Video by Riley Thyfault
Article by Whitney Bunn
Ingham County Chronicle staff writers
Love was in the air at the Ingham County Courthouse in Mason as County Clerk Barb Byrum married 11 couples on Valentine’s Day.
One couple was Harold and Sue Johnson.
Harold and Sue met online seven years ago, and after two years of dating, they decided to tie the knot.
It was Harold’s idea to make Valentine’s Day the date of their wedding anniversary. “The celebration of love is a good thing… (and) we were ready to make that commitment,” he said.“(Valentine’s Day) gives you an opportunity to set a landmark in the landscape of your life and build some memories – to celebrate and reflect, and hopefully bond and grow closer,” said Sue Johnson.
Byrum said Valentine’s Day is the busiest day of the year for marriage ceremonies. “I think it might have to do with (it being) easier to remember that anniversary date,” she said. “… But I think it is the lovey-dovey stuff.”
Byrum said she has performed more than 300 marriage ceremonies since becoming Ingham County clerk just over a year ago.
“I love performing marriage ceremonies. It’s an honor to join a loving couple together … (and) to be a part of people’s lives in this capacity,” Byrum said.
Although the ceremony lasted less than 10 minutes, the newly wedded Johnsons could sense a change in their relationship. “We both … realize that there is a difference when you’re married. You do look at the other person differently. It does feel deeper. It feels more committed. It feels more real,” said Sue Johnson.
“I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time,” said Harold Johnson. “We’ve worked really hard to get to this day.”
“It’s not only marrying the right partner; it’s being the right partner,” Byrum said to the couple. “Love conquers all. With all of the struggles we have in our daily lives, we can get through them with love.”