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Couple turned away at Shelby Co. Clerk's Office after trying to get marriage license

“It’s more of just frustration because we’re just trying to get married. I love this girl to death and all I want to do is make her my wife," said Connor Dunning.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There are more problems at the Shelby County Clerk’s Office as offices remain closed for the week to catch up on their backlog. This time, there seems to be some confusion amongst employees. 

ABC24 spoke with a couple who tried to get their marriage license but was turned away.

Love can stand any test.

“You don’t know what love is until you meet the person that you’re supposed to be with and everything is just easy with her,” said Connor Dunning, a Shelby County resident. 

Dunning and Catherine Wylie are on the road to marital bliss.

“We planned to get our marriage license this week since we’ll be getting married on Saturday,” said Dunning. "What’s a road without a few bumps?"

Shelby County clerk offices have been backed up with renewal, which Dunning has already experienced.

“They were like, 'Your license plate is going to be delayed. That’s no problem with me as long as I don’t get a ticket, I’ll be cool. Then, I got my license plate and I thought I was set,'" I was like, 'Hey I’m cool with the clerk’s office. Then, this morning happens,'" said Dunning.

Offices closed for the week to catch up on the backlog, but the downtown office is still open for marriage licenses or so Dunning and Wylie thought. 

“An employee or security officer came to the door and essentially told her that the office is closed for the day. She said, 'Well we’re here for our marriage license,'” said Dunning. “They essentially told her, 'We’re sorry. We can’t let you in. They turned her away.'"

It felt like a moment of defeat.

"We’re trying to get married in a Catholic church. To me, I understand that the rule is you have to have a marriage license to get married,” said Dunning. “It’s tough to see the person you’re about to marry and would move this earth for crying because we can’t get our marriage license. On top of that, we didn’t have any answers.”

Dunning considered trying a different county. He even called some friends who were able to get in contact with Wanda Halbert’s office. 

“I’ve been told that she has said that the office was open and that no one got turned away, where hey, I’m living proof,” said Dunning.

We went by the downtown office after Dunning called and tweeted about the issue. They were open for marriage licenses. 

"If it’s miscommunication, we understand that. Not everybody in the building knows what’s going on … to get turned away and get the door locked in our face,” said Dunning. “It’s more of just frustration because we’re just trying to get married. I love this girl to death and all I want to do is make her my wife.”

She will be because in the end, love wins.

“The plan is to try again. That’s all we really can do is try again,” said Dunning. 

He and Wylie were able to go back to the clerk’s office and received their marriage license.

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