I do, I do, I do: Mass Valentine’s wedding ceremony at Florida museum




Sarah Horton, left, and Shackeem Frankson exchange rings as they get married during a Valentine's Day group wedding ceremony, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, outside the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Fla. The pair were one of nine couples married by the Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller for Palm Beach County during the annual event. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Sarah Horton, left, and Shackeem Frankson alternate rings as they get married throughout a Valentine’s Day group wedding ceremony ceremony, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, outdoors the Flagler Museum in Palm Seaside, Fla. The pair have been one among 9 {couples} married by the Clerk of the Circuit Courtroom & Comptroller for Palm Seaside County throughout the annual occasion. (AP Photograph/Wilfredo Lee)

PALM BEACH, Fla,. (AP) — Shackeem Frankson is the quintessential burly jail guard, however when he turned Monday to alternate wedding ceremony vows along with his longtime girlfriend, Sarah Horton, he needed to pause to wipe away the tear that trickled down his cheek.

However no worries — the opposite eight {couples} exchanging their very own vows at a mass Valentine’s Day wedding ceremony outdoors one among Florida’s most historic mansions have been in all probability too busy to note.

“It is all proper to be emotional at this time,” mentioned Frankson, his bride laughing at him being busted, after the ceremony organized by Palm Seaside County Courtroom Clerk Joseph Abruzzo and his workers.

Appropriately, the group ceremony came about on the south garden of Whitehall, the 75-room, 100,000-square-foot (9,290-square meter) waterside retreat that oil and railroad tycoon Henry Flagler constructed as a marriage current for his third spouse, Mary Lily Kenan Flagler. The Flaglers wintered there starting in 1902, and it’s now the centerpiece of the Flagler Museum. Historians say it price $4 million ($110 million at this time) to construct. It usually prices $15,000 to get married there, however on this present day the one price was the $86 license charge.

And it was a shiny, sunny however chilly for a South Florida morning (62 levels Fahrenheit, or 17 levels Celsius) because the {couples} gathered outdoors the gates of the two-story neoclassical mansion, its white columns overlooking the gang. The brides, all in white attire, stood with their grooms, principally wearing darkish fits or tuxes. The ladies got pink long-stem roses; the boys have been pinned with rose boutonnieres.


Arielle Agnelli and Bryan Arvesu head to a photo shoot after being married during a Valentine's Day group wedding ceremony, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, outside the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Fla. The pair were one of nine couples married by the Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller for Palm Beach County during the annual event. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Arielle Agnelli and Bryan Arvesu head to a photograph shoot after being married throughout a Valentine’s Day group wedding ceremony ceremony, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, outdoors the Flagler Museum in Palm Seaside, Fla. The pair have been one among 9 {couples} married by the Clerk of the Circuit Courtroom & Comptroller for Palm Seaside County throughout the annual occasion. (AP Photograph/Wilfredo Lee)

Bride-to-be Diana Garcia waited along with her fiance, retail supervisor Sergio Mena, about to culminate their two months of engagement. They met in center faculty a few dozen years in the past, however solely began courting two years in the past. They’ve a 1-year-old son.

Garcia — or Diana Mena as you might be studying this — signed up the couple after seeing it promoted on the clerk’s web site. It “could be actually cool” to get married on Valentine’s Day at such a historic venue.

“It’s a particular vacation spot — and never on the courthouse,” mentioned Diana Mena, a housekeeper.


Danielle Green, left, and her new husband Yehonatan Miron dance as they leave after being married during a Valentine's Day group wedding ceremony, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, outside the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Fla. The pair were one of nine couples married by the Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller for Palm Beach County during the annual event. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Danielle Inexperienced, left, and her new husband Yehonatan Miron dance as they go away after being married throughout a Valentine’s Day group wedding ceremony ceremony, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, outdoors the Flagler Museum in Palm Seaside, Fla. The pair have been one among 9 {couples} married by the Clerk of the Circuit Courtroom & Comptroller for Palm Seaside County throughout the annual occasion. (AP Photograph/Wilfredo Lee)

For Frankson and the previous Ms. Horton, who waited close by, the ceremony ended a five-year engagement — “we simply saved placing it off,” she mentioned. They met on-line seven years in the past.

Sarah Frankson, an accounts supervisor, mentioned she had seen a neighborhood TV information story that the clerk’s workplace was searching for {couples} for the ceremony, so she signed them up and so they have been picked. They’d sorta began planning a marriage a pair years in the past, however then the COVID-19 pandemic started and it obtained pushed apart till this chance arose.

“It’s totally different,” she mentioned. Frankson added one other profit — there was not one of the “problem” of planning a extra conventional wedding ceremony. The draw back — no households have been allowed, together with the Franksons’ 5-year-old son, however they might watch the ceremony on Fb and plenty of had plans for luncheons or receptions after.


Danielle Green, left, and Yehonatan Miron kiss as they prepare to take their place during a Valentine's Day group wedding ceremony, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, outside the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Fla. The pair were one of nine couples married by the Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller for Palm Beach County during the annual event. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Danielle Inexperienced, left, and Yehonatan Miron kiss as they put together to take their place throughout a Valentine’s Day group wedding ceremony ceremony, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, outdoors the Flagler Museum in Palm Seaside, Fla. The pair have been one among 9 {couples} married by the Clerk of the Circuit Courtroom & Comptroller for Palm Seaside County throughout the annual occasion. (AP Photograph/Wilfredo Lee)

Quickly, the clerk and museum workers escorted the {couples} onto the grounds, the place Abruzzo awaited them on the portico. The brides have been taken stage proper, the grooms stage left, then introduced again collectively as recorded violins performed.

Because the {couples} stood below stately palm bushes with yachts bobbing within the Intracoastal Waterway behind them, Abruzzo introduced their vows. He requested them to recite that they’d not solely love and cherish one another, however give their new partner “all of my tomorrows.”

For Arielle Agnelli, whose lengthy gown practice flowed behind her, and Bryan Arvesu, the ceremony changed the 150-person one they canceled in August 2020 due to the pandemic. As they waited within the reception space to obtain their wedding ceremony certificates, they held shut when requested what they considered the ceremony.

“It was superb and great,” the newly christened Arielle Agnelli-Arvesu mentioned.

They knew they’d one thing particular after they met eight years in the past at a buddy’s home — “the second I noticed her,” he mentioned.

They chuckled a bit after they disclosed their occupations — she’s an inside designer, he is a house renovator.

“It’s a TV present within the making!” he joked. Perhaps.

Then they and the others have been off, some to satisfy the members of the family who awaited them outdoors the mansion’s gates to take them to lunch. And the remainder of their lives.