The second-annual marriage and vow renewal event took place outside the courthouse.
As Palm Coast residents Steven and Margaret D’Errico stood on top of the steps at the Flagler County Courthouse, they said “I do” for the second time. They weren’t renewing their vows; they were reciting new ones.
After being married for 20 years, the D’Erricos were separated for 1 1/2 years, then divorced for six months, before realizing life without each other wasn’t really living.
“We fell back in love, worked in intensive therapy and here we are — in love again,” said Steven D’Errico.
They learned that communication and respect were the keys to marriage.
“We loved each other and had two beautiful children, but we took each other for granted,” Steven D’Errico said.
“This time it’s forever,” Margaret D’Errico added.
Tom Bexley, Flagler County clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, led the ceremony for the eleven couples gathered at the courthouse to get married on Thursday, Feb. 14, along with the five couples renewing their vows.
The Flagler County Youth Orchestra set the tone for the second-annual event, and guests enjoyed refreshments after the ceremony.
“To the couples: The years will come and go. Don’t take each other for granted,” Bexley said. “You will laugh a lot. You will be the best parents you can be. You will grow old and wise together, hopefully. Marriage is an amazing journey with no end in sight.”
Flagler Beach residents Michele Burpeau and Silvio DiGregorio renewed their vows after being married 37 years to the day.
Another couple, Bill and Rochelle Sample, got married 18 years ago at the Old Flagler County Courthouse in Bunnell. As Ohio residents, the couple came to town for the ceremony on Thursday to renew their vows.
Palm Coast residents Brian and Shannon Smith had planned on getting married for the last year, and couldn’t wait any long to say, “I do,” Shannon said.
“It was a little different, but I knew she was the one, so that was it,” Brian Smith said.