St. Joseph's Credit Union (Not The Church) Is 2005's Most Romantic

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St. Joseph's Credit Union recently added a new feature to its already long list of products and services-weddings.

OK, so it isn't officially a service, but it happened not once, but twice during 2005 at the $105-million, state-chartered credit union.

"I married one couple in our lobby," said Dave Babb, AVP of Lending, a notary public who has authority to officiate at weddings. "You see there is a longtime member who has been here forever. He knows all the employees and the employees all know him. He and his fianc? came in at 1 o'clock in the afternoon and asked if I would perform the ceremony."

Babb, pleased to honor the request for such a good member, said he would need some time to prepare. "I told them to come back at 5 o'clock."

After downloading a sample marriage script online and closing up shop for the day, Babb stood before the happy couple as they said their "I dos" to each other. About 10 employees whose shifts had ended stayed to watch. "It took all of five minutes," he said. "But we really enjoyed doing it. Now we really are a full-service credit union."

Babb, who has officiated over a handful of weddings (outside the CU) already, said he would like to say the situation was unique-but it wasn't.

Several months earlier at SJCU's Well's branch, a member phoned Susan Kirste, assistant branch manager/head teller, and asked if she would be willing to marry her and her fianc?. "I said sure, when would like to do this?" Kirste said. "She said, 'well, how about in 10 minutes.'"

The member also asked Kirste if she could also write the vows.

"This was just so exciting to me," Kirste said, explaining that this was her first wedding as a notary public. "By far, it was one of the greatest things I've done for a member."

When the wedding party-her daughter, and her fianc?-arrived, they presented Kirste with a corsage. Then, right there in the CU's newest branch lobby, Kirste performed the nuptials.

"It just added to the many services we already provide to our members," Kirste said, noting that was the talk of the CU for at least a month.

She added that several pregnant members later joked: "Gee, if we come in when I'm in labor, will you deliver our baby, too?"

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