This week, we picked up our marriage license. This does not mean we’re married; it just means that when the time comes, we have the legal document to be signed and certified. Picking up your marriage license is fascinating, because the City Clerk’s office (where it happens), is just like any other license venue. The employees might as well be giving you a driver’s license (which is actually more complicated, because that requires passing an exam), because they have the same amount of enthusiasm. You show up, you take a number, and wait to be called. You stroll up to the window, and a clerk takes your ID before asking if you have already been married (in our case, the answers were “no”). The clerk enters some data, and then you’re pretty much done. Nearby, there is a gift shop of sorts, selling readymade bouquets of flowers, as well as souvenir champagne glasses and other collectibles.
Our process was very much a civil procedure: picking up the paperwork before the actual event. Other couples were making it more of an occasion, with lots of photographs and “just married” expressions of happiness. As you exit the City Clerk building, there are guys waiting with less-expensive flower bouquets for sale, as well as photo opportunities at a fee. A few steps away, there is something called the “Wedding Garden,” which is just a patch of grass and some foliage. Not sure what you do in the Wedding Garden, I guess it serves as a great spot for photos. We did not take photos, though maybe we should have. Instead, we found a nearby cafe (of which there are not many in that part of town), and toasted our license with mimosas.