Couples tie the knot for free on Valentine's Day - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Couples tie the knot for free on Valentine's Day

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

This isn't what Gerald Gollwitzer thought he'd be doing on Valentine's Day.

"The usual dinner, nice quiet night with the kids. That was about it," he said.

But an email on Tuesday changed all that.

"They emailed her back saying they had a cancellation. 'Would you like to get married at noon?' 'How about Friday?'" Gollwitzer said.

He and his fiancee Jessica Stoneking had been planning to marry for a while. They heard about the City Market ceremonies last week, but thought they were booked up. When they got word they were in, the couple scrambled to get their families together.

They were finally getting hitched.

"We've been together almost six years, planned on getting married for quite a while. Then we ended up having a 2 1/2 month premature baby, spent 40 days in the NICU. Having a new baby means a bigger house, saving up for that, get out of debt, put the wedding off again," Gollwitzer said.

Gollwitzer and Stoneking were just one of 14 couples who said "I do" at City Market on Friday. Robert and Stephanie Jackson said if they weren't at City Market, they'd be at a courthouse.

"We decided a month ago that Feb. 14 was going to be the day," Stephanie Jackson said.

This is the seventh time City Market has hosted a massive Valentine's Day wedding. Reverend John Navarre has presided over the last four.

"It's a great celebration of love and romance," Navarre said. "The couple gets to come here and make that commitment to be married. In some ways it's more romantic. Most weddings require a lot of planning, time and preparation, sometimes some drama and tons and tons of money. This is just the wedding, just the vows, it couldn't get any more pure and romantic than that."

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