No gown, no tux, but they’re still saying ‘I do’
“Happiness and joy are popping up all over,” said Town Clerk Wendy Lionetti.
Amid all the world’s difficulties — the coronavirus and COVID-19, protesters marching in the streets — people are in love. And they’re committing to each other — in sickness and health, for richer or for poorer.
June has opened with a brisk business in marriage licenses — four in the first week, and two more have appointments scheduled, according to Lionetti.
“So far this month we have had four weddings, the first week of June,” she said Monday, June 8. “People have to set up an appointment, so we have a couple scheduled — we have two scheduled.”
That makes six.
“Last year, we only had two weddings in the same little window of time, in June, so we have more this year than we had last year,” Lionetti said.
“June is a busy time for weddings anyway.”
May, admittedly, was less amorous — or, less matrimonial — this year.
“Marriages, we had five in May this year — that doesn’t sound like a whole lot, it’s probably is down,” she said.
It was. In May 2019, the Ridgefield Town Clerk’s office processed 16 marriage licenses.
“That’s a big difference,” she admitted.
The process is also different these days — more electronic, less personal.
“Basically, just doing the whole exchange that we do, in issuing the marriage license, electronically, in advance, so the amount time we’re exposed to each other is kept to a minimum,” Lionetti said.
“We share all the documents in advance, through email. So they come here and it’s pretty brief but — important — they still have to take their oaths. And they get married and their officiant mails the document.”
There’s not much needed, but a few requirements do persist.
“It’s just informal. They provide all the information that goes in the documents — their parents, their residence, their Social Security number,” Lionetti said. “They’re moving all that to us by email, in advance, except for their socials, which we gather when they come here in person…
“They give us a copy of passport or photo driver’s license, some kind of photo ID, and they have to appear in person. They have to physically appear in person, they don’t have to necessarily be together — some people, because of work schedules, can’t be in front of us the same time.”
The virus is here, things have been shut down, but life — and the desire for marriage licenses — goes on.
“We are just working with the conditions that we’re faced with,” Lionetti said.
“It’s good news, it’s happy news, compared to other news that’s going on, that can be quite taxing.”
Lionetti finds the persistence of couples’ urge to tie the knot encouraging.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “People, even though they may not be having a big ceremony, are still getting married. It’s sweet.”