Chicago magazine


When City Hall reopened July 6, after a nearly four-month coronavirus hiatus, interest in having weddings there boomed, as couples looked for a viable option. “There was a huge influx — easily 75 phone calls a day,” says marriage court clerk Michele Roberts. A City Hall ceremony used to be like going to the DMV: Wait in a crowded room, then approach a civil servant hoping you have all the right documents. Things operate differently now. Hours are limited (9 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays only), appointments are required, guest lists max at two, and social-distancing and mask rules apply, though your judge might let you take off your face covering just long enough to kiss. One particular Saturday — September 26 — 18 couples tied the knot at City Hall. Here are 10 of their stories.

Grace Montalvo & Jose Arriaga

Hammond, Indiana

The person most eager for this wedding was not the bride or groom but their 11-year-old son, Chance. The marriage of his parents, who’ve been together 14 years, was “his everything,” Grace says. So when it came time for the proposal, he did his research: “He spent days watching Lifetime movies.” At a gathering at Grace’s parents’ house last Christmas Eve, Chance “informed

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