To call an Akron couple’s romance a whirlwind would be an understatement.
They met online, had twins and married in just over a year – and during a pandemic.
Alicia Turner and John Samples tied the knot on Friday afternoon in a ceremony at the Springfield Lake Lookout, where they had one of their first dates.
“This is the perfect place for us,” said Turner, 32.
They were among the first couples to take advantage of the outdoor weddings offered by Akron City Court at various locations until August.
“Today proves love doesn’t take a break because there’s a pandemic,” said Ron Cable, the administrative judge / court president in Akron who officiated at Friday’s weddings. “It’s always fun to meet local couples and be part of their special day. In addition, the scenery of Springfield Lake is simply stunning.
The court will also offer weddings in the grounds of the Akron Art Museum, at Mutton Hill of the Summit County Historical Society and on the South Lawn of the Hower House Museum.
Turner and Samples, 36, had delayed their wedding due to the pandemic, but decided that Springfield Lake, in Springfield Township, was where they learned the court was offering weddings there.
Turner was previously married and has two children from a previous relationship, while Samples had not previously married. They met last March on the Match.com website, chatted online first, and then decided to meet in person.
Turner said she was nervous about meeting someone new because of the pandemic. They met outdoors the first few times, including munching on Kentucky Fried Chicken while chatting for hours in Springfield Lake.
“It was super simple,” Turner recalled of the date. “He knows how much I love water and makes a point of taking me to as many lakes as possible in our region.
The couple had twins, Ava and Ivy, in January.
Turner told Samples that she wanted to get married by the water’s edge and that they had spotted potential locations but were wanting for nothing. When Samples read the court ceremonies, Turner called to see if they could secure a seat and reserved it.
The couple only had a few family members at the ceremony, but may have a larger reunion next year. The two have a lot of older people in their families who are not yet comfortable with the idea of having larger gatherings.
After their wedding on Friday, the bride and groom celebrated with a barbecue in the courtyard.
Turner is grateful that the Akron court is proposing the marriages. She told a friend who was also struggling to find a place about this possibility.
“I think it’s a beautiful thing,” she said. “It’s going to help so many people and give them the opportunity to have a great marriage and not feel like they’re giving up too much.”
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at [email protected], 330-996-3705 and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.
Future outdoor weddings:
Locations: The Bud and Susie Rogers Garden at Akron Art Museum, 1 S. High St. in downtown Akron, June 8. Mutton Hill of the Summit County Historical Society, 550 Copley Road in Akron, July 12. South Lawn of the Hower House Museum, 60 Fir Hill on the University of Akron campus, August 4.
Process: Appointments will be first come, first served and must be scheduled and paid for prior to the ceremony.
Sponsor: Akron Municipal Court.
Fees: $ 25 for those within the jurisdiction of the Akron court and $ 40 for those outside the jurisdiction.
Jurisdiction: Akron, Fairlawn, Bath, Richfield, Springfield Township, Lakemore and Summit County part of Mogadore.
For more information: Call Patricia Williams, the court’s chief duty bailiff, at 330-375-2592.