Rupert Cartwright wanted to do something extra special for his wife of 57 years — so he married her again.
No complaints from his bride, Catherine.
“You ask me, the second time around is good as the first,” she said following a vow renewal ceremony Feb. 12 at the historic courthouse in downtown Dawsonville.
It’s the second year that Chief Magistrate Judge Lisa Thurmond has conducted vow renewals and weddings as a free Valentine’s Day gift for lovebirds looking to tie the knot for the first or second time.
The Cartwrights renewed vows alongside daughter and son-in-law Vanessa and Roy Fouts, who have been married 36 years. The Fouts also renewed their vows.
“Roy asked me to do this because he saw it in the paper,” Vanessa Fouts said. “And when I mentioned it to Mama, she asked Daddy. We figured we’d make it a family activity.”
Her father, Rupert Cartwright, said they had been planning to renew their vows for a while.
“We’ve been wanting to do this for some time now,” he said.
When they got married 57 years ago, Catherine Cartwright said, the only person there for the occasion was the justice of the peace who conducted the affair.
Their daughter and son-in-law didn’t have a big ceremony for their wedding either.
“It was really great to be able to do this,” Vanessa Fouts said. “The whole thing was all very exciting.”
Thurmond married two couples and held seven vow renewals Feb. 12.
“It’s something that’s really a win-win for everyone,” Thurmond said. “I enjoy doing it, and it’s something special for the people who come.”
Cathy Brooks, a spokeswoman for the county government, said Thurmond truly enjoys the ceremony.
“Last year was the first time we did it,” Brooks said. “It was Judge Thurmond’s first year in office, and she wanted to give something back to the community.
She wanted to do a feel-good thing for the community.”
Catherine Cartwright feels pretty good about it.
“This will be a very memorable Valentine’s Day,” she said.