Numbers line up for couples to marry on 11/12/13
URBANA — Judge Arnold Blockman didn't break out his crimson robe nor did the charming choir of court clerks make an appearance as they do on Valentine's Day.
Nonetheless, it was a festive atmosphere at the Champaign County Courthouse on Tuesday as seven couples chose 11-12-13 as the date to legalize their unions.
"I'm OCD. Numbers mean a lot to me," Melissa Wilson of Tolono said moments before marrying Jamie Castle.
"It was just a unique date and November was when we met," she said of their reason for choosing the easy-to-remember date. "I'm terrible with dates."
Jennifer Dubson, the assistant to the judges responsible for scheduling weddings, said nine couples initially called her about scheduling their weddings on Tuesday, but two backed out. Perhaps the numbers didn't feel right.
"Every year this happens. Last year, it was 12-12-12 that was the popular date. The previous year was 11-11-11 but that fell on Veterans Day, so it didn't work," she said. "We do get a decent amount of people who call when the dates are significant."
Normally, no more than four weddings are scheduled each day, but Blockman, who's in charge of the matrimonial docket, said Dubson had alerted him weeks ago to the possibility of Tuesday being a heavier-than-normal wedding day.
"She thought we were going to get a lot of calls because of the numerology involved. We'll take as many as come in, just like Valentine's Day. If that's significant to people, we're public servants and we want to make them happy. Unlike Valentine's, there will not be a red robe or candy," he said, referring to the party he likes to throw for Feb. 14 couples.
Lori Knowles of Urbana said her daughter had initially wanted to use the date for her own wedding, but the daughter's fiance wasn't quite ready. Liking the sound of the date, Knowles said she and David Stockwill decided to make it their wedding date. Third time was the charm for them as previous dates in June and July didn't work out.
"If he forgets it, he's in trouble," Knowles laughed.
They were married by Judge John Kennedy, who also married Emily Suess and Dan Poehlman, now of Champaign. The couple recently moved to the area and chose the date because Suess "thought it would be fun."
They had a ceremony planned for Las Vegas in July, but when Poehlman's father died near the date they had chosen, they put it off.
Ashley York and Drew Lewsader of Sidney said they're not superstitious. Lewsader said he picked the date because "it sounded good."
"It's easy to remember," said York, who said they had initially planned a church service but canceled it. They will have their reception on Saturday.
Of all the couples married Tuesday, York and Lewsader were clearly the most bedecked.
York wore a halter style, beaded ivory wedding gown and Lewsader a tasteful gray suit as they stood before Blockman for the approximately 90 seconds it took to legalize their union.
"I hereby pronounce you husband and wife on 11-12-13. Now you have no excuse for ever missing an anniversary," he told them.