Love is in the air on February 14, and for a few dozen couples it was the perfect day to say "I do."
The Harris County Clerk's Office and Heritage Society hosted Valentine's Day Express Weddings. The offices waived a Texas law requiring couples to wait at least 72 hours after receiving their marriage license before getting married.
Russel Hemati and Marissa Diamond were the first couple to walk down the aisle hand-in-hand for the day. They married at the historic 1891 St. John Church. Harris County Clerk Teneshia Hudspeth said the church was one of a few sites the couples could choose to have their ceremony at.
"Here at the Heritage Society, there's gonna be a total of 38 ceremonies. There are several judges here from Harris County that are performing marriages over at the Historic St. John Church, in the gallery," she said.
While the rain prevented some of the outdoor ceremonies, Hudspeth and the Heritage Society pressed forward with the weddings.
The goal was to provide couples an easier and more affordable wedding on the same day many received their license. Hudspeth said the first step to getting married is getting a marriage license.
“We’re providing those marriage licenses here at this office, and then they’re able to walk right over to the Church or many different historical sites to actually get married,” she said.
Caitlin Roberts and Frank Nuñez were one of the next couples in line for their ceremony. They said they were marrying after being together for ten years.
"Been a long time, honestly. We've been together since high school," Roberts said.
"We're excited and relieved at the same time. And we're finally getting to it. But you know, life happens. We have kids, work, and everything else. Feels nice to kinda think about us for the day," Nuñez said.
Previously, the Harris County Clerk’s Office has also hosted birth certificate events right before the new school year for parents.
Their first birth certificate event was in 2021, which helps parents get their children's birth certificates before they register for school. It is now an annual event every late July to early August. The Heritage Society hopes for more couples to participate in similar events such as the Valentine's Day Express Weddings, as well.