Kern County sees less couples applying for marriage licenses during pandemic

Posted at 7:04 PM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 22:04:49-04

BAKERSFIELD, Cali — Covid-19 has made it difficult for planning any sort of event, but it has been especially frustrating for those who were planning weddings.

According to the Kern County Clerk's office, in 2019, March through August, there were 1,844 marriage licenses issued. During the same months in 2020, there have only been 880.

With social distancing and venues shut down, it has been difficult for those getting married to get the ceremony of their dreams.

“People are finding ways, people are moving forward, and still getting married,” Kyle Brown, Executive Director of Kern County Bridal Association.

According to Brown, many couples have postponed or canceled their weddings during the time of COVID-19, but, there are couples who are still trying to tie the knot in a safe way.

“What I see going on is, people are still having receptions, but what they are doing is they are just doing them in the backyard, or a friends backyard or the park or somewhere else since they can’t have them at a venue,” Brown said.

While people are still finding ways to get married, the Bridal Association says couples are still frustrated because of all of the planning and money that goes into a wedding. A typical wedding in Kern County costs around $22,000 to $25,000.

“Between the venue, the DJ and the food, everything that is involved in that, and then for somebody to be told, sorry, you’re going to have to cancel all of that," Brown said. "This is not companies losing their money, this is now individual people who are losing their savings.”

While a wedding in the pandemic isn't ideal, it is possible. The Kern County Clerk's office has resumed issuing marriage licenses after they put it on hold.

As of May 19th, couples can mail in a marriage license request, and go through a series of meetings both online and in-person while wearing masks.

“Just keep loving each other, we will get through this,” Brown said.