Wedding luck

More than a dozen couples wed on Dec. 12, 2012 — 12/12/12 — at the Ottawa County Courthouse.
Becky Vargo
Dec 12, 2012

John Knaebel of Grand Haven said he and his wife, Amanda, chose Wednesday as their wedding day so it would be easy to remember.

Kory and Heather Huston of Zeeland picked the date because they started dating two years ago on Dec. 12.

The Knaebels and Hustons were two of 14 couples set to be married Wednesday — Dec. 12, 2012 (12/12/12) — at the Ottawa County Courthouse in Grand Haven.

“They’re scheduled every 15 minutes,” Magistrate Vernon Helder said.

Helder said this is the most weddings he’s ever officiated in one day — more so than on Valentine’s Day or last year on Nov. 11 (11/11/11).

The first one was at 11 a.m. and it continued past 4 p.m.

The Knaebels had the honor of the first time slot. John, 25, formerly of Missouri, and Amanda (Barnhart), 28, originally from Coldwater, moved to Grand Haven earlier this year from Omaha, Neb., when they discovered Amanda was pregnant.

“We were engaged for a little over a year,” Amanda said. “We planned on getting married this summer, but we found out in March that we were having a baby, so we moved back here — back to where family is,” she said as she smiled at her parents, Lynda and Robert Nietering.

The Knaebels bought a house and spent the summer fixing it up. Before they knew it, it was fall, Amanda said, so they decided they should get married soon.

They picked Dec. 12.

“It’s all done for the benefit of the male ­— so he doesn’t forget his wedding date,” Helder said.

“That is 100 percent exactly why I wanted to get married on this date,” John said.

The couple will have to put off a formal honeymoon for a while.

“I’m due Saturday,” Amanda said. “The honeymoon will be a few weeks at home with the little one.”

John, who will be on leave from work, said, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Kory and Heather Huston said they are happy to keep their wedding anniversary date the same as the day they started dating — Dec. 12.

Kory, 32, originally of Ravenna, and Heather, 33, originally from Holland, are blending their five children into the marriage. They are also putting off their honeymoon until June.

Dates with matching digits are usually big wedding days at the courthouse, Helder said. Otherwise, the biggest day of the week is Friday, when Helder works out of the courthouse in Holland.

The charge for a wedding is $10, set by state statute, Helder said.

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