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Couples say "I do" for free on Valentine's Day

Alice Keefe
Created: February 14, 2020 05:41 PM

(ABC 6 News) - The Olmsted County Courthouse was a hub of love Friday, with more than a dozen couples showing up to get hitched.

One of those couples, Earl Ringold and Shontell Brown, heard about the free weddings the courthouses were offering on Valentine’s Day on the radio a week earlier.

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“We had planned but like dates and financial reasons didn’t work and we heard about this special day on Valentine’s free at the courthouse, why not,” Brown said.

It’s the first year the courthouse, and a handful of judges have offered the free ceremonies to a limited number of couples.

“It’s Valentine’s Day. It’s about love. As judges, this is one of the few joyous things that we get to do around the courthouse to really be able to be a part of individual lives,” said Judge Jacob Allen, one of the four judges officiating the free weddings.

While Valentine’s Day hasn’t always had a special place in the couple’s hearts, it will now.

“He loves it, but for me, it’s something for the kids,” Brown (now Ringold) said.

“I’m still kind of nervous and it’s kind of unbelievable, but it’s done,” Ringold said.

After their wedding, the couple went out for lunch and spent the day with friends and family.

The couples did still have to pay for their marriage licenses.


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