Surge of Valentine’s Day weddings in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It is the biggest day of the year for love and many couples will be celebrating by tying the knot.

It’s also the first year that same-sex couples can legally marry in New Mexico.

This has always been one of the busiest days for weddings, but now that same-sex marriage is legal in New Mexico, many more couples are expected to get hitched.

More than 100 couples are expected to get married at Metro Court alone. For the first time, about 20 to 30 percent of those couples could be same-sex couples.

Before they get married, couples first have to get a marriage license.

Last year, the Bernalillo County Clerk’s office issued 99 marriage licenses during Valentine’s Day week. But this year, they are expecting to issue 120 by the end of this week. County officials say the increase is probably due to same-sex couples.

“We don’t have statistics on the exact amount issued to same-sex couples, so we don’t know, but we have seen an influx of them coming in, and we’ve noticed they’ve been coming in from out-of-state,” said Roman Montoya, Deputy Bernalillo County.

“We’re recognized as a couple now. We’re recognized as a married couple. This is our gift to each other,” said Denise Candelaria.

One reverend at A Celebration of Love Wedding Chapel says many same-sex couples are traveling from Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona to get married in New Mexico.

At Santa Fe Magistrate Court, they say they are also seeing an increase in marriage licenses this year. They saw 15 couples Thursday in preparation for Friday.

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