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Record Number of Couples Get Hitched in O.C. on Valentine's Day

"The numbers are outrageous," says County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Orange County today shattered its all-time Valentine's Day record for marriage licenses issued and wedding ceremonies performed.

The county's Clerk-Recorder office issued 310 licenses at its three facilities and performed 266 ceremonies. The number of licenses issued is an all-time best for one day.

“Huge numbers,” said Daniel Gutierrez, the Clerk-Recorder's marriage unit supervisor.

The all-time record for ceremonies in one day conducted at the Clerk-Recorder's offices was on Dec. 12, 2012, when 283 couples got married, Gutierrez said. On the so-called “12-12-12” day, 298 licenses were issued, he added.

Couples today at the Old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana were greeted by  Harlem Globetrotters Wun Versher and Thunder Law, who passed out red roses to couples.

At the end of the business day Thursday, 260 appointments were made to obtain wedding licenses or hold a marriage ceremony at the county's Clerk-Recorder offices in Santa Ana, Laguna Hills and Fullerton.

Officials had appointments for 178 ceremonies, which would beat the record for a Valentine's Day, set in 1997, according to Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen.

The record for requesting licenses and ceremonies is 220 for a day, “So we beat that already,” Nguyen said.

Officials expected 25 percent “walk-ins,” Nguyen said.

Two arches were placed outside to conduct ceremonies outdoors, he said.

“I've been planning this for like three months,” Nguyen said Thursday. “I said to our staff, `Hey, listen, it's going to be on a Friday and we have a holiday on Monday and we're always busy on Valentine's Day already.' With the long weekend it makes more sense, so I'm glad we're prepared because the numbers are outrageous.”

The increase in weddings also could be chalked up to the legality of same-sex unions, though the office does not track those statistics, Nguyen said.

--City News Service

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