WITH one eye on the clock and another on the calendar, time-conscious couples tied the knot on a very special date yesterday.
Across the North East, happy couples walked down the aisle on the 12th of the 12th, 2012 – and, where possible, at exactly 12.12pm.
Triple-digit wedding dates offer themselves only a dozen times each century – and the next one will be along in 88 years and 19 days’ time – on 1/1/2101!
Which is why Melissa McCormack of Washington and her fiance, Wayne Davis from Bristol, decided to grasp the opportunity.
And what’s more, they booked their wedding at Dissington Hall, Northumberland, for precisely 12.12pm.
To symbolise their big day, they even had 12/12/12 in Roman numerals printed on their invitations ... and also engraved on their wedding cake.
Said Melissa: “It was Wayne’s idea to have such a significant date for our wedding, perhaps so he would never forget an anniversary!
“We originally considered 11/11/11, but that would have given us only three months to plan the wedding, so we booked 12/12/12 instead.”
As it had to, the day went like clockwork ... and right to the minute.
And the couple chose their favourite county in which to take their vows, at the magnificent 18th-century Georgian mansion on the banks of the River Pont, near Ponteland.
“Northumberland is such a stunning county in which to get married,” added Melissa, “and we knew we would have an unforgettable day to match our unforgettable date.”
Melissa’s and Wayne’s 12/12/12 marriage was one of a number across the region, including eight in Northumberland alone.
Others took place at Alnwick, Ellingham Hall, Horton Grange, Langley Castle, Hexham, Matfen and Berwick, where Emily Hatcher and Michael Lough became man and wife a little later than 12.12, at 1.30pm.
The couple, from the Isle of Wight, came to the Wallace Green wedding venue because Michael’s seriously ill grandfather as well as his mother live in the border town.
Michael said: “12/12/12 only happens once in 100 years and as we have just had a baby we thought it was the perfect time to get married.
“My mother and grandfather live in Berwick and with my grandfather being ill it was very important to have him at the wedding.”
Sylvia Bruce, deputy superintendent registrar, said: “They make a lovely couple.”
Northumberland registrar service manager Lorraine Dewison said: “Last year we had just one wedding booked. But this year on 12/12/12 we had eight weddings booked. And we wish them every happiness.”