ALAMEDA -- A grinning guy about to be wed in the Alameda City Hall chambers Wednesday -- better known as 12-12-12 -- made the social rounds with friends and family until his bride walked up the aisle.
Wil Gamboa and Jenna Lee, of Oakland, were one of three couples who were married in wedding ceremonies officiated by Mayor Marie Gilmore. But the love boat didn't stop there. Nine other couples were wed throughout the day in ceremonies officiated by City Clerk Lara Weisiger -- meaning, of course, that 12 couples were wed in Alameda on 12-12-12.
The Gamboa-Lee wedding was held at -- you guessed it -- 12:12 p.m. Lee said she didn't know the date meant anything when she and Gamboa decided on the wedding. When she heard about it, she went online and found that there was also a plenitude of good fortune attached to the date, including long-lasting romantic love. Gamboa said it meant they would be together forever.
Technology played an important role in allowing a friend in Honolulu, Gareth Hale, to watch and hear the ceremony and even speak with the bride and groom via a video conference call program on an iPad. Linton Johnson, of Oakland, who is an online friend of Hale's but whom he has not met in person, held the iPad and chatted with Hale, whose face was on the computer screen.
Last year, the city held its wedding ceremonies on Nov. 11 -- also known as 11-11-11. The theme won't be repeated for a while, because the same date, month and year won't happen for another 89 years on Jan. 1, 2101.
Civil marriage ceremonies are conducted by appointment from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Those feeling romantic may call the City Clerk's Office at 510-747-4804 to make an appointment for one of three types of ceremonies, "The Grand Chambers," "Bliss," or "Signed, Sealed & Expedited" that range from $310 to $120.