Parking valet officiates wedding after snow closes court

(Courtesy Dani Leigh Photography )
January 24, 2014|By Samantha Iacia, For The Baltimore Sun, and Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun

A parking valet saved the wedding day of a Fells Point couple this week when he officiated their ceremony after snow shut down the courthouse. 

Megan Peterson, 29,  and Tim Christofield, 33, had planned to get married at the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in Annapolis on Tuesday, but the courthouse, like most places, was shut down because of the area's heaviest snow of the season. 

The couple had been planning the wedding for months, and their parents had traveled in from out of state for the ceremony.  

“This was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have everybody together and get it done,” Christofield, a bartender at One-Eyed Mike’s in Fells Point, said.

The couple was undeterred Tuesday morning when they learned the courthouse was closed.  The bride got her hair and makeup done while the groom and his father looked for an alternative spot to hold the wedding. 

They sought advice from the Loews Hotel Annapolis' front desk staff, who said the hotel’s valet, Steve Patterson, was an ordained minister.  The Bowie resident is the leader of a youth fellowship.

The couple, who had met and chatted with Patterson the night before, asked Patterson to officiate.  He agreed -- but needed to wait until his shift ended at 3 p.m.

Patterson, who had performed one other wedding, called his wife and asked her to send him a copy of their vows, which he adapted for the couple.  

A few hours later, he officiated the couple's wedding in their hotel suite, which staffers had decorated with candles and flowers and a spread of cheese and crackers and champagne. 

“We were really quite excited about the courthouse wedding, and it became so much more intimate when it turned into being in our hotel room," said Peterson, an employee of international health nonprofit Jhpiego.The couple decided they preferred the coziness of the hotel to venturing out in the snow for a fancy dinner.  They canceled their restaurant reservations, ordered dinner to be delivered, and hunkered down in their hotel room with their parents. 


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