Eleven couples braved cold temperatures to be simultaneously married at the ice castle at the Mall of America.
The Business JournalsPR Newswire reports they were the winners of a contest that gave weddings to couples with the best stories about why they wanted to be married at the ice castle. The couples won a reception featuring individual wedding cakes. Flowers and photography were also donated.
One of the couples was Tiffany Isenberg and James Quarterman. The Pioneer Press reports the Bloomington couple had their first date at the Mall of America. In October, Quarterman was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He said marrying the woman he loves in his final months will make him feel at peace.
The Pioneer Press also reported that 19 couples took up the invitation to have judges marry them for free at the Hennepin County Government Center.
Eleven judges supervised the "I do's," while one judge played piano and another sang.
The weddings, held around the fountain in the atrium, were the idea of Hennepin County District Judge William Koch, who thought it a good way to celebrate Valentine's Day.
Victorio Pacheco, 23, and new bride, Lorraine Pacheco, 25, sat next to the fountain after they exchanged vows. When they heard about the free ceremonies, they thought it a good reason to get married.
"We'd kind of like to celebrate our anniversary and Valentine's Day at the same time," he said. "I won't be able to forget it."