Marriages Up in Spokane County

By Paige Browning

For many Americans, Labor Day represents the last celebration of summer, family vacations, and the final weekend for a warm wedding day. There will be more weddings in Spokane this Labor Day, following a trending boost in weddings this summer.
 
Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton says the number of couples who applied for marriage licenses was at least 20% higher this summer compared to last. She cites two reasons. One, an improved economy that she says is allowing people to live their lives again. Two, same-sex marriages. Crystal Palmer says she and Tanya Palmer started dating 15 years ago.
 
Crystal Palmer: “And she proposed to be probably a little over a year after we were officially together. So marriage was something we always wanted to do. The problem with us is we always had conversations about, do we just want to do it, or do we want to wait for the day that it would possibly be legal.”
 
They did wait, and married August 3rd. The county does not track same-sex wedding numbers, but Vicky Dalton says gay marriages have contributed to the increase.
 
Compared to 2011, the number of Spokane County marriage licenses was up 8% in June, up 22% in July, and August will likely show higher numbers. August 2011 had an average of 18 marriage licenses a day. On August 5th alone this year there were 45.
 
Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio
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