San Antonio couples lock lips at free mass courthouse wedding

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by Marvin Hurst / KENS 5

khou.com

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 10:30 AM

SAN ANTONIO -- Cupid has a wonderful tradition in the Alamo City.

He starts spreading love at the stroke of midnight. Honestly, hearts are on fire prior to that as couples gather on the Bexar County Courthouse steps for the free Valentine's Day mass weddings.

"I've been wanting to do this since I was a little girl," said bride-to-be Vanessa Montavias.

For 25 years, Bexar County has offered free weddings to those who want to tie the knot on Valentine's Day. All they need is a marriage license that was applied for at least three days before the ceremony.

Several ceremonies are scattered throughout the day to accommodate all of those who want a memorable wedding.

"I figured the time was right after all the years we've been together," said bride-to-be Joann Garcia. "And we wanted to be unique."

Officials estimated nearly 70 couples gathered for the midnight ceremony. It seems to be the most popular. Lovebirds get married in full wedding attire, casual clothing or in costumes. Some even come to the courthouse steps to renew their vows. However, the lion's share of participants are newlyweds moving into matrimony.

"We were middle school sweethearts," said groom Aaron Rivera, "and decided to make it final."

The free mass wedding ceremonies end at 4 p.m.

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