Valentine's Day 2020 marked 22 years of Albert's Diamond Jeweler's "I Do" event. Nearly 20 couples, along with their friends and families, made their way down the aisle. Each of their stories is unique, but this year, a particularly heartfelt story emerged - the decades-long love story of Mary Ellen and Roy Slazyk.
The couple were first married at Albert's 20 years ago and wanted to renew their vows one last time.
"We had already been a customer at Albert's, so we figured why not," Mary Ellen said. "This anniversary recently became more special."
Two weeks prior to Friday's event, Roy was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
"We know this is probably the last time we'll be able to renew our vows because of the cancer. It's a very aggressive cancer and spreads quickly, and we don't know how much time we have left with each other. We do know this is going to be the last anniversary, so we're just taking it one day at a time," Mary Ellen said, through both tears and smiles.
In celebration of the couple's 20th anniversary, the Albert's team surprised Mary Ellen and Roy with a silver rectangle map necklace by A. Jaffe after the renewal ceremony. Engraved on the sterling silver pendant was a Google Map location of where they sealed the deal, Albert's Diamond Jewelers.
"We wanted to give you this present to give to your wife in remembrance of your anniversary here, today," said Joshua Halpern, President and owner of Albert's Diamond Jewelers, to Roy.
"It's absolutely beautiful, I can't believe it. Thank you," Mary Ellen said to Halpern and the Albert's team.
After exchanging vows, the couple had a special request - that they dance together to their favorite song, "Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Savage Garden, in front of their loved ones.
"Whatever time we have left together, I will cherish forever," Mary Ellen said to Roy. "I couldn't have asked for a better person to spend my life with, and I only hope we could spend a thousand years together and not be apart."
The Albert's "I Do" event has become a Region-famous opportunity for couples of all ages to tie the knot and celebrate anniversaries. The "I Do" event originated with Halpern's parents - Fred and Donna - when they renewed their vows for their 30th anniversary at the company's former East Chicago store. The event has continued to grow ever since.
"This is our tradition to marry couples on Valentine's Day. I love getting to meet people from all over Northwest Indiana who are in love and getting to be a part of their special day," Halpern said. "There's just so much energy and love in this room and it's just incredible."
"My family is and has always been about giving back and this is just another thing we do for the community," he added.
One-by-one on Friday, brides walked down the aisle at Albert's, ready to say "I do" to their life partners. Officiated by magistrates Jeffery Miller and Matthew Gruett, each ceremony took about 20 minutes, and afterward, couples received a wedding cake, champagne, flowers, and a video of their ceremony.
"There are some very special stories here today that we're excited to continue to be part of," Halpern said.
Click here to view this article on valpolife.com
Thank you to our participating vendors:
Judges: Magistrate Jeffery Miller, Magistrate Matthew Gruett
Decor, Rose, Boutineer for Bride and Groom: Monarch Florist and Gifts and Events in Schererville, IN
Wedding Cakes: Strack & Van Til in Schererville, IN
Videography: Dave Ervin from Ervin Video Service in Schererville, IN