People react differently to a marriage ceremony in the County Building. Below are two couples who are planning a big wedding later. Each came in with different vibe. Then we have a story about not researching the laws of the land.
Couple one is planning a big wedding later. They don't want any pictures, this ceremony isn't important. I insisted they have pictures taken. This is the real deal. They say OK witness can take pictures. The couple has zero interest in what I am saying until we began the vows. Reality kicked in, this was the real deal. The bride cried, he leaned over and kissed her on the cheek and wiped her eyes. It suddenly was a solemn occasion. They both thanked me for insisting on pictures.
Couple two was really excited. This was "the real ceremony". They were having a big wedding later. But this one, this was what counts. They were happy, excited, and very emotional during the ceremony.
Sidebar about the witness: The witness was 6 days past her due date. She was hugely pregnant. The county deputies told later told me when they saw her walk in they were worried they were going to be delivering a baby. When the witness had gone to the bathroom, as all pregnant ladies do often, they sent the female deputy to check on her. The witness was gone so long they were afraid her water had broken. She made it through the wedding and left the building still pregnant.
And then we have the angry couple. They had had a cultural wedding. But they hadn't bought a marriage license. The officials at their mosque had told them all they had to do was come in and the clerk would register the marriage. (this is how some countries register marriages.)
They also said when they came to do that a clerk, K, was rude, wouldn't accept their marriage. They told me all kinds of things that K said. Now I know she can be rude sometimes, but she is usually very polite and checks all the regulations with superiors before making a statement. Of course she didn't need to check this one. No license, you are not married. We can't back date the license and have the priest/minister fill in the info. They left mad. Then they came back two days later to try again.
They still did not understand why they had to be married with a license. They were still angry. The errors were from the mosque officials, and from them not checking United States /California laws. I became the sweetest Southern Belle there is. I soothed their hurts, apologized if they had been misled. I explained the laws and told them I would make things legal for them. I did a short ceremony; they weren't in the mood for anything else. They had pictures taken, and they then received a certified copy of their license. They left fairly happy.