Sheriff saves the wedding day

CHARLES COUNTY (WUSA) -- They say all you need is love, but to get married, you also need a place to get married in.

After the snow, more than a dozen couples in Charles County scheduled for a Valentine's Day wedding got some bad news. The snowfall was just too much and the Charles County courthouse had to be closed. 17 weddings would have to be cancelled. That's when an unlikely wedding spot saved the day, the Charles County Sheriff's Department.

One of wedding couples, Albert and Shinobu Charity met in Japan, when Albert was overseas in the military. Albert proposed last Christmas, and Valentine's Day was to be their wedding day. Albert was crushed when he thought they had to reschedule, "I really wanted it to be this day. I literally didn't want any other day."

Thanks to the fast thinking of Charles County Sheriff Rex Coffey and Charles County Clerk Sharon Hancock who performs the county's weddings, the happy couple got their wish. Coffey says it was an easy decision, "We got to talking about Valentine's Day and one thing led to another and I said we can use the Sheriff's office. We're never closed."

So, the department turned a room often used to talk about crime into a makeshift wedding chapel, and hung decorations bought from a local dollar store. On this day dedicated to love, truly, love conquered all, even the snow.

Albert and Shinobu would not have it any other way. This day means a lot to Albert, "It means that I get to be with the one that I love, for the rest of my life, I get to cherish that annually every year. You're.supposed to be with the one you love."

If you are wondering why the County would go the extra mile to make these couple's dreams come true, Sheriff Coffey explains, "I've been married for 38 years, I love my wife just like when I met her, so I'm a sucker for a love story, it's a good thing." Hancock adds, 'I've been married 35 years and I know how important a marriage can be."


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