Love was in the air at Huntington Town Hall this past weekend as couples filed in all day for a marriage marathon.
For the past 21 years, Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia has been hosting this event on Valentine’s Day, where she performs marriage ceremonies and vow renewals for couples who are also treated to a small celebration with gifts, desserts and flowers donated from local vendors.
“In 1995, I thought it would be romantic to begin a Valentine’s Day marriage ceremony marathon,” Raia said in a statement. “It is a privilege and a pleasure for me to unite these couples and to share in their happiness as they embark on their new lives together.”
The ceremony has gained popularity over the years, and this year one couple came all the way from Brooklyn and Westbury to say, “I do.”
Andre Shakeem Williams, from Westbury, said he came to Town Hall to do some paperwork when he saw the flyer for this event.
“He came home with the flyer and said, ‘Would you be interested in this?’ and I said ‘Sure, let’s do it,’ and here we are,” Shantell Bennett Williams, of Brooklyn, said after the ceremony. “We said ‘We’ll do something small now, and then something big later.’”
Local couple Lisa Locker Marshall and John Paul Marshall came from East Northport, where they met more than 20 years ago in junior high.
“We didn’t want to wait,” Marshall said. “We’re not big flashy kind of people, so this was right up our alley.”
Thirty-one vendors from throughout the Huntington area contributed to the event.