Headed to the courthouse, instead of the chapel

Diana Crawford
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - A local judge says a record number of people said their wedding vows at the courthouse today and she thinks money is playing a big part in many of the weddings.

The flowers, the caterers, the dress, and the cake may make your special day beautiful, but they add up fast. In fact, the cost of an average wedding in the U.S. is around $24,000, which can be next to impossible for many people.

So on a popular day for weddings, like today, people didn't say no to marriage, just to the expense. Instead of the chapel, they headed to the courthouse, where it's only $50 for a ceremony. Judge Debbie Horn, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 says, "There seems to be a large number of them. There's more than I've ever done before on Valentine's Day. Usually it's a few and today there's quite a few. Last week there were a couple and then they started calling on Friday and so there were a couple more. So I was really surprised when they just started coming in."

Judge Horn says last year she didn't do any weddings on Valentine's Day, but while we were at the courthouse, there were nine. Many of the couples told us they plan to have a big ceremony later on, when they can afford it.