Huntington Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia will hold her 22nd annual Valentine’s Day Marriage Marathon next month, an event in which Town Hall is transformed into a flower-drenched wedding venue as couples exchange vows in consecutive ceremonies.
Raia started the Valentine’s Day tradition more than two decades ago to celebrate what Raia calls “love’s greatest holiday.”
Each Valentine’s Day, Raia performs as many marriages or vow renewals as she can — the most was 16 in one day.
Couples participate free of charge, and their guests are invited to a reception. Each set of newlyweds receives gift bags and a mini-reception, including a cake-cutting.
Local merchants donate decorations, food, gifts and services for the event each year, Raia said. Bakeries, florists, supermarkets, pharmacies and photographers typically contribute to the event.
Raia buys anything that isn’t covered by donations out of her own pocket — she said the town pays nothing for the event.
“The opportunity to join two people in a lifetime of love and commitment is the part of my job that is the most heartwarming,” Raia said in a statement.
Couples must obtain a marriage license at least 24 hours in advance, or they won’t be eligible.
For further information, a marriage license or to book a Valentine’s Day wedding, call 631-351-3216.