Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

19 Pasco couples marry in Valentine's Day courthouse ceremony

DADE CITY

Most engaged couples go ring shopping together. Kaylyn Conrad and John Eaton also went shoe shopping.

The 23-year-olds from Shady Hills bought matching red Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars for their wedding on Friday. The canvas sneakers, along with Conrad's sunflower bouquet, made the pair stand out among the 19 couples who showed up for the Valentine's Day wedding ceremony open to all comers.

The Eatons said they were considering setting a Feb. 21 date, the first anniversary of their first date. But when they learned about the special ceremony sponsored by the Pasco County Clerk of Court, they didn't want to wait.

"We just decided to get married," the new Mrs. Eaton said.

Held around the picturesque historic courthouse downtown, the ceremony was presided over by clerk Paula O'Neil, who smiled from ear to ear. This marks the sixth year for the ceremony, which this year featured a recording of Paul Stookey's The Wedding Song (There is Love). The couples received gifts from local businesses that included a small cake, a strand of faux pearls and legal services to draw up wills.

The grooms ringed the two courtyard flagpoles as their brides paraded up to a recorded harp version of the Here Comes the Bride.

"Wow, you look beautiful," O'Neil told the group. She stressed during the 10-minute ceremony that though marriage unites a couple, it should not extinguish their individuality.

They came in all ages and stripes. One groom used a walker. Another bride was escorted by a small boy. A couple of brides wore traditional white or ivory gowns, while some opted for Valentine's Day red dresses. One groom came in a black tuxedo.

John Eaton wore a red bow tie to match his shoes. His bride had on a backless white dress that had a pearlized waist added by Eaton's grandmother.

They met as youngsters at Hudson Middle School and reconnected last year when Eaton, who works for Coastal Aluminum, moved back to the area.

"We just hit it off," said Kaylyn, who attends cosmetology school.

They exchanged rings and vows and looked forward to their honeymoon in St. Augustine.

O'Neil pronounced the newlyweds, all 38 of them, husbands and wives and announced each pair's name.

"You are now married couples," she said. "Isn't that awesome!"

John Eaton and Kaylyn Conrad, both 23 and of Spring Hill, kiss after exchanging vows on the grounds of the Pasco County Historic Courthouse in Dade City during a Valentine’s Day group wedding ceremony performed by Paula S. O’Neil.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

John Eaton and Kaylyn Conrad, both 23 and of Spring Hill, kiss after exchanging vows on the grounds of the Pasco County Historic Courthouse in Dade City during a Valentine’s Day group wedding ceremony performed by Paula S. O’Neil.

19 Pasco couples marry in Valentine's Day courthouse ceremony 02/14/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 14, 2014 10:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Guest column: Julian Craft worked a lifetime to help those down and out in Brandon

    Columns

    Julian Craft died June 28. He was 84. In this memoriam, Brandon attorney B. Lee Elam, a friend and colleague, recalls Craft as a man with humble beginnings who spent much of his life offering a hand-up to individuals and groups across Brandon who desperately needed it. Craft's family asked that donations in his honor …

    JulianCraft knew how circumstances could put a family in dire straits so he  worked to help address the immediate needs of Brandonites before other aid kicked in. [ERNEST HOOPER   |   Times, 2005]
  2. Updates to Clearwater's development rules brings skeptical response to sea level rise from vice mayor

    Blogs

    During a discussion this week about updates to Clearwater's development rules dealing with sea level rise, Vice Mayor Hoyt Hamilton took a skeptical stance.

  3. Brandon motorcyclist dies after car turns into his path

    Accidents

    A motorcyclist died Thursday night after a car turned into his path on a Brandon road, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

  4. Photo of the Day for August 18, 2017 - A Window to Heaven

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Carlos Nieves of Tampa, FL. He calls it "A Window to Heaven."

  5. Tino Martinez thinks Derek Jeter has what it takes to run Marlins

    Blogs

    The sale of the Miami Marlins to Derek Jeter and his partners (a guy named Michael Jordan is also chipping in) awaits approval by Major League Baseball. But Jeter’s friend, former teammate  and fellow Tampa resident Tino Martinez never doubted Jeter would pull this off.

    Former New York Yankees player Derek Jeter waves to fans during a ceremony retiring his number at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Miami Marlins signed an agreement to sell the team to a group featuring Derek Jeter, a person familiar with the deal said Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.