Call him the Marrying Judge.

Stephen L.J. Hoffman has been marrying folks in all sorts of unique places for years, so much so that he’s often the first to get a call from a couple wanting to get hitched in an odd location.

“It’s amazing.  I have had people get married on bridges,” notes Hoffman, a Justice of the Peace in Covington. “On the Suspension Bridge, there’s a little landing portion up there. A flight attendant from Delta and her husband had a nighttime wedding.”

“I had to do a wedding at the Ameristop in Covington once,” Hoffman continues. “The guy met his girlfriend there when he was a cashier. I’ve done weddings in maternity wards (why people wait that long I don’t know), on the U.S.S. Nightmare floating haunted house, at a White Castle, in a parking lot (the guy was a vice president at Central Parking Systems), Jack Quinn’s, Pompilio’s, Dee Felice, Licking Riverside B&B, and Carneal House B&B. I had one couple who wanted to do it at [the Bengals’] stadium, but Mike Brown said no.”

July was a particularly busy month, with many couples wanting to get married on 07-07-07. Call it the ultimate lucky number. One of Hoffman’s most unusual experiences was marrying a couple aboard a chartered Flamingo Air jet out of Lunken Airfield. “Does it surprise me when someone comes up with an even newer, more outlandish one? Not anymore.”

“People think you are taking the romance out of the weddings when you do these crazy things. I disagree. If it is really stupid, like a nude wedding, I won’t do it,” says Hoffman of his matrimonial philosophy. “But if you do it at Ameristop, and the reason is the couple met there, then there’s a romantic reason. I say follow your heart.  It’s your life, not anyone else’s.”

Take that life lesson from Mireille Lewis and Geoffrey Gabritsch, the plucky couple who got married on the Purple People Bridge Climb (despite the attraction having closed in May). Or Donna Fay and Erik Gainer, who donned masks, fins and wetsuits to exchange vows inside the shark tank at the Newport Aquarium.

“We won this contest with a radio station, 94.1,” recalls Gainer. “We had faxed in our top five reasons for wanting an underwater wedding, and we won.” “Real TV” covered the ceremony as the judge, a certified scuba diver, officiated among the toothy wedding guests.

Yes, some couples choose to forgo a walk up the aisle — the aisle of a traditional church, anyhow. The Gabritschs and Gainers represent a growing sentiment for wacky weddings. Dozens of couples, for instance, “took the plunge” and got married on The Drop Zone ride at Kings Island not long ago.

Radio stations love these nutty nuptials. Take the “Dawn Patrol” conducting on-air weddings during morning drive time. D.J. Eddie Fingers and his companions have overseen many a nutty nuptial, including Donald Crone and Melissa Stephens, who married on the patio of the WEBN studios.

Some other unusual options for nuptials: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Cincinnati Zoo, the Beach Waterpark, BB Riverboats, Coney Island Amusement Park, St. Peter’s English Chapel at the Ohio Renaissance Festival, even Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum. And don’t forget Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Yes, there’s even a chapel at the airport. Observes the plucky justice of the peace: “Will I jump out of a plane one day? Sure.”