At precisely, 12:12:12 p.m., on the 12th day of the 12th month of the year 2012, Wilfrido Gamboa and the soon-to-be Mrs. Jenna Lee Gamboa, stood in front of Alameda’s mayor and recited their wedding vows. A few dozen guests filled the chambers of Alameda City Hall, including several TV news crews and a far-off friend attending the ceremony via iPad.
Moments after the deal was sealed with an obligatory kiss, Wilfrido Gamboa discussed the couples' reasoning for picking a Wednesday afternoon to get married.
“The value of it is, it’s just not going to be around in a long time, forever,” he said of the auspicious date.
The Gamboas had plenty of company in choosing 12-12-12 as their wedding day. They were joined in Alameda City Hall by eleven other couples – making it an even dozen.
“It’s really a special day in terms of the number 12-12-12,” said Kwan Ma, who urged his officiator to wait until precisely noon to initiate the exchange of nuptials with Helen Lau Ma. “As far as a lucky number, this is a perfect time to do it.”
There is certainly an abundance of reasons why herds of perfectly sane couples would choose a Wednesday to storm the gates of matrimony. Diana Demesa’s reason seemed pretty logical.
“I knew it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m pretty bad at dates,” said Demesa, just before her marriage to Christopher Biasbas. “I thought it’d be the easiest date to remember.”
Biasbas seemed a bit more romantic in his take on the special day.
“Just the fact that 12-12-12 is only going to happen once in our lifetime,” reasoned Biasbas. “So you figure something like that should be celebrated with something special -- and what’s more special than a wedding?”
How about a whole lot of weddings?
Sixty-six couples were on the books to take the plunge at San Francisco City Hall(add the sixes and you get twelve). So many, the county clerk had to double the capacity.
“Today is 12-12-12,” said Judge Robert Wertz in between conducting City Hall weddings. “It’s attracted a lot of people to engage in a lot of things, including marriage.”
For some, the numbers carried a lucky juju – a spiritual leg-up on the way toward scaling marriage mountain. Some cited religion with the 12 apostles and all.
That whole ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ bit certainly factored into the wedding day decision of newlyweds Branden and Remi Henderson of Oakland. But they also pointed-out the looming numerology at play just after Jan. 1.
“We were originally going to get married next year,” said Remi Henderson. “But I didn’t want to get married in 2013.”
There is one thing you can say; every Dec. 12 from here on out, there will be a whole slew of 12-12-12 couples who will remember their anniversary day with a particular ease - an anomaly that won’t strike again, until 01-01-21.