What do you get for the Valentine's Day sweetheart who has everything? How about a wedding? That's what at least five couples will be doing tonight at the Colonial Inn in Concord, which is offering free nuptials and cake for Valentine's Day.
"It's a first for us," said David Grossberg, general manager of the Colonial Inn. "We said, if they can do it in Vegas, why not here?"
Couples in possession of a valid marriage license can come to the Inn with guests beginning at 5 p.m., where Town Clerk Anita Tekle will perform the marriage ceremony. The ceremony is free, and the happy couple will receive a small wedding cake on the house.
"We will also be doing some renewing of the vows ceremonies - it's going to be pretty small this year, since we are just getting started," Grossberg said. "But we are really hoping to make it an annual tradition."
Gorssberg said the hardest part of putting the event together was finding a justice of the peace who would agree to perform multiple ceremonies in a single night.
"While we were looking, I happened to go to Town Hall for some unrelated business and heard a few people from the Town Clerk's office discussing weddings," Gorssberg said. "I went up to the office and talked to Anita, who has performed marriages at the Inn before. It was meant to be."
After the vows, couples will receive a discount on dinner and rooms, as well as a discounted rate if they wish to plan a wedding reception for later this year.
"We're all so excited about this. It's going to be a lot of fun, who doesn't love weddings?" Grossberg said.
At the moment, the staff at the Inn is busy turning the Prescott Room into a wedding chapel, decorating with an arbor and flowers. But Grossberg said that after the evening's ceremonies are done, he has some special Valentine's Day plans of his own.
"I am going to take my sweetheart out for a special dinner, and I have a surprise gift for her," Grossberg said. "I can't say what it is, though, I don't want to spoil the surprise."
Sarah Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.