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Weddings by the numbers

Modified: Wednesday, Dec 12th, 2012

Christopher Gladden and Rona Foronda of Monterey seal their marriage vows with a kiss Wednesday at the County Building in Santa Cruz. Numerous couples lined up to marry on the unusual date of 12-12-12. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian).

SANTA CRUZ — Faced with the daunting task of planning a large wedding, Rona Foronda and Christopher Gladden decided to take a slightly easier approach to their nuptials Wednesday morning.

“We had the marvelous idea of a secret elopement,” Foronda said. “We thought it would be special if we did something special on our own."

Indeed, the date was special, as Dec. 12, 2012, or 12/12/12, marked the last time for the next 100 years that a date will feature repeating numbers.

The wedding at the Santa Cruz County Building was one of dozens held there on Wednesday.

County Clerk Gail Pellerin said numerous requests for weddings on Wednesday prompted her staff to set aside the day for “12/12/12” ceremonies, with couples looking to tie the knot coming in every half hour starting at 8 a.m. and lasting, appropriately, for 12 hours.

Pellerin said the date holds special significance for some people, with the number cropping up in several religions, in mysticism, the Zodiac and the clock.

In addition, Pellerin pointed to the 12 days of Christmas, the 12 tribes of Israel and Jesus’ 12 apostles.

“The number 12 is believed to be the number of strength, conviction, absoluteness and finality,” she said. “It is also associated with beliefs of mystery and authority.”

According to the Mayans, December 2012 will mark the end of a 5,126-year Mayan Calendar, and is a time of renewal, rebirth, reawakening and new beginnings.

For Foronda and Gladden, who sipped a glass of Martinelli’s sparking cider after their ceremony, the number will forever mean their anniversary.

“This is for us,” she said.

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