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Hennepin County marrying couples for free on Valentine's Day

You can say "I do" at no charge during your lunch break on Thursday

If you were in a rush to have a Valentine's Day wedding and you don't have much of a budget, Hennepin County may have a solution for you.

On Thursday, Feb. 14, judges will perform free weddings at the Hennepin County Government Center for "up to 36 couples" over the noon hour.

The services are free, but if you're interested, you'll still have to go through all the usual steps, including bringing witnesses and presenting a marriage license and photo IDs. 

Luckily, you have until Wednesday, Feb. 13 to apply for or obtain a marriage license. (You can find all of the necessary steps and learn how to sign up by clicking right here.)

And if you're worried the venue (the county's main courthouse) might be a little drab, the county will be providing music to go along with the ceremony.

Though this may be the first you've heard of the event, the free Valentine's Day weddings are actually a bit of a tradition in Hennepin County.

According to KARE 11, the county started offering them in 2012, and every year since, has saved dozens and dozens of couples the $100-$150 it would normally cost to get married in the courthouse.

28 couples took the offer last year, WCCO reported. 

As the Pioneer Press noted in 2013, the weddings are the brainchild of Hennepin County District Judge William Koch, "who thought it a good way to celebrate Valentine's Day."

“It just seemed like something we ought to be doing,” he told the paper.

Koch himself will be speaking during a welcome ceremony at Thursday's wedding extravaganza. 

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