Young hearts celebrate nuptials

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 13, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

At least five couples today are celebrating Valentine’s Day with the ultimate expression of bliss – honeymooning after being married Friday by Clerk of the Court W. Randolph Carter Jr.

Administering marriage vows to each couple was a joyous occasion for all including himself.

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&uot;Marrying people is one of the most pleasant aspects of my job as clerk,&uot; said Carter. &uot;Mr. Henry Murden, who served as clerk of court for 30 years, told me once that helping people begin a life together was a joy and he was correct. I truly enjoy the smiles and the love they express to each other.&uot;

As Carter said, people chose to marry in the clerk’s office for many reasons, but he always has a brief conversation prior to the actual ceremony.

&uot;I always tell them that they are free to change their minds and be married in a church instead,&uot; he said. &uot;But, no matter which way you do it, you are still just as married. My wife, Luci, and I got married in front of a judge.&uot;

One of the couples that came yesterday to the clerk’s office was Julia Soga and David Greg Carpenter. She’s an &uot;imported&uot; bride, having been brought to Suffolk by her groom when he returned home after a brief period of work in her home state.

&uot;I just fell in love with David and he’s good to me,&uot; said the bride. &uot;I like his family and when he asked me to marry him, I said I would. We had planned to marry in a church, but my family couldn’t get here and we really don’t have the money for a wedding right now, so we came to Mr. Carter.&uot;

Since Friday was the 13th, some people would choose another day for their wedding, but Carpenter said he laughs in the face of such &uot;tomfoolery.&uot;

&uot;I don’t believe in all that junk and we put our faith in God,&uot; said Carpenter. &uot;I believe if we get married in His sight and under the laws of the state, we can work out anything that comes in our marriage.&uot;

When Carter read the marriage vows to Carpenter, the young man enthusiastically responded to the question, &uot;Will you take her as your lawfully wedded wife?&uot;

&uot;I most certainly will!&uot; he exclaimed, gazing into the eyes of his dark-haired beauty.

Before exchanging vows, the young couple asked Carter to leave out the portion of the ceremony where they exchange rings. They didn’t have the money to pay for such luxuries right now, they said.

&uot;We’ll do that later, when we’ve saved up for them,&uot; said Julia. &uot;We also want to save for a honeymoon. We don’t have enough for that right now, but we will be spending Valentine’s Day and Sunday at a beach hotel. Then, Monday, it’s back to the real world but we will be married!&uot;

The real world for the couple means she returns to work at the Peacock Lounge at Holiday Inn-Suffolk, and her husband will return to work Monday at Gentry’s Used Auto Parts.

The five weddings Friday weren’t the first Carter has performed. He’s a court-appointed &uot;marriage commissioner,&uot; with his term expiring December 2012.

&uot;I performed a wedding years ago,&uot; he said. &uot;I married a couple from Williamsburg, but since I was elected clerk of the court, I’ve done two or three marriages a week. Right now, with Valentine’s Day, the rush is on. This is the most ‘fun’ part of my day, though.&uot;

Carter added that he performed a marriage last week even though the couple came in at 4:30 p.m.

&uot;I told them to come on in and let me do this for them,&uot; he added. &uot;I enjoyed that and it made my day end up in an extremely nice way. I went home, kissed Luci and hugged the dog!&uot;