28 Couples Marry Under One Roof in Largo - WFLA News Channel 8

28 Couples Marry Under One Roof in Largo

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LARGO, FL (WFLA) -

A rainy Valentine's Day didn't keep more than two dozen couples from getting married together under one roof.

Twenty-eight couples had to go inside to tie the knot at the Botanical Gardens in Largo. It's become quite the Valentine's tradition in Pinellas County during the last 7 years since so many people want to marry on February 14th.

"We were planning on marrying this summer," said Marvin Siple as he sat next to his soon-to-be wife Leah. "She saw a little article in the paper describing this and as quirky as we are and everything about how we met and got together ... ‘it was like 'that could work.'"

The two, who are now in their 50s, grew up down the street from each other in Clearwater but never met. They went to the same high school, knew a lot of the same people and had the same hobbies. It was just 3 years ago, when they were walking their dogs on the Pinellas trail, when they finally said hello.

Marvin asked her out that day and – as they say – the rest is history.

"Everything happens for a reason and for a place in time," Marvin said. "All the planets were in alignment and there we were."

Other couples had similar stories of chance.

"I got on the wrong bus and he was sitting on the bus," Angela Cowart said about her husband Jonathon.

Heather and Wayne Shovlin met online. Valentine's Day is his birthday.

"I figure every year I'm off the hook for getting him a gift because here it is," Heather said as she pointed to her wedding dress and laughed.

One other couple renewed their vows Thursday.

"With the bad economy especially weddings are expensive," said Circuit Court Clerk Ken Burke, who organizes the event. "Here they get a beautiful wedding, nice atmosphere and do it just for the price of your marriage license."

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