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Dinner dance to mark Marriage Week

New this year: a vow renewal, before the dinner.

“There seems to be a real hunger in the community for quality events that celebrate love and marriage,” said Lavern Nissley, executive director of the Marriage Resource Center of Miami Valley. That’s probably the reason that the Sweetheart Dinner and Dance on Saturday sells out every year.

“This is the fifth year of the Sweetheart Dinner and Dance,” Nissley said. “It’s an event that we do to celebrate Marriage Week USA, which is Feb. 7 through 14. At the Marriage Resource Center, most of our work is to help strengthen marriage relationships. To prepare, enrich or restore is the essence of what we do. We celebrate the significance of marriage. Without marriage, communities would be significantly weaker.”

One of the attractions of this event each year has been live music provided by the band Down Deep. There are also activities during the evening, like scavenger hunts, 10-second kisses, and video clips. In addition, there will be professional photographer to take photos of the couples. “It’s a mixture of experiences for couples to enjoy a fun evening together,” said Nissley.

New this year is a vow renewal, taking place prior to the dinner. “It will be a nondenominational faith-based ceremony,” said Nissley. “Partners will speak some vows to each other, like “if I had it to do all over again I would because” and then they fill in the rest.

Nissley added that some ladies have complained they can’t get their husbands interested in this event. “We’ve seen some men drag their heels a little bit, but once they get here they enjoy it.”

Tickets to the event are $50 per couple and are available online at There is a waiting list should the tickets sell out.

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