LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — For Isaias Campos and Brittney Machin, being quarantined together has only made them stronger.
"He still wants to marry me and I still want to marry him so I think we're doing okay," said Machin.
Although their wedding isn't until Nov. 28, the couple decided why put off what can be done now.
"If there is another quarantine shut down or lock down we might as well have it now," said Campos.
Campos and Machin weren't alone. There was a line of couples around the block at 8 a.m. Monday, the first day in more than a month the Clark County Marriage License Bureau was open.
"We knew there was a pent up demand," said Clark County Clerk Lynn Marie Goya.
Goya said marriages were always considered essential but when the nonessential business shutdown went into effect, the bureau decided it didn't have the proper protocols in place to operate safely.
"We were getting about 200 couples per day," she said. "This was the beginning of our peak season so it really wasn't safe for our customers or our staff."
Led by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and local health officials, new safety measures include proper social distancing, wearing face masks and temperature checks at the door.
"That marriage licenses stopped being issued essentially put us out of business," said Melody Williams, executive director of Vegas Weddings, which has 9 venues in Las Vegas. "It put most of the wedding industry out of business for that period of time."
2020 was set to be a major year for the Vegas wedding industry. Instead, Melody Williams, executive director of Vegas Weddings, says the last month has been devastating, financially and emotionally, having to furlough the majority of the staff. But now that licenses are being issued once again, Williams says they will be ready to reopen, as soon as this Friday, with additional safety measures in place. A limited number of guests allowed inside, no seating in the lobby and thermal monitoring.
"Marriage is and always has been considered essential. It doesn't mean large social gatherings. We understand that. We respect that. But the specific form marriage as a contract - it's an important, it's an integral part of society's fabric," said Williams.