Marriage office locations ready for Valentine's Day

Thinking about getting hitched on Valentine's Day?

Unsurprisingly, you and your future spouse would be choosing one of the year's most popular days to tie the knot, according to the Orange County Clerk-Recorder.

To handle an invasion by the love-struck, the department will keep its three marriage office locations open late Friday, with extra staff able to perform ceremonies in more rooms, department officials said.

"My staff is dedicated to making this day as convenient and romantic as possible for the couples," Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen said in a statement.

Marriage services will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department's Old Orange County Courthouse location in Santa Ana. At the department's branch offices in Laguna Hills and Fullerton, couples can get married from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Usually, the offices close at 4:30 p.m.

Daniel Gutierrez, the county's marriage office supervisor, said time slots are still available for couples who'd like to make a Valentine's Day appointment.

Last year on Valentine's Day, the county issued 224 marriage licenses and married 170 couples — nearly tying the department's all-time record of 173 on Feb. 14, 1997.

This year so far, he said, 89 pairs have made appointments to get married in Santa Ana, while the Laguna Hills and Fullerton offices expect 50 couples each.

In total, that's about six times the number of couples on a typical Friday, which is already the busiest day of the week.

And for more spontaneous duos, Gutierrez added, walk-ins are welcome. He estimated that the longest wait time would be no more than 15 minutes for a five- to 10-minute ceremony.

"We just don't want couples to wait," he said. "It's Valentine's Day — they should be doing something else."

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