Today marked the 16th consecutive year that Cook County Clerk David Orr married the couple that obtained the first marriage license issued in the new year.
Joseph F. Clair, 35, and Deborah S. Steimel, 25, both of Chicago, received the first marriage license of 2006 and agreed to have Clerk Orr marry them.
Orr is the only county clerk in Illinois with the authority to perform marriages. He asked a judge to waive the standard 24-hour waiting period so he could conduct the ceremony this morning.
The Clerk’s office paid the couple’s license fee and also gave the newlyweds donated gift certificates redeemable for: a weekend hotel stay at the Palmer House Hilton, dinner at Petterino’s, and a pair of tickets to a show at the Goodman Theatre.
The Clerk’s office issues all marriage licenses in Chicago and suburban Cook County. The office issued: 36,439 in 2005; 36,491 in 2004; 37,882 in 2003; and 38,889 in 2002.