Holiday matrimony

Couples choose ValentineâEUR(TM)s Day for weddings

Couples choose ValentineâEUR(TM)s Day for weddings

February 15, 2005|by TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN - Brian and Pam Martin exchanged vows wearing jeans and matching Harley-Davidson sweatshirts.

If they had known the media would be present for their Valentine's Day marriage at Washington County Courthouse, they joked, they would have dressed up.

The Martins, of Waynesboro, Pa., were one of 11 couples to say "I do" on the day known for roses, sweets and Cupid.

"I think Valentine's Day is a special day for things like that, and we wanted to do it soon," Brian Martin said. "We figured today would be perfect ..."


Pam Martin joked that getting married on Valentine's Day would make remembering their anniversary date easy.

"So not only does he have to buy a Valentine's Day gift, he has to buy an anniversary gift," she said. "The same goes for me."

The Martins hope to have a honeymoon in Las Vegas at the end of the summer, Brian Martin said.

All the couples who were about to exchange vows were escorted to a small room on the third floor of the courthouse, where marriages are performed in less than five minutes by Circuit Court staff.

Couples pay a $60 marriage license fee and a $25 fee for the ceremony, Deputy Clerk of Court Linda Hult said.

Seven couples got married on Valentine's Day last year, and 14 tied the knot in 2003.

Hult said the record number of marriages took place in 1992, when 31 couples wed.

Shortly after noon Monday, Hult said about six or seven marriages had been performed. One couple had to wait because they forgot to bring money, she said.

"They had to go back home and get their money," Hult said.

Things also got off with a slight hitch for newlyweds Jimmy and Dawn Gandy of Cascade.

Jimmy Gandy arrived at the courthouse, but Dawn was nowhere in sight.

It wasn't until three married couples later that she arrived with several family members.

In a matter of minutes, the ceremony was over and the two were husband and wife.

They laughed about the glitch afterward.

"I was here for about an hour," Jimmy Gandy said.

"He was waiting for me," Dawn Gandy said.

She said she was late because getting ready for the ceremony took a little longer than she anticipated.

Jose and Afreca Rivera of Chambersburg, Pa., laughed and said they felt "weird" after they got married.

They were going to get married in November, but they settled on Valentine's Day "to make it sweeter," Jose Rivera said.

Leroy and Leann Frazier of Williamsport smiled and laughed nervously at each other throughout their brief ceremony.

Leann said she would take Leroy to be her "awfully" wedded husband, while Leroy said afterward that he was "kind of a little tense at first."

The couple, together for about three years, said picking Valentine's Day as their special date was just an idea.

"We waited long enough," Leroy Frazier said.

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