11 couples marry at courthouse on Valentine's Day

WOODSTOCK – Danielle and Evan Larson first met at a Halloween party five years ago. Across a bonfire, the two locked eyes. She was dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and he was a kung fu master.

On Thursday, the two chose another holiday to mark a milestone in their relationship.

The Larson’s were one of 11 couples to marry on Valentine’s Day at the McHenry County Courthouse. The annual day of love always sees a spike in marriages, courthouse administrators said.

“We wanted a day to signify love, and what more perfect day than Valentine’s Day,” Danielle Larson, 31, said. “We picked a great day.”

After the short ceremony, the newlyweds sat with bright eyes and interlocked fingers as they talked about what made them fall in love.

“She’s the only one who can put up with me besides my mom,” Evan, 29, said, laughing.  

“He’s very kind,” Danielle said. “He’s my soulmate. He keeps me grounded.”

Marco and April Cartina decided last week to get married on Valentine’s Day because they knew several of their family members were going to be in town.

“Everyone was here, so it just seemed like the time was right for it to be done,” Marco Cartina said.

The two met in high school, but didn’t really know one another other than being friends on Facebook. Marco posted a message on the social media website, asking whether anyone wanted to go on a walk with him. April responded, and they have been together ever since.

“I have a daughter from another dad and [Marco’s] given 100 percent,” the 23-year-old April said. “He’s been great.”

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Marco, 23, said of his new family. “Words can’t describe how I feel right now.”

One of the last couples to get married was Kyle Averkamp and Nicole Janssen. Nicole skipped the white dress and opted for a red top and red skirt in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

The two have been dating for one year, but have known each other since middle school. They are expecting a baby in September.

“She grounds me. She’s my anchor,” Kyle, 26, said. “We’re best friends. You couldn’t ask for anything better.”

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