Couples wed in Town Hall on Valentine's Day
By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Thu., Feb. 21, 2013
Love was certainly in the air at the Windsor Town Hall on Thursday, Feb. 14, as cupid’s arrow brought 11 couples in to take advantage of the free marriage licenses being offered by the Town Clerk's office in honor of Valentine's Day. Five wedding ceremonies were also performed during the day.
“I do not think that there are any other towns in the area that do it,” said Town Clerk Agnes Pier. “The Town Hall gets very excited. We will end up having staff from throughout the building, from finance to the development services area, come down and see what’s going on and attend the services. There is a buzz throughout the town.”
The tradition originated from Town Clerk George Tudan in 1962 and has grown and expanded throughout the years. The original tradition under Tudan consisted of a free marriage license to the first couple that walked through his door on Valentine’s Day. The original marriage license had a value of $5. As more and more couples showed up each year hoping to be the first ones to receive the free license, the Town Clerk’s office decided to expand the tradition to include free wedding licenses to all on Valentine’s Day who plan to wed within the next 65 days. Today, marriage licenses have a fee of $30. In addition to the free licenses, couples also have the opportunity to win a gift basket with assorted items donated by The Beanery, Hairdresser on Fire, Geissler’s, Union Street Tavern, the Windsor Chamber of Commerce, and Moneta Moments.
“As our marriage laws have evolved, so did the way we conduct our Valentine’s Day celebration,” Pier said. “The Valentine’s Day tradition has evolved with the civil unions and now we’re back to marriages for all.”
Many couples shared their stories after completing the ceremony and saying the words, "I do." Joshua Alvarez and Tanya Correa traveled an hour and a half from Bridgeport to Windsor to wed. The couple’s story is as unique as they come. He was her bully during grade school, but they eventually went to different schools and lost contact. They would meet almost 20 years later through mutual friends who gave them a hard time before finally setting them up.
Eric Carey and Amanda Rothkugel met while working together four months ago. They instantly connected on a level neither had experienced and decided to wed after three months of dating.
Arron Henry and Fayola Hastings met four years ago through mutual friends, and after their first date, Henry told her that he would one day marry her. Hastings went to the Town Hall last week looking for tax information and saw the free marriage licenses, prompting her to ask Henry if they wanted to forgo the date they already set and marry next week. He was ecstatic that she approached him with the opportunity, and the rest is history.