions: Baptist, Catholic, Wicca, Shinto, Muslim, Jewish, etc. But you must have a license, otherwise you have had a nice party. So they demanded, yes demanded, I do just the legal part. No ceremony, no niceness. I asked the two questions for consent and then pronounced them married.
Now I hate doing the three sentence weddings. It upsets me people just want to get it over with. I take pride in doing lovely meaningful ceremonies. Looking back I was not hitting on all cylinders. I took them downstairs to have the license recorded. As I headed to the desk, M. asked, "Don't you need the witness to sign?" DUH, yes I did. The witness signed, I gave it to the clerk, and we went back to our desks. A doozy, right. It gets worse. Ten minutes later the clerk came running up to me. I hadn't signed the license either. M learned I was the perfect example of what you don't do at a wedding.