Couples have the option to be wed on the web
February 10, 2011

Contact: Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
Phone: 650.363.4988 Fax: 650.363.1903 E-mail:

Alternate: Theresa Rabe, Deputy Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
Phone: 650.363.1895 E-mail:

(Redwood City, CA)  “Valentine’s Day is the most popular wedding day of the year—every year,” according to Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder.  “Even though Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year, we expect business to be brisk!  We will offer a full day of reservations in our chapel to give as many couples as possible the chance to marry on this special day.”

“I am looking forward to being a part of Valentine’s Day in the Clerk’s Office this year.  It’s a day of continuous celebration with happy couples, their friends, their families, their kids and the overall excitement of a Valentine’s Day wedding,” Church noted.

“Marrying people is one of the truly heart-warming responsibilities of a County Clerk,” said Church. “Performing ceremonies and sharing this special day with couples is an experience that just a few of us share—the clergy, our volunteer deputies and judges who accept these requests.  It’s really special.” 

“We usually conduct about four wedding ceremonies a day in our chapel, but on Valentine’s Day, we get completely booked up,” said Theresa Rabe, Deputy Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder.  Couples who are interested in getting married on Valentine’s Day are encouraged to make a reservation early.

Rabe also noted that Friday, Feb. 18 may turn into a hot wedding date this year, too. Couples who get married on Friday (the 18th) and honeymoon the following weekend will get an extra day if they observe the President’s Holiday on the following Monday. “The 18th may become just as popular as the 14th due to the long weekend. Whatever the preferred wedding date is, reservations at the chapel will be a must!”  

Unlike other wedding chapels, San Mateo County’s chapel is wired with an internet connection and camera to broadcast ceremonies in real time to a couple’s family and friends who may be scattered all over the world.  It makes it possible for a couple to include everyone they want at their wedding. This secure Internet broadcast service includes a special Evite invitation to guests with instructions on how to view the wedding online. And, it comes at a reasonable price of $50. 

“We celebrate Valentine’s Day in the San Mateo County Clerk’s Office with a special tradition; we present every very bride with a long-stem red rose to commemorate her wedding day,” said Church.  “We also present a complimentary Valentine’s Day DVD of the ceremony to the couple as a keepsake.”  He also noted that both the camera and microphone in the chapel were upgraded to improve the online experience this past year.

Volunteer Deputy Marriage Commissioners conduct most of the wedding ceremonies at the chapel and do it as a labor of love. However, some couples ask to be married by someone known to them – a friend, a family member, or colleague.  If advance arrangements are made with the Clerk’s Office, the couple’s designee will be trained and deputized to perform their ceremony for a fee of $60. 

“When a couple chooses to have a friend or family member perform their wedding it makes their day that much more special,” Church explained.

Daily weddings are performed in the County’s chapel which is located on the first floor of the San Mateo County Clerk’s Office at 555 County Center in Redwood City.  The chapel holds up to 25 people, can be reserved for a 25 minute ceremony and rents for $65. Chapel reservations are highly recommended, regardless of the date. To see what the chapel looks like, review what’s required to get a marriage license, make reservations for a chapel wedding or be wed on the web, visit the San Mateo County Clerk’s official web site at . To speak to a staff member about wedding questions, call (650) 363-4500 x 6063.

All couples are required to have a marriage license in order to marry. In California, marriage licenses are only issued by a County Clerk. Couples may submit an online marriage license application in San Mateo County on the Clerk’s web site at or come to the office and complete it online at one of the terminals in the office.  A marriage license costs $78 and requires both individuals to be present together to sign the application form and show proof of identification.

Since the passage of the Name Equality Act in 2009, couples have had one more question to consider carefully before marrying—deciding what their married legal names will be. Legal names are established at the time a marriage license is purchased. To change the legal married name after a marriage license is purchased requires a legal proceeding in Superior Court. “The benefit of the Name Equality Act is that it allows a couple to keep their own names, take a spouse’s name, or create a brand new name from a combination of their two middle or last names,” explained Rabe.

Last year, 3,456 marriage licenses were issued by the San Mateo County Clerk’s Office and 929 wedding ceremonies were performed in our chapel.

The press release is displayed in its original format. San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Elections website now resides at

Related Contact

Mark Church

Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder and Chief Elections Officer
555 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063-1665Get Directions