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Valentine's day vow renewal at Lovers Key

Posted at 10:41 PM, Feb 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-14 22:41:48-05

Jose and Melissa Ramon's love story begins more than a decade ago. 

"We met in 1994 at a movie theater, watching the movie Wolf," Jose Ramon said.

Two daughters and a grandson later, their love for one another is still going strong.

"I love him very much," Melissa Ramon said.

The Ramons are one of dozens of couples in Southwest Florida who are using Valentine's Day to re-marry their mate at Lovers Key State Park.

It's all part of the 7th annual Valentine's Day Vow Renewal. Couples had the opportunity to choose either a 10:00 AM ceremony or a 3:00 PM ceremony held at the Gazebo at the beach. Each ceremony includes a champagne toast, brunch or lunch, coffee and cake, and parting gifts.

Judy Greenwood who organizes the beach side vow renewal says the ceremony is done in a group setting. Couples hold hands with their spouse as they stand in a big circle while the minister performs the ceremony.

"It's beautiful," Greenwood said. "You see the tears, you see them stare into each other's eyes."

The romantic service is so popular, Greenwood says reservations need to be made early. 

"I already have people on next year's waiting list because they couldn't get in today," Greenwood said.

Couples who did sign up early knew what to expect for the day. Melissa Ramon was the exception.

"I had no idea about anything," Ramon said. "He surprised me. We woke up this morning and he told me how to dress because it was a surprise. Then the girls helped me out."

Jose Ramon says he and his wife have been wanting to renew their vows for a while, contemplating going to Vegas for the renewal. 

"I did some research and this was so close to home. I thought this was perfect," Ramon said.

Event organizers expect about 40 couples renewing their vows on Valentine's day. There's a non refundable $75 donation, per couple, to take part of the vow renewal ceremony. There are already about a dozen couples siged up for next year's event. 

For more information please visit www.friendsofloverskey.org or contact Judy Greenwood, fjgreenwood@gmail.com