Get married ... for free

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Rev. Al Holm will be performing free wedding services on Valentine's Day at First Christian Church in Coeur d'Alene.

COEUR d'ALENE - Couples thinking of tying the knot have an added incentive to seal the deal this Valentine's Day in Coeur d'Alene.

The First Christian Church on Fourth Street is offering free nuptials Monday in its new wedding chapel.

Rev. Al Holm will be performing the Valentine's Day ceremonies, and he hopes to be doing more of that in the future, for a fee.

Holm said opening the wedding chapel is a way to help the congregation as its membership and finances dwindle.

"We're doing everything that's legal and moral to sustain the church," Holm said.

The number of regular members of the 100-year-old church has dipped below 50.

"That hurts," Holm said.

They had to let their pastor go three weeks ago.

"If you look at the Christian movement worldwide, it's dying," Holm said.

But they're not giving up at the church on Fourth Street.

Holm, who has been performing weddings for 30 years, said they spruced up chapel seats, and they are ready for business.

After Monday, the cost of a ceremony in the First Christian wedding chapel goes up to $65. The fee includes chapel rental and the minister's fee.

"We're not going to charge $300 like a lot of them do," Holm said.

Couples need to have a license, and they must make an appointment if they want a free Valentine's Day wedding.

"The courthouse sells about 4,000 licenses a year, so we might get our share," he said.

Information and appointments: 762-5830

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