Akron Municipal Court employees suspected Tuesday would be a big day for couples wanting to tie the knot, so they were prepared when 14 couples made arrangements to wed.
The consecutive numbers in Tuesday’s date — 11-12-13 — wooed lovers who consider it lucky and others who joked it would be an easy way to remember an anniversary.
Frank and Mary Lou Thomas of Akron, who renewed their vows before Judge Kathryn Michael, said Tuesday’s date had much more significance for them than luck or convenience. It was the 19th anniversary of their first wedding and the perfect time to recommit to one another after a year of serious health problems for both.
Mary Lou is surviving colon cancer and Crohn’s disease; Frank is being treated after suffering a series of strokes.
“We love each other so much we wanted to reinforce our love,” Mary Lou Thomas said while clutching a bouquet of pink and white carnations that matched the flowers she carried on her wedding day in 1994 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
The couple said they would do no elaborate celebrating, but would enjoy a quiet dinner and evening at home after an appointment with Frank’s cardiologist immediately after the wedding ceremony.
Mary Lou Thomas said their illnesses have brought the couple even closer.
“Our love has gotten stronger [rather] than weaker,” she said.
The couple was not alone when it comes to planning a wedding on a special date.
In its annual survey, “What’s on Brides’ Minds,” David’s Bridal, the country’s largest bridal chain, reports that as many as 3,000 couples would wed Nov. 12, 2013. That figure is a 722 percent increase over last year’s nuptials on that date, the company said.
Dates with patterns
The survey showed that couples would choose to marry because they love dates that have patterns. The last consecutive series this century will occur Dec. 13, 2014.
November was the best time for their wedding, said Antonio Davis who wed Sabrina Parr of Northfield on Tuesday. Their 3-month-old son, Camren Antonio wasn’t happy when Michael took him so the couple could hold hands during the ceremony. His sister, Haven, 2, wandered through the room charming guests during the ceremony.
“It gets to be about you two for a little bit,” the judge said quietly to the couple.
Even though November is one of the least popular months for weddings, Davis said it was the most convenient time for the couple to marry.
“We wanted to do it this month, and this was one of the things that popped up,” he said.
Alayna Cuthbertson and James Brown made the most of their civil ceremony with friends and relatives in attendance at the Harold K. Stubbs Justice Center.
Cuthbertson wore a beautiful, white, floor-length gown and carried a bouquet of orange and white carnations. Peeking out of the bodice of her dress, just under her orange and white wrap, Cuthbertson carried a photo of her mother close to her heart.
Her mother, Cheryl Dunphy, died when Cuthbertson was 16. “It’s my way of having her with me today,” the bride said.
Brycealynn Brown, 13, was her stepmother’s bridesmaid, and the couple’s 2-year-old son, Logan, attended the ceremony dressed to match his dad in a black tuxedo with an orange carnation boutonniere.
Brown said they chose the date because “it only happens once a millennium.”
“It will be easy to remember and it will save me a lifetime of grief,” he joked.
The couple planned a wedding luncheon at Romano’s Macaroni Grill, but said they had no plans for a honeymoon.
“We have a baby sitter. That’s our honeymoon,” the bride quipped.
Each couple was married under a decorated arch and every bride received a long-stemmed red rose as a gift from Michael along with a copy of their wedding vows and a biblical verse from Corinthians 13:4-7 if they chose to accept it.
At the conclusion of each ceremony, the judge spoke quietly with each couple.
“Always be respectful of one another,” she told them. “Be mindful of what you say to one another and how you treat one another.”
Akron Municipal Court conducts more than 500 wedding ceremonies each year.
Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.