Lu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent
SCHERERVILLE — With a backdrop of floral arrangements and crystal luminaries, love will blossom as couples from throughout the Calumet Region say their “I do’s” during Valentine’s Day weddings at Albert’s Diamond Jewelers.
Now in its 20th year, the Valentine’s Day nuptials and renewal of wedding vows take place from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Schererville location, 711 Main St.
Currently, 14 ceremonies are planned and times are still available, said Christine Martinez, of Albert’s, who helps redesign the store into a decorated chapel.
“All couples need to get married here is a Lake County, Indiana, marriage license,” Martinez said.
The tradition of Valentine’s Day weddings honors the Feb. 14, 1968, wedding of Fred and Donna Halpern and dates back to when the couple decided to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows at the Albert’s store they owned, then in East Chicago.
Their invitation to other couples to join them and get married that same day sparked the annual nuptials and renewal of vows, said Josh Halpern, the couple’s son, and president of Albert’s Diamond Jewelers.
“I’m very excited to be hosting this wonderful tradition on my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary,” he said. “We thank everyone who shares this special day with us. We’ll make it a spectacular day to remember.”
Judge Elizabeth Tavitas, Magistrate Matthew Gruett and Magistrate Jeffrey Miller will officiate at the ceremonies that take place every 15 to 20 minutes.
This annual wedding event gives back to the community and Albert’s customers, Martinez said. There’s no expense to get married at Albert’s, and couples are welcome to bring as many family and friends as they would like to join in their celebration.
Champagne and a cake will be presented to each couple after the ceremony.
Area businesses donate everything for the wedding and renewal of vows, Martinez said.
Monarch Florist of Schererville provides the floral décor as well as the brides' bouquets and grooms’ boutonnieres. The cakes are baked fresh and donated by Strack & Van Til.
Comcast Spotlight is this year’s honeymoon sponsor.
Videographer Dave Ervin, of Ervin Video Services in Schererville, and photographer Bernie Zemen, from Timeless Images Photography in Highland, volunteer every year to capture the special day, she said. The ceremonies also will be presented on Facebook Live for those who cannot make it to the store.
Couples can fill out an application online at www.albertsjewelers.com/say-i-do-at-alberts.
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