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Couples get hitched by the dozens on 12-12-2012

Business is brisk at courthouses in Oklahoma and Cleveland counties, where an estimated 58 couples file for marriage licenses
BY TIM WILLERT and JANE GLENN CANNON Published: December 12, 2012

Couples usually don't wait for the second Wednesday in December to get hitched. But for Tammie Alexander and Roger Lockwood, the day had special significance.

Alexander, 44, and Lockwood, 51, of Luther, were among dozens of couples who married in Oklahoma and Cleveland counties on Dec. 12, 2012, or 12-12-12.

“That was his idea,” Alexander said outside the Courthouse Lab and Wedding Chapel in Oklahoma City, where proprietor and Baptist minister Jerry Freeland performed about 30 ceremonies or one every 15 minutes.

This chapel is part of a business that also does drug testing. It is adjacent to the courthouse.

“It was going to be 11-11-2011 but that didn't work out,” Lockwood joked.

Unlike some couples, Alexander and Lockwood didn't rush into marriage. They dated for 18 years.

“We wanted to mull it over,” said Alexander, flanked by her 24-year-old daughter and 90-year-old grandfather.

“He could never say the word marriage for the first 10 years.”

Between Monday and Wednesday, approximately 81 couples filed for marriage licenses in Oklahoma County, about half the usual number, according to the court clerk's office.

By comparison, 80 couples filed for marriage licenses on July 7, 2007, and 200 more filed for licenses in the preceding two days.

“It was kind of a joke, and now he has no reason to forget our anniversary,” said Briana Shirley, 22, who married Levi Jones, 21, on Wednesday.

The Oklahoma City couple are expecting twin girls.

“I wanted this to be our best day,” Jones said.

Setting a record

After a 10-year courtship, Alicia Williams and Jeffrey Hamilton of Norman finally decided Wednesday was the perfect day for a wedding.

“Actually, my daughter decided it on Tuesday when she noticed the date,” Williams said. “She said, ‘Mom, tomorrow will be a lucky day. You need to get married.'”

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