Home Sicklerville News Love takes over with Valentine’s Day weddings

Love takes over with Valentine’s Day weddings

Two people say their marriage vows at the Camden County Sustainability Center on Valentine’s Day, joined by officiant Michelle Gentek-Mayer, the county surrogate.

Love took center stage on Valentine’s Day as Camden County Surrogate Michelle Gentek-Mayer officiated two weddings at the picturesque Camden County Sustainability Center, whose scenic surroundings were an appropriate backdrop for the new couples.

“This Valentine’s Day, love will be in the air in Camden County,” Gentek-Mayer noted in advance of the event. “This will be a day that will always be remembered for all these lovely couples, and I’m honored to attend and officiate this day with all of them.”

The Valentine’s Day weddings highlighted the surrogate’s unique role in the county, including overseeing other marriages throughout the year. Gentek-Mayer has been in public life since 2016.

“I focus on community outreach, with the goal of ensuring that Camden County residents have access to the services and tools needed for successfully resolving legal matters, including probate and administrations, adoptions, and guardianships,” Gentek-Mayer noted.

“My job as surrogate deals with many sensitive issues, so performing weddings brings joy to my job.”

The role of surrogate is established in the state’s constitution, according to the county webside. It has origins in English law, where the bishop of a region would appoint a substitute – or surrogate – to handle certain affairs. Eventually, that authority evolved from church to civil officials.

Other “sensitive issues” to which Gentek-Mayer refers as part of her job include guardianships of minors and the incapacitated. She also produces a monthly email newsletter with important information on services.

Asked to recall moments from the Valentine’s Day weddings, Gentek-Mayer shared the love story of one couple who met in 2017. They not only expressed love for each other, the surrogate recalled, but revealed the humor and deep connection they’ve shared through the years.

“Valentine’s Day is extra special because it is the day of love,” Gentek-Mayer noted. “Finding your soul mate to go through life with is such a wonderful feeling. I am lucky to have found my person, and I wish for everyone to find theirs.”

The surrogate’s services are free, and Gentek-Mayer considers it an honor to oversee events and milestones in the lives of county residents.

“I want to give back to the county that I love to live in,” she pointed out. “Also, as surrogate, every day I’m reminded how precious life is. Live for today.”

Gentek-Mayer has already officiated 378 weddings, with a goal to reach 500 by 2025. For more information about services in the surrogate’s office visit here. To subscribe to the surrogate office newsletter, go to Camden County Board of Commissioners (list-manage.com)

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