How to Get Married at the Courthouse on Valentine's Day

Last year's ceremonies were emotional and fun for 21 couples. Expect more of the same this year.

Santa Cruz County is offering couples who want to tie the knot on the most romantic day of the year a chance to do it with a view looking out at the San Lorenzo River from the fifth floor of the County Administration Building with cakes, flowers and live TV "Wed Cam" coverage that can be seen worldwide.

The cost is $75 for the ceremony and $75 for a wedding license. (See photos from last year on the right.)

"I definitely wanted to start dong weddings and I think it's a good service to provide," said County Clerk Gail Pellerin, who started the weddings in 2006."It makes for a really fun day for us too. All the different couples coming in, makes a very heartwarming day to be part of their special day.

"It doesn't quite carry the stress that Election Day does."

Pellerin has gotten donations to turn a conference room into a romantic wedding setting.

  • Alexis Party Rental will decorate.
  • The Pacific Cookie Company has donated cookies.
  • Sassy Cakes and Cupcakes of Capitola have donated mini wedding cakes in the form of cupcakes.
  • Costco has donated cider for toasts.
  • Obies Floral has provided a rose for each bride.

Couples must reserve a time by calling (831) 454-2060 or by coming to the County Clerk’s Office located at, Room 210, Santa Cruz. Ceremonies will be held every 30 minutes. Each couple may have no more than 15 guests and the marriages are done by deputy commissioners, including Pellerin.
Couples must have a valid marriage license prior to the scheduled ceremony and have at least one witness present.  Licenses are issued by the County Clerk in Room 210. A bride and groom must appear in person with valid identification, complete a form providing personal information, and take an oath.

"There is a buzz around the whole building on these two days, Valentine's and Election," said Pellerin. "You feel something special happening. It's infectious. The couples light up this building. And Election Day too. There's a lot of drama on those days. I have the greatest job in the world. We're the department of politics and sex."


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