Contra County Clerk's office holds Valentine's Day wedding ceremonies

FILE: Generic photo illustration showing elements of a wedding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dozens of people from all over the Bay Area attended a wedding Sunday at the Contra Costa Clerk's office in Martinez. 21 weddings to be exact.

"It's the craziest thing in the world. It's a COVID wedding," said Rocky Hill, a groom from Martinez.

The clerk's office officiated 21 Valentine's Day wedding ceremonies; in each case, only the groom and bride were allowed in and a glass barrier seperated the couple from the officiant. Newlyweds say the "wedding" lasted about 15 minutes.

"It's strange," said Andrew Murphy of Antioch. "At the same time, we've grown together as a couple during the pandemic, so this is just a great day to celebrate our love and we're just really excited."

Most county clerks offices in California offer marriage licenses and ceremonies online through video conference. Some counties do offer them in person but usually require an appointment. Most times, those appointments are fully booked.

"This was our only chance, so we're taking advantage of it for sure," said Murphy. He says he and his wife struggled to find appointments in several Bay Area counties.

"We picked this day because it is the day of love and it's also the day my grandparents were married."

The clerk's office says they will continue offering ceremonies throughout the week, by appointment only. For more information,  visit the Contra Costa Clerk's office website.