Citing workload, officials pull back from doing civil ceremonies


Joe Munden and Amber Kincer enjoyed a simple wedding ceremony Friday at Greenfield City Hall. Though Mayor Chuck Fewell officiated, civil weddings are becoming harder to arrange in Hancock County because fewer elected officials are offering the service. (Maribeth Vaughn/Daily Reporter)

GREENFIELD — Joe Munden and Amber Kincer’s Valentine’s Day wedding ceremony was just the way they wanted it: small, intimate and at Greenfield City Hall.

The Greenfield couple’s special day was a rare occasion, as there’s a shrinking trend in civil ceremonies at Hancock County government buildings.

Though love was in the air Friday, those wanting a civil ceremony in Hancock County are having a harder time finding someone to marry them, making inexpensive, spur-of-the-moment courthouse weddings difficult to finagle.

State law allows judges, county clerks, city clerk-treasurers and mayors to perform marriage ceremonies, alongside ministers. But fewer elected officials are giving their time for love-struck couples, saying their schedules are just too busy to accommodate ceremonies on the fly.

On a snowy Friday afternoon, Munden and Kincer were excited to tie the knot in front of their children and close friends. Munden, a Greenfield police officer, said the couple wanted Mayor Chuck Fewell to perform the ceremony at city hall because they both knew him and wanted something simple.

The couple was grateful to have someone perform the ceremony, having never wanted to go all out with pricey invitations and an extensive guest list.

“Really, it’s more sentimental,” Kincer said.

But fewer county residents are offered the opportunity anymore for such an occasion: a short and sweet ceremony at city hall or the county courthouse is almost becoming a thing of the past.

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