Ed’s Plan For More Downtown Weddings

My Tuesday email to members of the St. Louis Democratic City Central Committee.

While St. Louis City is thinking about weddings, I’d like to share an idea on a new service that I’d like to provide as Recorder. I think it would bring in a little more revenue to the City.

As noted in my Action Plan, I will lobby the Recorders of Association of Missouri to support passage of, and lobby Missouri Legislature to adopt, a law to enable county Recorders to perform civil marriage ceremonies.

Upon passage, I will provide civil ceremonies at City Hall and other locations for a small fee or perhaps for free. I’d be interested in feedback on the issue of a fee.

This service is needed. Judges in Missouri may perform civil ceremonies at no fee at courthouses but the Circuit Court judges in the City only officiate on Friday afternoons and County judges only on Wednesday afternoons. Unless you personally know a judge, you are otherwise out of luck for a civil wedding in St. Louis.

In addition to City Hall, there are beautiful places Downtown within walking distance of City Hall that would make wonderful locations for civil ceremonies: The Wedding (Meeting) of the Waters Fountain at Aloe Plaza across from Union Station, Soldiers Memorial, City Garden Park, Kiener Plaza Waterfall, Gateway Arch Grounds. Perhaps some couples would like to be married in civil ceremonies at events such as Forest Park Balloon Race or Mardi Gras Parade.

I would require that the couple obtain their marriage license from the City Recorder. If we provide civil ceremonies at great locations, I believe more couples will get their marriage license in the City, instead of neighboring counties, meaning more revenue for the City.

State laws on who can perform a marriage ceremony vary. In California, the county clerks who issue licenses also perform wedding ceremonies. In Maine, notary publics can solemnize a marriage. In New York State, mayors and former mayors can perform weddings. In Colorado, a couple can officiate at their own ceremony.

Again, feedback on the ceremony fee issue or the idea in general would be appreciated.

Edward McFowland 314-600-1261
Democratic Candidate for Recorder of Deeds

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