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License to wed, Winn. Co. Courthouse sees love on Valentine’s Day

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — On Valentine's Day, many couples celebrate their commitment and love for one another, but on Friday, some of those couples went to the Winnebago County Courthouse to express that love.

On the third floor of the courthouse, love was in the air as couples lined the hall waiting to say those two magic words, "I do."

County Clerk Lori Gummow's office issues marriage licenses and says this week is busier than most.

"Our office has been booked, every single single appointment, in advance of couples celebrating their marriages today, Valentine's Day," Gummow says with a smile.

Couples who wanted to get hitched today had to pick up their marriage licenses 24 hours before they head to the courthouse. For some, the ceremony was planned.

"It was semi-planned," Travis Grant and his bride Gisellearellano say laughing.

For the newly married Grants, while a Valentine's Day wedding sounded romantic, especially for the couple who got engaged on Christmas Day, it wasn't the only reason they tied the knot on this day.

"His parents are from Belize," Gisellearellano says, thanking them for travelling all the way to Rockford.

And the couple are on borrowed time.

"We're both in the military and we were deployed for nine months," Gisellearellano says. "I think it just worked out perfectly on Valentine's Day."

Other couples didn't necessarily plan on taking the plunge on Valentine's Day, but for the Andersons, it just sort of happened.

"I came to her one day and was like, 'How about the 14th of February?' and she's like, 'You know that's Valentine's Day, right?'" Zach Anderson says. "And I was like, you know what, I didn't even think about it. Sure enough, we really got a reason to celebrate it now."

For all 11 of the couples who were married at the courthouse, Feb. 14 is now a holiday and anniversary rolled into one.

Richard Bodee

Richard Bodee is a reporter at WREX. He joined the 13 WREX team in June 2019 after graduating from DePaul University with a Master’s degree in broadcast journalism.

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