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Cash-Strapped Alameda County Needs Volunteer Wedding Officiants

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(CBS)

(CBS)

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ALAMEDA (KCBS) – A marriage takes hard work and commitment, but performing the act of marrying people is relatively easy. Officials in Alameda County are encouraging people to consider stepping up to the plate – or the alter, as it may be – to perform the ceremonies for free.

“We find ourselves in the need for additional volunteers,” said Chief Clerk-Recorder, Kevin Hing.

The lines have been growing long in recent weeks at the Alameda County Clerk-Recorder’s office, where they perform weddings in a makeshift, nondenominational chapel on a very regular basis.

“Last week, I did 15 weddings in three-and-a-half hours,” said volunteer Joe Mallon.

So, volunteers are helping to ease the crunch by performing the marriages on behalf of the county.

“You see people on what is probably the best day of their lives,” said Mallon.

“All the commissioners carry Kleenex because the bride and the groom, one or the other, will cry,” said volunteer Janet Apple.

“I play mother sometimes. I have brides that have panic attacks, so I talk them off the ledge,” she added.

KCBS’ Mike Sugerman Reports:

I answered the call too, officiating some mid-July weddings. The requirements were somewhat simple – produce an ID, be over the age of 35, be proficient in reading English, take an oath and you’re eligible to marry people.

I don’t expect to make it a regular gig – but I did enjoy it, and can understand why officiating weddings could be a happily addictive pastime.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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