- Associated Press - Sunday, February 2, 2014

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - For Megan Peterson, “Here comes the bride, all dressed in white,” may always have a double meaning. She wasn’t the only one in white on her wedding day.

So was all of Annapolis.

Peterson, 29, and her fiance, Tim Christofield, 33, of Baltimore, weren’t expecting snow to crash their wedding last month. And they definitely weren’t expecting the man who parked their car to pronounce them man and wife.

After a three-year relationship, the two didn’t want to make a “big splash” for their wedding. They opted to go to Annapolis’ courthouse with their parents Jan. 21.

“It was enough of a getaway to have an excuse to stay in a hotel,” Peterson said.

Peterson, who works for global health nonprofit Jhpiego, and Christofield, a bartender, booked a room at Loews Annapolis Hotel on West Street, a couple of blocks from Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, and prepared for a laid-back affair.

The marriage forecast? They hoped not icy with treacherous roads ahead.

But that morning wedding photographer Dani Giannandrea texted the bride-to-be: Court was closed.

Peterson was still gung-ho. She figured they’d dress up, take the pictures Jan. 21 and try to get a marriage certificate the next morning.

Giannandrea loaded up her car in Frederick, where snow was already sticking, and embarked on the 1½-hour trek to Annapolis.

Meanwhile, Christofield was determined to be married that day. Along with his father and prospective father-in-law, he looked for the sheriff’s office and banged on a few church doors to see if anyone within walking distance of the hotel had the power vested in them.

As a final resort, Christofield asked the hotel concierge for suggestions.

Funny he should ask, she said. She knew just the guy.

She walked a few steps from her desk to the valet stand, where she found Stephen Patterson.

Patterson, who has worked for Towne Park valet services since July, wasn’t supposed to be there Jan. 21. He took the shift as a favor to a friend.

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