Cities help show love on holiday

NORCROSS - Couples across Gwinnett can take advantage of the most romantic day of the year to exchange vows with the ones they love.

In Lawrenceville, judges have set aside the day to perform free weddings and wedding renewal ceremonies, and in Norcross, a carriage ride through the historic downtown can culminate in vow renewals.

"It's a romantic evening anyway, and this just adds to the romance," said Patricia Pritchard, who is coordinating the Norcross event. "This is just to signify the love that people have. They can exchange rings again."

The city and the Downtown Development Authority will offer free carriage rides from 6 to 10 p.m. Valentine's Day. Pritchard said she is expecting couples who are dining at downtown restaurants to participate.

At the end of the ride, couples can stop for a vow renewal ceremony, offered in the garden behind the Northern Star Coffee House. The usual event site, a historic chapel, isn't available because a play is being performed there.

Similar ceremonies will be offered for free at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Judges will also perform weddings for couples who have a valid marriage license.

Services are available in Spanish, and no appointment is necessary.

"It's one of those very private moments, when you say, 'Yes, I want to spend the rest of my life with you,'" said Pritchard, who plans to renew her vows Wednesday with her husband of 25 years.

If you wed...

What: Valentine's Day wedding and vow renewal ceremonies

•When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday

•Where: Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville

•Couples who wish to marry must have a valid marriage license.

Free services are also available in Spanish.

•The city of Norcross will host free carriage rides and renewal ceremonies from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the historic downtown area.