Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times
Yesterday, many of you got flowers, chocolates and even kisses, but 15 couples got an extra special Valentine’s Day gift — the gift of marriage.
The Lowndes County Probate Court was hustling and bustling on Valentine’s Day with brides and grooms ready to say “I do” and Judge Terri Adams was more than happy to play Cupid.
“Even though our case load within the last year has doubled and tripled with certain cases, my staff and I plan for this day,” said Adams. “It’s a tradition in the probate court
to accommodate as many people as possible.”
Adams was supposed to take a mini-vacation on Thursday, but she didn’t feel complete not marrying people on Valentine’s Day.
“I am truly honored to have the opportunity to take part in a very special time in someone’s life,” said Adams.
Kemisha Johns wore a white wedding dress lined in red. A beautiful silk shawl covered her shoulders and her hair was up in tiny, ringlet curls. Joe Johns wore a cream suit, stunning in his own right, but not outshining his bride.
Accompanying the couple was Kemisha’s three young daughters; 8-year-old Kenderia Sylvester, 6-year-old Kenya Sylvester and 5-year-old Kennya Brinson who were all radiant in long, red gowns.
To on-lookers, the red touches appear to be related to Valentine’s Day, but Kemisha has known since September that she and her girls would wear red. The wedding day falling on Feb. 14 was just a happy coincidence.
“It’s just a lucky day,” said Kemisha. “When I called, they had three days available and this was one of them.”
Joe and Kemisha have been dating for three years. For Joe, this Valentine’s Day proved to be the best ever because not only did he gain a bride, but he gained three little Valentines in Kemisha’s daughters.
Another couple, Jamal and Jocelynn Miller, weren’t decked in jewels or white. Instead, they wore smiles that lit the entire courtroom.
“We’ve been dating for three and a half years,” said Jocelynn.
The wedding was a long-awaited occasion for the couple and their eight family members that tearfully and gleefully sat behind them to witness their nuptials.
“We met on Myspace,” said Jamal.
Jamal instantly fell for Jocelynn’s beauty. For a while, they dated long-distance as Jocelynn was in Florida and Jamal was in Tifton.
“We made it through,” said Jocelynn. “God re-connected us.”
About a year ago, Jamal realized that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Jocelynn.
“There was no doubt in my mind. I knew I wanted to marry her,” said Jamal.
The couple was engaged spur of the moment.
“It was just something that happened,” said Jocelynn.
Like the ending to a Hollywood movie, love prevailed above all things, and yesterday, the two exchanged vows.
“It was a special day,” said Jamal.
Adams married every couple in front of a table of white-and-red, adorned with confetti jewels and balloons. Central Floral Company provided the greenery for the special day, as the florist has for many years. Adams presented all newlyweds with a champagne glass full of chocolate and other what-nots to accompany their certificates of marriage.
The day served as a perfect reminder of the true meaning of Valentine's Day. New brides and grooms giggled, smiled and laughed and exemplified the deep and core values of not just the sanctity of marriage, but of love, and of course, they all lived happily ever after.