Yep, today Mr. FW and I made the arduous ten minute trek to City Hall, and we completed the shockingly easy task of applying for a marriage license. As we walked up the front steps of the building I recalled that the last time I was actually inside the City Hall rotunda was a few years ago when one of my friends married his husband during the brief period of time when gay marriage was legal in California. On that day the entire building was full of lights, cameras, press members, happy couples, and excited guests. But today the place was silent, with only our voices echoing off the marble.
There were no signs directing us where to go, so we wandered around until we found the unassuming corridor with the door marked ’County Clerk.’ We actually arrived on time for our appointment, and if you know me at all, you know what a miracle that is.
Mr. FW lovingly offered to fill out the form for us since I was pretty busy snapping pictures of the whole process. My favorite part of the license application was this: “At the time of application for a marriage license, one or both parties to the marriage may elect to change the middle or last names, or both, by which that party wishes to be known after solemnization of the marriage… Parties may adopt any of the following last names: the current last name of the other spouse; the last name of either spouse given at birth; a name combining into a single last name all or a segment of the current last name or the last name of either spouse given at birth; a hyphenated combination of last names.”
How incredible is that?! I love the flexibility that California law allows for both parties when it comes to changing names with the marriage license. (Also, I know I haven’t posted about my and Mr. FW’s thoughts when it comes to name changes, but I will later if it interests anyone.)
A few minutes later and our form was all processed and ready to go. We were given the information about what our “officiant” (aka deputized sister of the groom) needs to fill out, which we promptly forgot and will have to research again later.
And that was it. So quick and so simple, this legal process to get married. Mr. FW commented on our way out that, for how easy it was to get a marriage license, it somehow makes it even more sad and ridiculous that not everyone can get married—in this state or so many other places. And I certainly agree. *sigh* Maybe one day…
As for us, our license is good until January of 2012 so let’s just hope we can pull off a wedding sometime between now and then!
Was anyone else amazed by how easy the marriage license process was? (I think I remember my mother telling stories that, back in the day, they required blood work in order to secure a marriage license. Sheesh! So, so glad we’ve moved on from that.)