Valentine's Day: Couples wed on Ferris wheel at Scheel's (video)
Sandy • There's no excuse for 16 Utah couples to forget their wedding anniversary now.
The newlyweds were married on Valentine's Day while on board a Ferris wheel at Scheels sporting goods store, in a ceremony conducted by Murray Mayor Dan Snarr.
For at least one couple, the wedding was a long time coming.
Janet and David Garcia have been together 22 years and have a "Brady Bunch" family of seven children three hers, three his and one theirs. David Garcia had been asking his beloved for a long time to get married, the South Salt Lake couple said.
And now that the kids were grown, Janet Garcia was ready.
"I said, 'Let's do it. Let's start our lives' " as a married couple, she said.
The brides and grooms, some dressed in traditional wedding clothes and others in more casual attire, came down separate flights of stairs and climbed into the Ferris wheel cars. (Fifteen of the couples rode on the ride during their nuptials Thursday, while one pair stood in front because the bride was 36 weeks pregnant.)
"You are here today first and foremost because you are friends," said Snarr, who urged the brides and grooms to love and take care of each other, to be loyal and to be happy.
"Life together should be fun," the mayor said.
The couples exchanged rings one-by-one and then were pronounced husband and wife by Snarr as a crowd of family, friends and shoppers watched.
The free Valentine's Day wedding was sponsored by radio station K-Bull 93, which selected the participants based on the stories of love and devotion that they submitted in a "Seal the Deal on the Wheel" contest.
Among those taking the matrimonial ride were Megan Coates and Andrew Jack, who have known each other since they attended Oquirrh Elementary School in West Jordan.
"I had the biggest crush on him, but he didn't have one on me," the new Mrs. Jack said, adding that they were best friends then.
The two lost touch after they went to different high schools and she moved to St. George. Megan Jack returned to the Salt Lake City area in November 2010 after a divorce and reconnected with her old friend through Facebook.
"We just hit it off right away and have been together ever since," she said.
David Smith was living in Tooele when he met Pleasant Grove resident Stephanie Hippach online and the two, who had been widowed, clicked. Soon after they met, Hippach got sick.
"She had to have surgery and I took care of her and her kids and we fell in love," Smith said.
Jana Williams said her now-mother-in-law suggested that she and her husband, Kirt, enter the K-Bull contest. Williams gave birth last year to a premature baby who weighed just 1 pound 12 ounces. The little boy, who turned 1 on Wednesday, attended the wedding along with other happy family members.
"We figured what better birthday present than for his parents to get married," Jana Williams said.
The free wedding package for each couple includes wedding bands from Jonathan's Jewelry, a bouquet from Tulip Tree Floral, an 8-by-10 photo from Blackburn Studios and a three-day ticket package with campsite to the 2013 Country Explosion music festival at the Miller Motorsports Park this summer.