Last week I did only one wedding. One total for the two days I worked. One normal, nothing strange or weird wedding, nothing to write about. Yesterday I did three times that many. Yes, I did three wedding ceremonies.
Two of the weddings were not very romantic. They were mainly concerned with fear of getting a parking ticket. Could I do it quickly, they only had a few minutes on the meter. Could I please hurry through the ceremony? We were not busy Monday. There were no lines to see a clerk. And these people had meters running out? What did they do, put in 30 minutes? They have to input their info into the computer, then the clerk checks it and adds the witness' info, takes their money, prints the license out, and I get the license. We do the ceremony and then the license is recorded. Things take time even with no lines.
The first couple was Muslim and had done a cultural wedding. They wanted a quick ceremony because they were already married. No, they weren't. If they were married, they wouldn't need me. They wanted the shortest ceremony we do. The meter was running out. So I did the three legal sentences. I hate doing that, it is so very cold and unromantic. I asked the groom do you take this woman . . . I asked the bride do you take this man . . . And then I said by the power vested in me I pronounce you . . . That is just cold.
The next couple told me that they only had 15 minutes left on the meter. Could I speed up the ceremony. I didn't feel secure with the groom's English. But I began, he had answered a couple of questions OK. But when we got to the vows, nothing. And the bride says he doesn't speak English. I stopped the ceremony, and explained if he can't understand me, I can't marry them. So I talked to him some more. I asked him why he was there. And he indignantly said, "to get married!" He understood just fine. He just couldn't speak English. So we skipped the vows, they are just nice words and not a legal issue.
Next couple made my day, even if they too had a meter running out. They were each 25 years old. They had a 5 year old and a toddler. They were so in love, so emotional, so tender with each other. But the best part is their story. They have known each other since grade school. They were in school together through Jr. High. And then her family moved to Sacramento. A few years later she was on the Light Rail System and saw him across from her. And they have been together ever since. Oh the 5 year old, he goes to their elementary school and has their teacher. Isn't that a great story?