By Angela Monroe. CREATED Feb 21, 2014
PALM SPRINGS -- You can expect more marriages in Palms Springs now that couples can get marriage licenses from city hall.
Before, they had to go all the way to Indio to get a license.
What it means is that couples can step out of the Palm Springs Airport, travel about a block and pick up their marriage licenses at city hall.
The county of Riverside made it possible to get licenses at the new location.
And already many couldn't wait to say "I do."
"To be my wedded husband.
For better or worse.
To love and to cherish.
As long as we both shall live."
Tears of joy as Richard Zopatti and Robert Grill said their vows after twenty years together.
They were on their way back to New York City.
"On the way to the airport, we stopped in and were lucky enough to be married by the mayor of Palm Springs," said Richard.
"Then I think we will do a party for our friends in New York who are going to kill us for not doing the big thing there," said Robert.
Supervisor John Benoit and the County Assessor made it possible for couples to tie the knot moments after landing in Palm Springs.
"What we're celebrating today is that couples, straight or gay, can now come to Palm Springs on a Friday and they can get their license," said Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet.
Local business owners say this will attract even more tourism.
"Once the gay marriage act, once we were allowed to get married, our business exploded, we're probably doing 50 percent more than last year already," said Wedding Warriors CEO, Gregory Goodman.
Local residents, Richard and Michael Bartholomew-Young, were the first couple to get their license and say their "I do's"
"A few years ago it was legal in California for a few months, and we didn't think that would be taken away from us, so we didn't get our act together then. So this time when it was passed for the second time we did something about it, and we're so happy to have our seven year old son here with us today too to be a part of the celebration," said Richard.
They've been together 17 years, and will have a family celebration in Mexico in April.
"Richard is definitely my husband, my best friend and my soulmate, and I would be nothing without him," said Michael.
Richard and Robert are now returning home as newlyweds.
"I'm just hoping all 50 states will end up like this, and everyone who loves one another can get married," said Richard.
"And I say get hitched, get the paper, woohoo!" said Robert.
Couples can submit and pick up their marriage license at Palm Springs City Hall on Fridays from 9am to 4pm.
Appointments are required for civil marriage ceremonies.