Mamour Noiaye went up to a girl he met in a parking lot last year and told her “You look awesome,” and promptly asked her out. He told her a short time later that he was going to marry her. On Friday, that’s exactly what he did.

More than 30 couples were married at the Hennepin County Government Center Friday in the county’s annual free Valentine’s Day wedding event. Twelve district court judges stood on the bridges of the 20th and 23rd floors, marrying about three couples each in one hour. Ceremonies happened simultaneously about 20 feet apart from one another. Some couples dressed in traditional wedding wear, while others opted for jeans and cardigans.

For couple Teshawn and Tiffany Rhoden, marriage had been on their minds for a while, but when they saw this opportunity they knew it was the right time to say “I do.” They have been together about 10 years and met each other in high school.

Many couples were from the Minneapolis area and met through chance encounters, college and even the dating website

Sourish and Hannah Ghosh met on in October and saw this opportunity to fully commit to one another. They plan to hold ceremonies in the future, tailored to their religious backgrounds, but thought getting married at the Valentine’s Day event was an easy way to get a marriage license and make sure everything was official.

For Noyaie, going up to his future wife in the parking lot of a grocery store felt right and now, he said, he has no excuse to forget his wedding anniversary.


Michelle Griffith ( is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.