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Snow Doesn’t Stop Valentine’s Day In NY, NJ

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Love conquered snow on Valentine’s Day in New York and New Jersey.

Three couples said “I do” during the 20th annual “Love Above All” wedding event at the Empire State Building.

Three separate ceremonies took place an hour apart.

The couples were chosen after posting their love stories on the iconic building’s Facebook page.

One couple, Shelby and Bill Costa of Virginia Beach, Va. tied the knot at the Empire State Building 10 years ago and celebrated their anniversary by renewing their vows.

The other couples were Veronica Vizcaino and Gustavo Espinal, both of Brooklyn, who spent their first date on top of the building’s observation deck; and Maria DelCarmen, of the Bronx, and Brendan Goldblatt, of Woodbridge, N.J., who met years ago at a friend’s party.

Valentine’s Day is the only day couples can tie the knot at the building.

Times Square hosted three special Valentine’s Day events Friday.

First, six couples tied the knot, then three surprise engagement proposals were displayed on a large screen and in the evening about 175 couples renewed their vows.

In New Jersey, Municipal Court judges in Newark performed civil union and wedding ceremonies for up to 100 couples on Friday.

More than 60 married couples renewed their wedding vows during a Valentine’s Day religious service at Seton Hall University. Some of them attended the private Roman Catholic university in South Orange 50 years ago.

On Long Island, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano presided over a wedding vow renewal ceremony for more than 600 residents during a lunch reception at the Coral House in Baldwin.

As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, others spent Friday evening renewing their wedding vows. Coney Island natives Ronnie and Jhanett Gonzalez headed to Times Square to be pronounced “once again husband and wife, partner and partner, lovers for life.”

They met 21 years ago working in different stores on the same Brooklyn street. And they said was love at first sight.

“I looked at her and said, ‘She’s going to be mine,’” said Ronnie Gonzalez.

“His eyes and his smile, I said, ‘You know what? That’s my papi chulo,” said Jhanett Gonzalez.

And of course, there are many different ways of getting romantic, and some involve getting the heart rate up like here on the dance floor of the Edison Ballroom.

Charlie Stevens and Carol Grant have been married for 13 years, and believe you need to sway together to stay together.

They love the culture of New York City, and the art, which is what brought them together in the first place when he took out an ad in a newspaper.

“(The ad read) ‘sculptor seeks model,’ and she answered it,” Stevens said.

“We are artists. We are lovers,” Grant added.

And while couples across the area professed their love, others were busy making sure people received their special gifts in time, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.

Legions of delivery workers toughed the winter weather to deliver flowers, candy and gifts.

Frank Pagano slogged through slush, navigated snowy paths, scaled white mountains to make flower deliveries this Valentine’s Day.

“The ice falling from the trees, the slush – you cant see the numbers on the houses, so you have to guess,” Pagano said.

Yet nothing can stop him from delivering flowers and warming hearts.

At Martelli’s Florist in Huntington, roses were arraigned by the hundreds, with deliveries lost to a foot of snow Thursday, they’re making up for precious lost time.

“It’s crazy, the line is out the door. The men are coming last minute because they don’t want to forget their wives and girlfriends. It’s all day bedlam,” said Judy Prasinos, of Martelli’s Florist.

Businesses across the area worked to make up for lost time following Thursday’s snowstorm. Many hoping customers would come out in droves looking for last-minute gifts.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)