Contra Costa County clerk’s office to officiate ‘scaremonies’ in costume

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Contra Costa County clerk’s office to officiate ‘scaremonies’ in costume
Photo courtesy of the Contra Costa County Clerk's Office.

By Kathy Chouteau

Couples getting married by the Contra Costa County Clerk’s Office Fri., Oct. 29 will have a little Halloween scare added to their wedding ceremonies as staff members don costumes to officiate “scaremonies” for couples who are interested. 

Approximately 20 scaremonies will be performed at the Contra Costa County Clerk’s Office in Martinez Friday, per office officials. While all appointments for the Friday scaremonies have been filled, those wishing to apply for a marriage license can still set up an appointment.

“Scaremonies [are] a well-loved tradition by customers and staff alike, and we are excited to bring them back this year,” said Assistant Clerk-Recorder Barbara Dunmore, who added that the office is “pleased to be able to accommodate those customers who want to be part of this fun tradition.”

The longtime Halloween practice at the County Clerk’s Office was put on a pandemic pause last year due, although marriage licenses were still issued. Now, as all ceremony appointments are back onsite, COVID-19 protocols are in place, including a transparent barrier between the couple and the officiant during the wedding ceremony. Per the County Clerk’s Office, up to five guests may join the couple in the ceremony room.

The County Clerk’s Office advises that prior to booking their wedding ceremony, couples obtain a marriage license at the main office in Martinez. Civil marriage ceremonies are $60; couples can get a public marriage license for $86 or a confidential marriage license for $90.

For more info about marriage license and ceremony services, click here or call 925-335-7900.