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Elderly Couple’s Leap Day Wedding Is One for the Record Books

wedding cake topper
mazaletel, Flickr

While some women observed the centuries-old tradition of proposing to their men on Leap Day, an elderly couple used the occasion to tie the knot — and it seems to have landed them in the record books.

Lillian Hartley, 95, and Allan Marks, 98, quietly wed on Wednesday at the Riverside County clerk’s office in Indio, CA. And with a combined age of 193 years, eight months and three days, their marriage sets a new Guinness World Record for oldest combined age of a couple on their wedding day.

They’ve been together nearly two decades and have seven adult children, 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren between them — so why make it official now?

I don’t know what will happen. I want to be together for all eternity, and I’m not taking any chances,” said Hartley. “I’m not deeply religious, but I just think it was meant to be.”

The newlyweds met 18 years ago at a Jewish temple in Palm Springs when Allan, a retired veterinarian, complimented the then-78-year-old Lillian’s dress. She told him it was “just an old rag” but was charmed by the compliment, and they’ve been paired up ever since. They’re both Los Angeles Lakers fans and, despite their advanced age, they travel extensively.

“We’re not what you would call couch potatoes,” Lillian said.

Riverside County Deputy Commissioner Yvonne Cruz, who’s presided over thousands of legal unions, said the couple’s two-minute ceremony was simple and brief, but among the best weddings she’s ever overseen. “Very plainly, they both told me they wanted to be together forever,” Cruz said. “There was no question about that.”

The newlyweds marked the occasion by having lunch at a nearby International House of Pancakes before returning to the Palm Springs condominium they share, where Lillian helped Allan fix his hearing aid, and he affectionately called her “mama.”

Are any other celebrations planned?

“We celebrate every day,” Lillian said, before adding, “I might go to Swiss Donut and have one of the nice donuts.”

[via USA Today]

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