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12-12-12 offers last chance for decades for memorable wedding date

Dawn Snoreck Jeremy Coronado Valparaiso exchage rings as they are married by Judge Mary Harper Porter County Courthouse Valparaiso Ind.

Dawn Snoreck and Jeremy Coronado of Valparaiso exchage rings as they are married by Judge Mary Harper at the Porter County Courthouse in Valparaiso, Ind. Wednesday December 12, 2012. The couple were among several in Northwest Indiana to get married on 12-12-12. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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Post-Tribune, Dec. 11, 1912:

Tomorrow last one
for 88 years

Write 12-12-12 as often as
possible today — This
opportunity comes only once

12-12-12

That is today. And there won’t be a similar event for 88 years. That is a long time and most of us will be in our graves when it happens although there is a possibility that a few of the present day pure food, fresh air babies will be on top of the ground to welcome 1-1-1 when January 1, 2001, puts in its appearance in the due course of time. ...

In each of the first twelve years of every century there is a day on which the date can be written by the same number three times. And then comes the awful barrenness of 88 years. It is terrible to contemplate but let’s be brave and try to bear it.

Post-Tribune, Dec. 12, 1912:

Write it 12-12-12 today

Jan. 1, 2001, must come before similar condition will prevail

Letters and documents written today may bear the date 12-12-12. Not until January 1, 2001, can another date be indicated by writing the same number three times. The stenographers of that day may put 1-1-1 at the head of their letters.

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Updated: January 14, 2013 7:21AM



In some ways, Jeremy Coronado and Dawn Snoreck’s wedding Wednesday was quite traditional.

They were surrounded by friends and family, and Snoreck, along with some of the spectators, cried during her vows.

Their wedding date, though, was anything but traditional.

“We were joking about it at my work, and we’ve been engaged a couple of years,” Snoreck said of getting married on Dec. 12, 2012. Porter County Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper conducted the ceremony.

The Valparaiso couple, both 33 and accompanied by their son, Austin, 1, planned to head to Buddy and Pal’s in Winfield, where they first met about five years ago. A honeymoon and reception will wait until the spring.

“Are you guys getting married because it’s 12-12-12?” Harper said, before noting the number 12 marks many things in life, including the number of ounces in a soda, objects in a dozen and inches in a foot.

Other busy times for weddings are Valentine’s Day and between Christmas and New Year’s, when couples get married for the tax break, Harper said.

“It’s the nicest work I do in this room, and I always appreciate being asked to do a wedding,” she said.

Coronado and Snoreck weren’t alone in selecting Wednesday as their wedding day. Several other couples also wed at the Porter County Courthouse. Barbara Morales, deputy manager for the circuit division/marriages at the Lake County Courthouse in Crown Point, said business was brisk there as well.

Since there will never be a 13-13-13 — unless there’s a serious change in the calendar — Wednesday marked the last in a series of unique dates offered up since Jan. 1, 2001. The next series of duplicate dates — 01-01-01 through 12-12-12 — won’t be until 2101 to 2112.

“I think (the dates) are memorable and unique more than lucky,” said Ken McElmurry, an assistant professor of sociology at Indiana University Northwest.

By nature, people assign meaning to such dates because of how unusual they are, and that includes weddings.

“It marks off an occasion that’s already special and it’s more special,” he said.

And it’s not just for weddings. McElmurry said Stone Brewery, based in San Diego, has released a special beer on each of the past decade’s unique dates, and celebrated with a festival Wednesday featuring all of the beers.

“Maybe it’s part gimmick, but it’s also tapping into the fact that people are always looking for unique things, and they take on a life of their own,” he said.

While some couples wanted to get married at noon or 12:12 p.m., Lake County court staff couldn’t guarantee that, since they were scheduled throughout the day. Morales said her office started getting calls three weeks ago about the wedding date, and she encouraged couples to register online to save time.

Predictably, Morales said her division saw similar rushes for couples who wanted to marry on 11-11-11 and 10-10-10. The Lake County Clerk’s office has a room set aside for weddings. The room, decorated for Christmas now, offers a cost-effective way to get married, Morales said.

She expected Wednesday’s wedding traffic to be even busier than another popular wedding date.

“I think it’s going to be bigger than Valentine’s Day the way we’re going,” she said.

More than 7,500 brides planned to marry on Wednesday, according to a recent survey by the national formal wear chain David’s Bridal, which has a store in Hobart, and 43 percent of the brides responding to the survey said they would consider planning their wedding on a special date.

While Catherine Brown, owner of Catherine’s Bridal Boutique in downtown Valparaiso, said she’s seeing more December weddings this year than last year, none of her customers got married Wednesday.

Still, she sees the appeal.

“I don’t doubt the courthouses are packed because it’s a very cool day to get married,” she said.



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