Lovebirds, this one’s for you: the county of San Diego is offered walk-in services on Tuesday – Valentine’s Day – for couples looking to tie the knot.
The county of San Diego issued marriage licenses and conducted wedding ceremonies at Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego – no appointment necessary. Couples were also able to renew their vows.
The County Administration Center, located at 1600 Pacific Highway, was the only county office offering walk-in wedding services on the holiday. Walk-ins visited Suite 273 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; couples with Feb. 14 appointments for marriage licenses and ceremonies said "I Do" between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
These days in San Diego County, a marriage license costs $70 while a wedding ceremony performed by county staffers costs an additional $88. But, what some couples may find priceless, is the special Feb. 14 date, which may make it easier to remember that anniversary year after year.
San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Ernie Dronenburg Jr. said his office performs over 13,000 weddings annually in San Diego and Valentine's Day is certainly a great day to get married.
"You won’t forget the day! It’s a perfect day, it’s a wonderful day," Dronenburg told NBC 7. "My staff is here to help you – and we will get you married by the end of the day."
Among the wedding ceremonies performed Tuesday by the county's downtown office was a Spanish-language union for one couple. The happy pair smiled and hugged family and friends after saying their vows.
Couple Kevin Schwartz and Matteo Paccini also said "I do." The grooms beamed after being pronounced husband and husband.
“[We’re] overjoyed – just so happy. This is the beginning of our lives – and I love him, so much,” said Schwartz.
The couple, who have been together for more than two years, said they had planned to get married on Valentine's Day in San Diego all along -- so their anniversary date will always be remembered.
“We wanted to do something special here, so we picked Valentine’s Day – also, so that he can’t forget it,” said Paccini, teasing his groom.
Paccini is from Italy and the pair said they have a bigger wedding ceremony planned there this September.
They said they were thrilled for a lifetime of love.
“He completes me,” said Schwartz. “He’s my better half and he makes me a better person. He’s my sunshine.”
“We make each a better version of what we are right now,” Paccini agreed.
At other county offices – San Marcos, El Cajon and Chula Vista – appointments were required for Valentine’s Day marriage services.
In the end, 73 marriage licenses were issued at the downtown San Diego office and 68 wedding ceremonies were performed on Valentine's Day.
Countywide, 117 couples were issued marriage licenses and 108 wedding ceremonies were performed.