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Valentine's Day Wedding Basket Give-away

Valentine's Day at the courthouse provides an occasion to shine a spotlight on the value of marriage. The exhilaration of dozens of couples starting out a new life together seemed to fill the whole courthouse as several people stopped in, just to watch.

The multitude of people getting married that day offers Marriage Network Oklahoma the chance to reach out to a group of people who don't take advantage of marriage preparation options and probably are not affiliated with a church.

We collaborated with the other partners of MNO to compile wedding gift baskets. The baskets contained lots of fun items and, more importantly, some marriage strengthening resources. Jim Priest originated the idea, which we implemented in 2005 for the first time. In 2006, many members of the team contributed resources and helped hand-out the baskets.

We asked several people why they were getting married that day. They all said it was because it is a day of romance, what better day! Several guys inferred that it would be easier to remember.

The most interesting story of the day was a couple who had been married 12 years ago. Recently the husband started a new job and was trying to get his wife on their insurance. The company asked for a copy of the marriage license. They found out that the courthouse had no record of their marriage. So, they were doing it again for the sake of legality. They were part of the group wedding ceremony and the only one we saw crying during the ceremony. She was very touched by "renewing" their vows.

The event drew lots of media attention, The Oklahoman , channels 9 and 25, KTOK and KQCV radio. We were thankful for the opportunity to talk to the public about the importance of strengthening marriages.

We thank Jim Priest for the idea and funding. Special thanks go to Millicent Gillogly for acquiring the fun components for the gifts, making the baskets beautiful, and blowing bubbles for the couples as they received their baskets. Thanks to Heather Berry , June Cromling , Cyndi Curry , and Marlene Glass for assembling the baskets. Thanks to Mike Jestes and David Dunn , Oklahoma Family Policy Council, for procuring many of the marriage resources. Thanks to Chuck Douglas , FamilyLife, for supplying some more great, marriage resources. And thanks to Hobby Lobby for a store credit to purchase the baskets and many of their entertaining ingredients.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett proclaimed February 7-14, 2006, as Marriage Week in Oklahoma City. He presented the proclamation to Ed and Donna Edwards, and Living Well board member, Jim Priest, at the Oklahoma City Council Meeting on February 7. Ed, Donna, and Jim represented Marriage Network Oklahoma, the faith coalition whose mission is to strengthen marriages in Oklahoma.

 
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