Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon was surprised to be fielding media calls after the announcement that her office would hold a group wedding service in June.

The work of a county clerk's office in New Jersey rarely makes headlines. While an elected office, the role of county clerk is primarily concerned with record keeping, preparing ballots and tabulating election results, and issuing passports.

Some on X/Twitter--and, well, me--were quick to poke fun at the idea of a group wedding.

"I was just shocked," said Hanlon, who nevertheless met the social media hubbub with an easy laugh and good humor.

She noted this wouldn't be the first group wedding service at the Jersey Shore, as a Townsquare Media radio station used to perform these in the past. 94.3 The Point radio host Lou Russo, who serves as our Townsquare Media of the Jersey Shore institutional memory, confirmed this and said the nuptials used to be performed by 105.7 The Hawk DJs.

(Why we stopped is a mystery, but the promotional wheels of my radio brain are now churning...)

Clerk: Wedding Officiating Requests Surged After COVID

One of the effects of the COVID-19 shutdown for engaged couples was that many venues and
wedding officiants canceled on them. This led to a surge in wedding performance service requests for county clerks, Hanlon said.

This increase in requests has continued in the years after the pandemic closures.

"I only do two to three weddings a week. I have to turn so many people away," Hanlon said.

She learned a clerk in another state was tackling the issue of increased wedding ceremony demand with a group service and thought she'd try a similar service in one of the county parks.

The group wedding ceremony will take place on June 26 at Hominy Hill Clubhouse in Colts Neck. Each couple can bring a maxmimum of four guests. Sign-ups are available here.

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Gallery Credit: Matt Ryan