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Court offers free weddings, renewals

POSTED: February 10, 2010 4:00 a.m.
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Chief Magistrate Judge Lisa Thurmond decorates Dawson County's Historic Courthouse for Valentine weddings and vow renewals before last year's event.

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With Valentine’s Day on Sunday, many men and women are trying to come up with the perfect gift that tells their loved one how much they care.

  

Tim Satterfield, deputy chief of emergency services for Dawson County, is always in that same boat.

  

“After 28 years of marriage, you don’t want to just come home with a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates,” he said.

  

Last year, Satterfield was determined to give his wife a romantic Valentine and surprised her with a proposal to renew their wedding vows in downtown Dawsonville at the county’s historic courthouse.

  

Needless to say, Satterfield said his bride was excited by the thoughtful and priceless gift.

  

For the second year, Dawson County Magistrate Court will offer free marriage and vow renewal ceremonies at the historic courthouse this Friday. Judges will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  

Chief Magistrate Judge Lisa Thurmond said the court enjoys offering the free ceremonies and being a part of such a memorable experience for those getting married or renewing their vows.

  

“Last year we performed 15 individual Valentine weddings and vow renewals,” Thurmond said. “This year we have more renewals scheduled, but there are still three or four slots open.”

  

The courthouse will feature décor for the occasion and light refreshments will be served.

  

A marriage license from probate court is required for new marriages. No license is required for vow renewals.

  

Contact the Dawson County Magistrate Court at (706) 344-3730 to schedule a ceremony.

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