Two Savannah vow-renewal ceremonies set to carry on this Valentine’s Day

Asbury Memorial Church and the Davenport House Museum continue celebrations of love

click to enlarge A couple exchanges vows during a previous Valentine's Day celebration at the Davenport House Museum. - COURTESY OF THE DAVENPORT HOUSE MUSEUM
Courtesy of the Davenport House Museum
A couple exchanges vows during a previous Valentine's Day celebration at the Davenport House Museum.
A pair of popular vow-renewal ceremonies typically held on Valentine’s Day in Savannah will carry on despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis, with one celebration of love going online and the other adding pandemic precautions to their romantic proceedings.

Savannah’s Asbury Memorial Church is taking their 25-year-old tradition of conducting an annual Valentine’s Day vow-renewal ceremony to screens this year, with the event going online. The church has held the ceremony welcoming all couples in downtown Savannah’s City Market for many years, according to Rev. Billy Hester, Asbury Memorial Church senior minister.

This year the church is determined to maintain its tradition while keeping its participants healthy and safe.

“During this time when everybody can’t do so much that they want to do, and they’re going through some down times, it is great to be able to offer something positive like this,” Hester said.

Hester said that about 50 to 60 couples usually participate in the downtown ceremony, but this year there may be an even bigger turnout because of its online availability. A congregation member who emigrated to Australia and is now married will be joining the ceremony, according to Hester.

“I’m sure we’ll have lots of folks from all over,” Hester said.

Participants can join the Asbury Memorial Church tradition from their homes in whatever attire they desire as they tune in through a Zoom link (zoom.us/j/9126951170; meeting ID: 912 695 1170) on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. The ceremony is free for all to participate. Visit asburymemorial.org for more information about the church or the virtual vow-renewal ceremony.

Meanwhile, downtown Savannah’s Davenport House Museum will continue their Valentine’s Day tradition of hosting in-person marriage and recommitment ceremonies on Feb. 14 in their garden.

The ceremonies will be conducted by a licensed officiant for a $100 donation. No more than ten people, including the couple, may be present at a ceremony to allow for safe social-distancing practices.

“Right now, couples are making tough decisions on whether to postpone or even cancel their big days due to the pandemic,” said Jamie Credle, Davenport House director. “The Davenport House is honored to provide a venue for those ready to exchange their vows.”

The ceremonies will be held for couples that register in advance every 20 minutes between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Feb. 14. Those marrying should bring a valid Georgia marriage license. Visit davenporthousemuseum.org for more details.

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