NORMAN — Kiss after kiss was exchanged by happy couples who chose to start their lives together on the brink of a new year.
Judges Tracy Schumacher and Michael Tupper performed multiple wedding ceremonies on New Year’s Eve. Twenty-two couples were united in marriage at the Cleveland County Courthouse.
Alena and Denis Ovechkin, who are from Russia, recently moved to Oklahoma so Denis could work in the oil industry. Alena said she wanted to get married on New Year’s Eve because it is such an exciting holiday.
“It’s a big date,” Alena exclaimed, then smiled shyly.
Alena and Denis said they plan to celebrate their marriage and the holiday by going to dinner and out on the town. Denis said if plans failed, they would play it by ear and just enjoy being married.
Lori and Pete Brown, from Oklahoma City, came to the courthouse to renew their vows.
Lori said she had known Pete for 47 years and they’d been together for 43. Lori and Pete said after the wedding, they’d spend the night indoors, watching all the New Year’s commotion on TV.
Tupper read traditional vows and emphasized to couples that the rings they exchanged were circles with no beginning and end because they are symbols of love, a token and pledge of constant faith.
When asked what advice Lori and Pete would give Alena and Denis, who have been together five years, on what makes a lasting relationship, Lori said the couple should hang in there.
“There are too many divorces. Just work it out and remember all we have is right now,” Lori said.
Once they had tied the knot, Alena said she was happy to finally be able to say she was married but thought it would be strange to hear someone call her by her new last name.
“We know each other pretty well, so I don’t think much will be different,” Denis said, then kissed his wife.
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