By Patrick Lacombe, Correspondent
Sunday was St. Valentine’s Day and 15 couples celebrated it in the most loving way by getting married or renewing their wedding vows at an afternoon ceremony at First Baptist Church Temple. Three couples got married on Sunday and the church provided the ceremony, photographer and reception all free of charge. Most of the couples couldn’t pass up the chance to express their love or to have the perfect Valentine wedding.
“We have been married eight and half years. This is a special day for us to renew our vows,” said Jeanine Irving, Temple resident. “I am on hospice care and took advantage of this. I am taking each day as it comes and creating new memories. My wonderful husband helped me and my mother came from Hutto to be here.”
John Irving said, “We are making the best of everyday.”
Each couple had the chance to pose for photographs after the ceremony, to document the special event. The church had a small wedding cake for each couple that was married, for the traditional “cutting of the cake”. The couples held the knife together and cut two slices of cake to feed to their new spouse, or in some cases to smear on their face.
“We are happy for all of them. We opened the church, free of charge for the couples. We believe in marriage and we want people to be married,” said Jonathan Brown, children’s pastor, First Baptist Church Temple. “Lots of smiles on everyone’s faces.”
“It went very well. We have never done anything like this. Perfect time for couples to get married and renew their vows. Nice statement about marriage today,” said Ronny Marriot, pastor, First Baptist Church Temple.
First Baptist Church Temple said they were just happy to do this for the community.
“It was amazing that they did this for us, for free. We had been planning a wedding for about a year. We found out about this, just this past Wednesday. We talked to the pastor and they made it happen. The timing was just perfect and everything just worked,” said Jennifer Becka-Swanzy, bride.