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CLEVELAND – While many people spend Christmas Eve day wrapping presents and doing some last-minute shopping, seven couples said “I do” at Cleveland’s main courthouse downtown.

“We wanted to have our union before the new year and start off our new year with our minds and hearts open,” said Leena Muchiri who married Peter Muchiri on Monday.

The couple said they decided to tie the knot just two weeks ago, and Christmas Eve day was the first available court date to make it official.

“It’s nice to see the different couples coming in and being excited for the holidays,” said Cleveland Judge Michelle Earley.

Earley officiates weddings at the courthouse on a rotational basis with the other judges, but she never married couples on Christmas Eve day until now. Court judges normally marry couples on Mondays and Fridays only.

“I won’t forget it,” said Michael Brown who married his girlfriend of two years, Amber Angelo, Monday morning.

Brown said he a wanted a wedding date he could remember and chose Christmas Eve day just a week ago after they had some extra money available.

“Remember, you love me too, can’t forget that part,” said Angelo laughing.

Brown responded, laughing, “I love you so much.”

Each ceremony lasted about five minutes. But before the newlyweds left, the judge offered a piece of marital advice.

“You got an easy date to remember so don’t merge them,” said Earley to the Muchiri’s. She was suggesting they always mark their anniversary separately from the holidays to keep the moment distinct.

“It’s a great feeling to have my best friend as my wife,” said Peter Muchiri.

The Muchiri’s said they were spending the rest of the day sharing the joyous news with family and friends. They hadn’t announced their marriage plans ahead of time.

The Browns planned to stroll around downtown looking at Christmas lights.

Article Courtesy of WEWS NewsChannel 5

LOCAL: Christmas Eve Weddings at Cleveland Courthouse  was originally published on wzakcleveland.com