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These LA County couples just spent Valentine’s Day getting married

 

Couples wait in line for their marriage licenses on Valentine’s Day at the LA County Registrar Headquarters in Norwalk on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. Many married after getting their licenses. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

After 13 years together Heather and Tyscen Lee, of Long Beach, celebrate their marriage after being wed on Valentine’s Day at the LA County Registrar Headquarters in Norwalk on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

After 13 years together Heather and Tyscen Lee, of Long Beach, celebrate their marriage after being wed on Valentine’s Day at the LA County Registrar Headquarters in Norwalk on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Lezli and Lorenzo Rodriguez, of Baldwin Park, are wed on Valentine’s Day at the LA County Registrar Headquarters in Norwalk on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Cortina Hayes, 38, and Rayon McDonald, 40, of Los Angeles, wed on Valentine’s Day at the LA County Registrar Headquarters in Norwalk on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Cortina Hayes, 38, and Rayon McDonald, 40, of Los Angeles, wed on Valentine’s Day at the LA County Registrar Headquarters in Norwalk on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Rudy Carvajal, 70, and Debbie Whaley, 68, of Downey, are wed on Valentine’s Day at the LA County Registrar Headquarters in Norwalk on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Damali Gutierrez and Cuitlahuac Cervantes, both 20, of Norwalk, are wed on Valentine’s Day at the LA County Registrar Headquarters in Norwalk on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Damali Gutierrez and Cuitlahuac Cervantes, both 20, of Norwalk, are wed on Valentine’s Day at the LA County Registrar Headquarters in Norwalk on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Couples get their marriage licenses on Valentine’s Day at the LA County Registrar Headquarters in Norwalk on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Cuitlahuac Cervantes and Damali Gutierrez, both 20, of Norwalk, wait in line for a marriage license before marrying on Valentine’s Day at the LA County Registrar Headquarters in Norwalk on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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Getting hitched went off without a hitch for Tyscen and Heather Lee of Long Beach. The couple were among a hundred or so Angelenos who marched to the Norwalk headquarters of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

They were greeted by red and white mylar balloons, red and pink flowers and banners, and an entourage of black-robed officiants who performed same-day marriage licenses and civic ceremonies under a large white tent. This event was last offered in 2020.

“Because of the special nature of the day and what it represents, we wanted to make sure we give anyone who wanted to get married this special opportunity,” said Mike Sanchez, public information officer for the county.

Tyscen Lee said he’d been wanting to pop the question for a long time.

“So I asked her 72 hours ago, and she said yes,” he said.

He first saw his bride walking outside his home in Compton in 2010.

“I ran out and asked her if she was lost,” he said.

“I thought, ‘Who is this running across the street to meet me?’ And then I saw him smile,” Heather Lee said. “That was 13 years ago and we’re still going strong.”

Elegant in matching outfits in shades of cream and brown, the newlyweds will celebrate with family and friends at Ernestine’s, Lee’s Long Beach restaurant named after his grandmother.

Each of the wedding hopefuls brought their own mood to the ceremonies. Some arrived in full wedding finery, others came in semi-formal wear. All wore thick jackets to ward against the chill.

John Schatzel, deputy commissioner of civil marriages, presided over his 2,000th civil ceremony last month.

“I love it,” he said. “You get to be in a moment of someone’s happiness. I love it when my grooms cry. I love that pure emotion. It’s a beautiful thing to see. The only advice I give them is ‘Just be kind.’”

Joshua, 32, and Mara, 24, (they declined to give their last names) brought both their grandmothers, his mother, his sister and niece to the ceremony.

“All the women in my life are with me,” the newly-minted husband said. “My Mom messaged me about this and we were already thinking of getting married, so my sister made her a dress, and here we are.”

His bride said she has all the wedding feels as she accepted blessings and hugs from their grandmothers Delfina, 85, and Guillermina, 70.

“I feel good and ready, no hesitation,” Mara M. said.

The couple met online in a cactus group on Facebook.

“She liked my cactus picture and everything else is history,” Joshua said.

The mother of the groom, Nereyda, 52, said she is proud to witness her firstborn’s marriage.

“My advice to them is always to respect one another, grow together side by side and make the best of things,” she said. “Talk it over when you get mad. And the next step is to start a family.”

Michael Crespo, 38, and Minerva Pelayo, 38, met as 16-year-olds at Benjamin Franklin High in Highland Park.

“It was a rainy day so they put us in the gym for P.E. and we had to square dance,” she said.

Neither could dosey-do very well, Crespo said, “but I had a great time because I was with her.”

They decided to tie the knot a week ago, 12 years after they met.

“He has the best heart, we both love animals and we have the same goals,” Pelayo said. “I can sometimes be too passionate and he levels me out.”

Her new husband said they saw an ad for the Valentine’s Day weddings a week ago and decided to take the plunge.

“I love everything about her,” he said. “She’s so funny. She’s so giving. She’s my best friend.”

The process was fun and easy, Pelayo said.

“I love seeing everyone here celebrating love,” she said.

The couple also got something blue from Christina of the Helpful Honda crew, who gifted them with a Honda-blue voucher for a staycation.

Crespo said their first order of business is to go home and celebrate with their four rescue dogs and one rescue cat.

“I have to practice saying ‘my wife’ now, too,” he said, a task he has a feeling he’s going to love. “I already do.”

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