Nine couples got married on Valentine’s Day in City Hall by Delaware Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle.
Normally a room where official city business is conducted, the council chambers had Valentine’s greetings displayed and romantic music playing.
Riggle, who has presided over more than 100 weddings, said, “I want you all to look at each and hold hands. If you’re going to exchange rings, give them to the opposite person now. If you can’t get them off, let it go – don’t hurt your finger.”
The ceremony continued as Riggle said, “Today you proclaim your love to the world as we rejoice together. In marriage, we give ourselves freely and generously to the hands of the ones we love. In doing so, we each receive the love and trust of each other. Marriage is a way of life that no one should undertake lightly. No vows are more sacred than the ones you are about to make.”
She asked the men to repeat after her, and said “I.” Then men said “I” in unison, and stopped.
“No, I and then your name, guys,” Riggle said as the women and others in attendance giggled, “Take you - , to be none other than yourself. I promise to stand by your side, to encourage you, to be open and honest with you, to laugh with you and to cry with you, to always love you and always honor you for as long as you both shall live.”
Rings were then exchanged, and Riggle said, “I, blank, take – . I give you this ring as a pledge of my faith and love. And with this ring, I thee wed.”
She concluded by saying, “Now as you join hands together and looking into each others eyes, know that you have been joined body and soul for a lifetime, and this is a bond that no one should come between. By your promises, this 14th day of February, 2014, you have united yourselves as husbands and wives. And by the authority invested in me and the state of Ohio, I pronounce you husbands and wives. You may kiss your brides.”
The couples, some newlyweds and some renewing their vows, kissed.
According to the city, the renewing couples were City Councilman Joseph and Veronica DiGenova; Ray and Judy Domire; Laurie and Jim Mooney; and Ryan and Mary Rismiller. The newlyweds were Robert Mills Arthur III and Rubi Villagomez; Doug Carrico and Carole Weygandt; Julius Gandy and Needra Foston; Chuck Searl and Lynn Bierdeman; and Jack Stigall and Chantay Sparks.
After saying their I do’s, the couples had their photos taken in front of a heart; enjoyed cookies from Buns and cupcakes from Buehlers, Hershey’s Kisses and sparkling wine; and picked up their marriage licenses or renewal certificates.
The mass wedding, although performed at a discounted rate, included a generous donation that raised $1,000 towards building the Veterans Plaza on Houk Road, said Riggle and Plaza committee member Cody Clay.