WARREN -- Jesse Rhine, 29, and Ashley Murphy, 26, decided to get married on Valentine's Day not because of the traditional romantic sentiment of the holiday, but to honor his grandmother, Claudia Suverison.
Suverison, 72, and her husband, Lyle, were married on Valentine's Day 1993. Lyle passed away in 2008.
"Jesse and I became engaged last Easter, but did not decide on a wedding date," Ashley described. "One day, when I was talking to his grandmother, she told me she married her husband on Valentine's Day."
In January, the young couple asked Suverison if it was OK with her if they married on Valentine's Day in honor of her and her deceased husband.
"We wanted to make a connection with them," Ashley said.
"I think my husband, Lyle, would have been honored they decided to do this on our wedding day," Suverison said. "The suggestion really touched me. They are such a nice couple."
So on Friday, with about 30 of their friends and family, Jesse and Ashley became man and wife. Rhine's two children, Ecko Rhine, 8, and Mya Rhine, 5, stood beside them as they exchanged their vows.
"I would not have had it any other way," Rhine said. "I wanted them to be a part of the wedding."
He carried a picture of his grandfather with him in his pocket.
Jesse and Ashley, of Warren, have known one another for about four years. During that time, they've become one another's best friends, they said.
Mayor Doug Franklin performed about nine weddings on Friday.
"I think that's a record for the number of weddings that I've done on a single day," Franklin said. "We generally do wedding ceremonies on Fridays, and this year's Valentine's Day happens to have fallen on Friday."
Read about other couples who tied the knot today in Saturday's Tribune Chronicle.