For the past 16 years, Albert's Diamond Jewelers has turned into much more than a place to buy a special piece of jewelry for a loved one on Valentine's Day.
Walk in the Schererville or Merrillville stores that day, and you might catch a glimpse of an important day in a couple's lives.
Albert's will host weddings on Valentine's Day, giving participants the chance to celebrate their love and to mark an important day in the history of Albert's.
"The patriarch and matriarch of our store, Fred and Donna Halpern, got married on Valentine's Day 1968," said Sara Brown, manager of marketing and public relations.
About 16 years ago, the couple renewed their vows on Valentine's Day at Albert's, and invited other couples to get married that day as well.
"We've been celebrating the occasion with weddings at our store every year since," Brown said.
As part of the day, Albert's supplies the venue, flowers courtesy of Monarch, a cake courtesy of Ultra Foods, photos and video of the ceremony, a champagne toast and several other offers from local businesses.
Elegance Wedding and Formal Wear is offering loaner gowns or 30 percent off select, in-stock styles for brides who register to marry at Albert's, and Compton Dental Center in Munster is offering free teeth whitening services to all brides and grooms who register.
"Also, we'll be selecting one lucky couple who gets married at Albert's to win a three-night stay at the Vdara Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas, including airfare, ground transfers, daily breakfast for two and two tickets to Cirque Du Soleil," Brown said.
So far this year, eight couples have registered, and Brown said both stores are hoping for more.
"Last year we married 23 couples on Valentine's Day, and over the years, we've been blessed to marry hundreds of local couples," she said.
Local judges and their clerks will preside over the ceremonies, and at the Schererville store, the event will take place in its new northeast wing, complete with a backdrop, aisle and seating.
"At Southlake mall, we'll be set up just outside the Albert's store and Carson's, and will have an aisle, seating and a decorated stage area," Brown said.
Because it's Valentine's Day, both opens still will be open for business.
"It's one of our busiest days of the year, and it really helps set the mood for our guests and staff alike," Brown said. "We love love."