Couples say ‘I do’ for free on Valentine’s Day
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Love was in the air in downtown Wilmington Thursday, and a lifetime commitment for some came at a low, low cost.
According to Business Insider, the average American wedding costs more than $33 thousand, but eight lucky couples this Valentine’s Day were able to dodge the costs.
The New Hanover County Register of Deeds chose the couples on a first come first serve basis, and treated to a free wedding courtesy of local donors.
It’s an annual tradition that was started three years ago.
“We always have wedding officiants to offer the services, and they are always very happy to do it at no cost,” said Shannon Zickefoose, the Vital Records Assistant for Register of Deeds.
They also provided plenty of amenities and small wedding gifts.
“Tons of restaurants and Thalian Hall and Carolina Opry, tickets to random events, just anything we could get our hands on. We just call and ask and see what we can get,” Zickefoose added.
A free wedding saved one couple stuck between a rock and a hard place financially.
“Due to Hurricane Florence it took a lot of our funding, so we wasn’t able to get married at the timely fashion that we had planned for,” Newley wed Kareem Nelson said. “We found out it was free today. It kinda helped us out, you know, being that we lost everything we had.”
“We’re very thankful,” Robyn Miller, Nelson’s bride said. “We’re actually blessed, because we didn’t know how we was gonna get married, because, like he said, around the time we was initially supposed to get married we got hit with the hurricane, so that set us back.”
The Register of Deeds staff says they fully intend to continue the tradition.
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