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First comes love, then comes marriage, But not typically on Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day falling on a Saturday this year, many might think churches and florists in the area would be scrambling to accommodate everyone who wishes to get married on the holiday that celebrates love.

They'd be wrong.

If you went to a church today you might not hear anything but crickets.

"I've never had a wedding on Valentine's Day," said Rev. Keith Streifel the pastor at St. Joseph's Parish in Dickinson, who has been a priest for more than a decade.

Streifel said he can't give a concrete reason as to why two people wouldn't enter into wedded bliss on Valentine's Day, but he has two theories.

"First of all, it's very inhospitable in North Dakota to have a wedding in February because we're in the midst of weather where we just don't know what's going to happen," Streifel said.

North Dakota weather in February isn't the best traveling weather so it's difficult to plan a wedding that no one can make it to, he added.

And secondly, "Maybe people don't want to have a wedding on Valentine's Day because they want to have Valentine's Day as Valentine's Day."

Regardless of the reasons, it just doesn't happen, at least, not as often as it used to.

Tara Laber, manager of 3rd Avenue Floral and Greenhouse in Dickinson, said she remembers busier days at her parent's floral shop in Williston while she was growing up.

"I remember a long time ago when we always had a wedding on Valentine's Day and now we never do," she said.

Rosie Decker, owner of Special Occasions in Dickinson said there is the occasional wedding, but it's not strange to not have a wedding on Valentine's Day.

"If we have one wedding over Valentine's Day in a year, we're doing really well," Decker said. "I really don't know, I guess I was always surprised too because I always thought it would be a day for getting married."

Evon Braun, owner of Gaffaney's Floral in Dickinson said Valentine's Day is more about showing appreciation for that special person in your life rather than getting married.

Decker agrees, saying it's a time for the start of a relationship or an engagement, not the culmination of one.

"It's the day for starting a whole new relationship moreso than an ongoing," Decker said.