NORWALK – Hundreds of couples marked Valentine’s Day by “jumping the broom, tying the knot, taking the plunge” or simply getting married at the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office in Norwalk on Wednesday.
According to Media Communication Assistant Chris Reynoso, “We expect to have 290 weddings today.” On a regular day, the office marries about 40 couples.
With the anticipated influx of happy couples, the Registrar’ office made arrangements: a large waiting room for couples, 11 stations for weddings, an ample supply of volunteer judges and commissioners to officiate the ceremonies, and a photo opportunity room for after the ceremony.
According to Reynoso, the cost for the wedding license is $35. Additional costs for public versus private wedding certificates ranged from $85 to $91.
When asked, no costs for a divorce were available.
“We don’t handle divorce cases here. That’s another court,” said Reynoso.
Sitting in the wedding sector were four black-robed commissioners awaiting the opportunity to marry couples. They were sitting on chairs except for Catherine Riley, who had positioned herself on the floor.
All were in cheery moods and were good sports when asked questions.
One of the first couples to enter was Bernard and Stephanie, who in a couple minutes became Mr. and Mrs. Bernard and Stephanie Peterson. They hailed from Long Beach and had brought their young son to join them in their nuptial ceremony.
Asked how he felt after it was official, Bernard responded, “I am floating.”
Another couple entered the photo room as Michael and Akane Johnson. They had met in the area about a year ago. Johnson is a gunnery sergeant based in the southland with the First Marine Division. He is originally from North Carolina.
While it was a little slow during the lunch hour, it was expected to pick up in the afternoon. After all, who doesn’t want to be married on Valentine’s Day?
By Raul Samaniego