There’s a long, long list of things to take care of before a wedding — don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about custom thank you notes, unique table numbers, and our list of “do not play” songs for the band — but one of the most important pieces is the marriage license.
In Cook County, where Adam and I will be wed, you must obtain a marriage license no more than 60 days before the wedding. So this week, we had an adventure at the ol’ courthouse, a beautiful place where criminals, judges with or without robes and wigs, and engaged couples can all share a parking lot in peace and harmony.
It felt a little funny to take a number like we were ordering an open-faced pastrami sandwich at a deli, but when number 76 was called, we were up. It was a bit weird not to have a special aisle to walk down, and to not at least have a fake veil like bachelorettes wear. It’s not like obtaining a marriage license means we’re married — of course we’re only married once our officiant, the wonderful Rabbi Annie Tucker, signs the license and mails it in — but how hard would it have been to have a playlist in the waiting room blasting “Here Comes the Bride,” “I Think I Wanna Marry You,” and even a little “Od Yishama”?
“Have either of you ever been married before?”
“Ahh, first time, huh!!”
The clerk asked if we were related (no) and if we could spell our parents’ names and states of birth (that was tough, Minnesota ain’t easy to spell!). “Hello, congratulations, sign here, and that will be $60,” she said, in that monotone voice you hear from clerks in the movies.
She did not ask if we loved each other or if we talked about the “big questions” like children and finances. She did not ask if we share religious beliefs or, more importantly, if we share the same TV shows. Come on, lady, at least ask us if we’re getting married to avoid deportation!
She printed the marriage license. Okay, I know budgets are tight, but is it really necessary for it to be printed on white printer paper — the cheap kind? How about a beautiful piece of white marbled stationery with our new monogram imprinted, or at least something slightly heavier than my oil change receipt from Jiffy Lube.
But, alas, it’s printed and almost ready to be signed, sealed, and delivered in a few short weeks (I’m pretty sure Stevie Wonder’s song actually referred to the marriage license, clearly laying out instructions to wedding officiants). Here’s to our first — and hopefully “only,” come on clerk lady, be a little romantic! — marriage!