Couples take last unusual wedding date of the century

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAnne and Ian Cuthbertson were married at Middlesbrough Town Hall

Register offices across the country have reported an increase in wedding bookings as couples choose to marry on a day with special significance.

Thursday is the last day of the century when the date, month and year match.

Fifty-one ceremonies were booked in the district of Gretna in southern Scotland, which is well known for Gretna Green - a 25-fold increase on the same day last year.

It will be just over 88 years before 01/01/2101 comes around.

In Gloucestershire, west England, 12 ceremonies were due. The number of weddings on an average Wednesday is one.

'Won't forget date'

In Barnet, north London, 14 were booked, about three times more than usual.

One couple said they particularly wanted the date because the number 12 has had significance their whole relationship.

Joeh Chan, 24, and Ginny Chan, 20, from Colindale, Barnet, exchanged vows at 12:00 GMT.

Joeh said: "We met on the 12th of the 12th four years ago at a friend's party."

He proposed on Ginny's birthday, the 12th of October. He added that he had planned to propose on 12/12 last year but Ginny was sick. He waited almost a year for the right date again.

"I waited until her birthday because I wanted an occasion that felt special. Twelve has been really lucky for me."

Ginny said: "He has no excuse now for forgetting the date."

'Year to remember'

Barbara Aves, 65, and David Donno, 67, were one of six couples marrying in Havering, north-east London. They also chose to wed at 12:00 GMT.

Barbara and David married partners a week apart in 1969 and were later widowed. They met seven years ago.

Barbara, a retired civil servant, from East Ham, east London, said they chose the date because 2012 had been such a memorable year with both the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics.

The couple became engaged in September.

"Twenty-twelve's been a really good year," she said.

Marcus du Sautoy, professor of mathematics at Oxford University and president of the Mathematical Association, said he thought the rush to marry on 12/12/12 shows what a "mathematical mind" people have.

"They are drawn to these dates because they see a pattern," he said.

"Although it looks trivial people being drawn to this date, actually it's a very powerful way of looking at the world. I think it's less trivial than it looks."

Speaking about the unusual nature of dates at the start of the century, he added: "We are all incredibly lucky to be living in this 12-year period because it's pretty fallow after that."

Councils have said that on 9/9/09 when the date proved similarly popular, it was of particular interest to couples in the emergency services.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites