BY SHANNON McLAUGHLIN
OF PASCACK PRESS
HACKENSACK – One could view John S. Hogan as a wedding expert. As Bergen County clerk, Hogan has performed hundreds of weddings since taking office more than five years ago.
In 2016 alone, 639 weddings swept through the clerk’s office. It was their busiest year to date, since Hogan decided to open up the office daily for wedding ceremonies.
Previously, Hogan said, the office was only open for weddings once a week.
That’s not to say every wedding goes as planned. According to Hogan, one couple had cancelled their wedding twice and arrived for their third appointment. However, the couple got cold feet and left the office without saying their “I Do’s.”
A distinctly memorable ceremony for Hogan was when he said he traveled to a hospital for a wedding. The elderly couple had been together for years and the groom was dying. Going against their religion, the couple wed before the husband passed.
Before serving as the county clerk, Hogan served as Northvale’s mayor for two terms. He called performing weddings “one of the highlights” of the job.
With hundreds of ceremonies under his belt, Hogan was able to tackle the bustle of Valentine’s Day. One Spanish-speaking couple was getting married, but the officiant for Spanish ceremonies was not present. Hogan worked with a bilingual member of their wedding party, who translated alongside Hogan during the ceremony.
“Bergen’s a very diverse county,” Hogan said. According to the clerk, the staff speaks a total of nine languages, so typically, wedding translation is an easily solved problem.
An enthusiastic Hogan led the couple through their ceremony, the young couple smiling ear to ear. It was their “special day,” as Hogan referred to it, but for him, it was just another day in the office.