Say 'I do' on Valentine's day

     For the folks at the Catawba County Register of Deeds office, there isn’t a day more romantic or special than Valentine’s Day.
    Traditionally a day for weddings, many couples decide to marry on Valentine’s Day.
    For the fifth consecutive year, couples will exchange wedding vows at the Catawba County Register of Deeds office.
    According to Catawba County Register of Deeds Donna Spencer, and Tracy Pruitt, deputy in the Register of Deeds office, more than 20 couples will marry in the special Valentines Day wedding ceremonies.
    “We can take up to 30 couples this year,” Spencer said.
    On Monday, Feb. 14, a small area in the foyer of the Justice Center will be decorated for the weddings. Bring your sweetheart, marriage license, $20 and two witnesses, and Spencer, Pruitt and the staff in the Register of Deeds office will handle the rest.
    To get married, Spencer said to bring a marriage license. To apply for the license, bring Social Security card, photo identification and $60.
    “We’re asking them to come prior to Valentines Day to get their license,” Spencer said. “Purchasing the license takes only 30 minutes, but if you don’t have it on Valentine’s Day, come earlier than your appointment.
    On Valentine’s Day, bring the license, two witnesses and $20 for the pastor. It’s that simple.
    The ceremony includes the pastor, decorations, flowers and more.
    And, don’t worry about the dress. The variety is wide – from blue jeans and T-shirts, to formals gowns and tuxedos.
    Each couple receives a wedding photograph taken during the ceremony by Fletcher and Fletcher Photography. Dana’s Fine Jewelry offers free engraving on their wedding bands.
    “Honey’s IGA will provide a wedding cake, and Catawba Valley Rentals will supply a fountain for the punch,” Pruitt said.
    Gifts for the drawings include a Sunday brunch for two at Rock Barn Golf Club, Sunday brunch for two at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in addition to a night’s stay with breakfast.
    “To draw for prizes, the couple must have applied for the marriage license,” Spencer said.
    And, all of the services provided are procured within Catawba County.
    Spencer and Pruitt even bring some of their own wedding mementos to help make the special day even more treasured, such as Precious Moments cake servers and decorations. But, they are thankful for the support from the community.
    “We appreciate our sponsors, especially in this economy,” Spencer said. “This enables many couples to have a nice wedding ceremony, with very little money involved and with virtually little planning on their part.
    “This is a way, too, to give back to the community, as an elected official,” Spencer added.
    Not many people plan 30 weddings in one day, and Spencer and Pruitt learned a lot from the past four years.
    “If we didn’t give up in 2007, we’ll never give up,” Pruitt said with a laugh.
Spencer remembers, too, especially when the day came to an end.
    “Both of us took our shoes off and crawled to our cars,” she grinned.
    But Valentine’s Day is a special day and will remain so, they both agree.
    “We’ve seen so many couples come into the magistrate’s office on Valentine’s Day to be married,” Spencer said. “It’s a romantic day, and it needs to have decorations and ceremony to it.”
    To take advantage of this free romantic setting, complete with bouquets and boutonniere’s be sure to make an appointment with the Catawba County Register of Deeds Office, 465-1573.