SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - As of Monday morning, 49 couples had civil ceremonies and nine more had appointments, according to the county Clerk's Office.

"It was a spur of the moment thing," one groom conceded to News 8.

The downtown office will stay open an extra hour, until 5 p.m, to accommodate couples who want to get married or simply renew their vows, and while appointments are preferred, they are not required.

The building is a favorite location for civil ceremonies, not just for convenience but for its picturesque setting adjacent to San Diego Bay.

A demonstration was held at the building against California's ban on same-sex marriage. At least one gay couple was denied a wedding ceremony.

Couples can save time by completing their marriage license online ahead of time, Dronenburg said.

The cost for a license and civil ceremony is $100, with no blood test or waiting period required.

Other clerk's offices in El Cajon and San Marcos are open for licenses and civil ceremonies from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but reservations are required.