Valentine’s Day was not limited to a 24-hour period for one local business.
Last week, 27 couples had ceremonies performed at the Marry Me of Tennessee venue on Lytle Street, including five on Valentine’s Day, owner Mollie Slaybaugh said. The Murfreesboro chapel was heavily booked on Friday and Saturday.
A normal week may have 5-10 ceremonies, she said. Other popular wedding dates during the year are Halloween and the Christmas-New Year’s period. Last Halloween had eight ceremonies.
The chapel normally provides only a location and the officiating service, Slaybaugh said. But for Valentine’s week, cupcakes from Jo’s Custom Cakes and Catering and photography by Frank Caperton were offered.
Slaybaugh said she and two part-time staff officiate the weddings for Marry Me, most of which are held on-site, although they also travel to surrounding counties. She said she is state-certified to officiate weddings through the women’s ministry at her church, Believers Worship Center at The Loft in Smyrna.
Marry Me has a small chapel that with COVID-19 restrictions can hold up to 30, she said. She has traveled to Gatlinburg and Jackson, Tennessee, as well as nearby areas in Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia to officiate.
Last year, Marry Me officiated at more than 900 weddings, Slaybaugh said. In her first year of business (2015), the chapel held about 100 ceremonies. She attributes the business to Murfreesboro’s growth as well as more people getting married outside of church and county clerk offices no longer officiating weddings.
Having a growing business and doing what she enjoys is the icing on the cupcake for Slaybaugh, a former county clerk employee.
“God is good,” she said.