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Video: WWII veteran marries for the first time at 99

updated 6/23/2011 12:02:20 PM ET 2011-06-23T16:02:20

Gilbert Herrick says he never got married because he never met the right woman — until he turned 98.

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Now 99, the World War II veteran and retired postal worker from western New York recently married 86-year-old Virginia Hartman, a widow who raised five children.

Gilbert tells the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester that their first encounter was in 2010 in a hall at Monroe Community Hospital, the nursing home where they both live. After that, he started visiting her every day.

Gilbert says they wanted to share a room, but the facility's rules don't allow it unless a couple is married. Hartman asked him if he wanted to tie the knot, he said yes and they were married on June 6 with Hartman's extended family on hand.

Read more stories from TODAY Good News!
Man who quit college in 1932 graduates — at 99
On 100th birthday, he married the woman of his dreams
98-year-old woman dons wedding dress she wore in 1938

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explainer: 12 of the world’s wackiest weddings

  • Image: Newlyweds Batman and Wonder Woman, also known as Neil Vaughan and Sharon Wetherell
    Adam Gerrard  /  SWNS

    Your wedding day is supposed to be your day — one of the most pivotal days in your lives.

    Right?

    If that’s really true, then why not join the throngs of couples who are choosing to live out wild, fanciful or downright silly dreams in conjunction with their nuptials? Doing so could have a practical benefit: It could save you big bucks. In these recessionary times, many have been shunning lavish weddings and opting for unique ones instead.

    Here are 12 recent examples of utterly wacky — and utterly memorable — weddings. Click “next” at the left to start your (strange) trip down the aisle.

  • Holy matrimony, Batman!

    Image: Newlyweds Batman and Wonder Woman, also known as Neil Vaughan and Sharon Wetherell
    Adam Gerrard  /  SWNS

    For those of you out there who always sensed that Batman and Wonder Woman would make a great couple: It’s happened!

    On July 31, Sharon Wetherell and Neil Vaughan of Devon, England, tied the knot while all dressed up as their favorite superheroes. As “Wonder Woman” theme music blared, Wetherell, 40, made a grand entrance at the ceremony wearing blue hot pants, a red corset, flashy boots and a tiara and veil that cost her about $160. The groom’s face-obscuring Batman costume set him back about $290.

    The couple’s friends and family also got gussied up as superheroes. Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Robin, Poison Ivy, Lara Croft, the Joker, Bananaman and the Incredibles were all in attendance.

    “Our wedding was absolutely amazing and it cost us less than some couples would spend on just the dress,” Mrs. Vaughan said in the British newspaper The Daily Mail. “We were not allowed to see each other’s costumes before the big day, but when I did see Neil he looked fantastic as Batman. ... It was such a great day.”

  • No cold feet at T.J. Maxx wedding

    Image: Lisa Satayut and Drew Ellis at their T.J. Maxx wedding
    Bill Pugliano  /  AP for TJ Maxx

    Who doesn’t get excited about the prospect of bagging a bargain? Bride Lisa Satayut decided to combine that feeling with her excitement over bagging her beau.

    Explaining that T.J. Maxx is her “happy place,” Satayut married Drew Ellis in July in the size 8 shoe aisle of a T.J. Maxx store in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

    The bride — a self-proclaimed “'Maxxinista” — wore a strapless white chiffon gown, with long black gloves and bright green gladiator-style sandals. A widened aisle, vine-covered arch and white chairs with red bows highlighted the traditional ceremony that included string music, display-dodging cameramen — and curious shoppers who stopped bargain hunting long enough to watch.

    Related video: With this bargain, I thee wed at T.J. Maxx

  • Happy ogre after

    Image: Vivian and Tracey Williams with dressed up wedding guests
    Wales News Service

    Tracey and Vivian Williams, a happy couple from Wales, tied the knot in May by dressing up as two of their favorite movie characters: the green ogres Shrek and Princess Fiona. Tracey Williams, 33, told the British newspaper The Daily Mail that the themed wedding idea suited her and her new husband perfectly.

    “Our friends always used to say we looked like the characters when we went on nights out,” she said. “Even though Shrek and Fiona are both green ogres, we didn’t take it offensively because we like them so much.”

    The couple actually saw a “Shrek” movie on their first date and have been loyal fans ever since. To get ready for the big day, the pair covered themselves in green body paint and affixed fake green ears to the tops of their heads. Tracey donned a bright red wig to complete the Princess Fiona look, and Vivian sported checked trousers.

    The Williams’ wedding guests got in on the fun, with the best man dressing up as Monsieur Hood, the bride’s father going as Lord Farquaad, the bride’s mother playing the Fairy Godmother and the maid of honor playing Snow White.

    Related story: Pair dress as Shrek, Fiona for wedding

  • Kiss the bride – if you can find her

    Image: Marvin Hunter and Kim Silver in a tree stand
    Mike Moynihan
    An Iowa couple whose passion for bowhunting encouraged Cupid's arrow to strike wore camouflage to blend in with the wooded backdrop at their treetop wedding.

    Kim Silver, 42, dressed in a silk gown made by camouflage specialists Mossy Oak, and her 61-year-old groom, Marvin Hunter, was dressed in camo shirt and pants at the June nuptials.

    They said their vows atop a tree stand hunting platform. The bride and groom occasionally punctuated the ceremony by firing arrows at targets. Hunter said the couple had always joked about getting married on a tree stand. Silver said the pair hunt together so much that the camo wedding "just seemed like the right thing to do."

  • A viral dance sensation

    Image: Wedding party dancing down the aisle
    TODAY

    Most couples wait until the reception before breaking out into the Funky Chicken on their wedding day, but Kevin Heinz and Jill Peterson figured, why wait to unleash their unbridled joy?

    The 28-year-olds floored their wedding guests by having their whole bridal party — including seven bridesmaids, five groomsmen and four ushers — boogie down the aisle in a choreographed dance more at home in a Broadway musical than in a somber church.

    Groomsmen split into sides as Heinz did a somersault in front of the wowed crowd — and the gown-clad Peterson quickly followed, shaking her hips to Chris Brown’s “Forever” while pumping her bridal bouquet into the air during the June 20, 2009, ceremony in St. Paul, Minn.

    The wedding party rehearsed the dance for just 90 minutes.

    Of course, some things are too good to keep to yourself. And when Kevin posted the wedding dance routine on YouTube, it quickly became a viral hit, with hundreds of thousands of people sharing in the couple’s novel way of showing their matrimonial joy.

    Related video: Wedding party boogies down the aisle

  • 110 bridesmaids set world record

    Image: Jill Stapleton with 110 bridesmaids
    TODAY

    Some people think five or six bridesmaids are a lot. But how about 110? Jill Stapleton, an Ohio gymnastics teacher, set a world record in June when she invited all of her young students to be her bridesmaids at her wedding.

    “We were actually going to go away for our wedding but this wedding day is more important to a lot of these little girls and boys back here that have made my dreams come true,” Stapleton said. “This is our dream wedding.”

    Stapleton married Chad Greenhill, a Marshall University cheerleader. The previous record was 90 bridesmaids.

  • An aisle of light bulbs, grills

    Image: Carolyn Weatherly and Audwin Mosby
    Courtesy Audwin Joaquin Mosby
    The bride wore white. The guests wore orange smocks.

    A Southern California couple wed in June in front of more than 100 guests at a Home Depot store where they work.

    The wedding party for 56-year-old Carolyn Weatherly and Audwin Mosby, who’s 55, marched down an aisle of light bulbs, grills and paint to the outdoor garden section.

    A wedding arbor and stage had been built from the store’s lumber and supplies.

    The bride said the store in Lake Forest is like a second home and her colleagues are like family.

    "I feel awesome," Mosby told the Orange County Register. "This is the best thing that has happened to me in a long, long time."

  • Sweet, sugary love

    Image: Jared and Jerri Guinther eating doughnuts at wedding
    Sara Terese Heise

    Voodoo Doughnut, a wildly popular indulgence with two locations in Portland, Ore., has an entire menu dedicated to wedding services. That menu includes a variety of matrimonial options, such as this “Legal Voodoo Wedding” package for $200: “Legal wedding ceremony, coffee & doughnuts for 24 people, 700-square-foot chapel, free parking & doughnut centerpiece.”

    The doughnut shops have married off more than 300 couples, sending hearts racing with both romance and sugar intake. Pictured here are Jared and Jerri Guinther enjoying their sweet nuptials.

  • Jaws of love

    Image: April Pignataro and Michael Curry in shark tank
    WNBC
    Talk about taking the plunge. April Pignataro and Michael Curry opted to be lowered in a steel cage into a shark tank to exchange their wedding vows in June.

    The bride wore a white wetsuit; the groom wore a black one. The experienced divers spoke their vows into radio headgear transmitted to a minister outside the tank while about 75 guests watched from behind glass. The 120,000-gallon tank at Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead, N.Y., includes sand tiger sharks, nurse sharks, moray eels and a massive Queensland grouper.

    Both Pignataro and Curry said the concept of a shark tank wedding thrilled them. “We both love the ocean, we love the water ... and yes, the idea of an underwater wedding, not to mention one surrounded by sharks at an aquarium, is different and unique, but that is also exactly who we are,” Pignataro told NBCNewYork.

  • 'I do' in Aisle 2

    Image: Jack Frankel and Fina Nikolos at wedding
    Mike Stocker  /  SunSentinel.com
    One couple decided to tie the knot where they first met: Whole Foods Market.

    Jack Frankel, 75, and 67-year-old Fina Nikolos met in May 2009 at the supermarket in Coral Springs, Fla. It had been raining when Frankel noticed a beautiful woman pass him. Nikolos offered to walk him to his car with an umbrella. He later thanked her by taking her out to lunch.

    In January 2010, the two returned to the place where their love began for a small wedding ceremony in the store's cafe. About 40 people attended the ceremony as store employees and customers watched and smiled. The couple held each other close during the ceremony, shedding a few tears. They also exchanged emotional vows. Nikolos was too overcome to finish hers aloud.

    According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, this was the first time customers wed in a Whole Foods Market in Florida, though employees have gotten married there.

    Frankel told reporters that the most irresistible thing about his bride is her eyes. “She looks at me with those Spanish eyes and I melt,” he said.

  • I now pronounce you bride and ghoul

    Image: Jack Holsinger and Connie Spitznagel
    Alicia Castelli  /  The Chronicle-Telegram

    Why don’t more bridal magazines suggest this as the perfect theme for an October wedding?

    In October 2009, Jack Holsinger, 61, and Connie Spitznagel, 44, dressed as pale-faced vampires for their Halloween-themed ceremony at a haunted house near Cleveland, Ohio. Holsinger arrived in a coffin inside a hearse, and the coffin was carried to the altar by six pallbearers. Minister Greg Kopp was dressed as Jason in the "Friday the 13th" movies. After the vows were exchanged, he ordered Holsinger not to kiss his new bride but instead to bite her on the neck.

    The couple vowed to love each other and haunt and howl at the moon together. Like typical mortal couples, the groom said he just wanted his bride to be happy.

    “This is her first wedding,” Holsinger said. “She had a common-law marriage the first time around, so she never really got a wedding. It’s what she wanted and it’s about her. It’s her time. Whatever she wanted.”

  • Will you Mario me?

    msnbc.com

    Proving that love is a game that two can play — a video game, that is — Bobbi VanZante and Elijah Slagter of Pella, Iowa, decided on a unique theme for their wedding: Super Mario Brothers. Slaget, the groom, will dress as Mario, of course, and VanZante will be costumed as the lovely Princess Peach.

    The father of the bride will be dressed up as Bowser, even though he’s the villain of the Mario universe. “It’s kind of part of the game,” VanZante explained to NBC’s Megan Reuther. “Bowser and all his buddies steal Princess Peach.” So who better to give the bride away to her groom?

    VanZante’s mother, Lori Mullen, was good-natured about the Mario madness, which included such details as making turtle shells out of bicycle helmets. “It fits both of them,” she said. “It’ll be a fun day and good remembrance.”

    Reached for comment inside a Nintendo gaming system, the real Mario commented: “It’s a-me, Mario!”

Photos: Celebrity weddings of 2010

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  1. Richie rich wedding

    Musician Joel Madden and Nicole Richie were married on Dec. 11, 2010, in a lavish yet private ceremony at Lionel Richie's Beverly Hills estate.

    The ceremony was officiated by rapper-minister Rev. Run and the bride donned three different looks, all by Marchesa, according to UsMagazine.com. (John Shearer / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Ready to rumble

    Wrestler Hulk Hogan married girlfriend Jennifer McDaniels on Dec. 14, 2010, at an intimate ceremony in Hulk's backyard in Clearwater, Florida. Radar online reports that the wedding got chaotic when cops were called to break-up a brawl between a photographer and the wrestler's bodyguards. (Chris O'meara / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. He makes her laugh

    British actor/comedian Russell Brand and singer Katy Perry wed in a traditional Hindu ceremony at a luxury resort in a tiger preserve in India on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010. (Steve Granitz / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. She said 'Yus'

    "Brothers & Sisters" star Dave Annable and actress Odette Yustman were married on Oct. 10, 2010, in an outdoor ceremony in Ojai, California. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Making music together

    "American Idol" star Crystal Bowersox married musician Brian Walker on Oct. 10, 2010, at Uncommon Ground Café in Chicago, the restaurant where the couple had met six years earlier while both performing at Open Mic Night. (Rene Macura / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Sunny union

    "Bones" star Emily Deschanel married writer-actor David Hornsby on Sept. 25, 2010 during a small private ceremony in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. Hornsby appeared on the comedy "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." (Matthew Simmons / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Knox-ing on love's door

    Johnny Knoxville wed longtime girlfriend Naomi Nelson (right) on Sept 24, 2010. They have a son, Rocko Akira Clapp, who will be one on Dec 20. Knoxville also has a teenage daughter (left) with his ex-wife Melanie Clapp. The two divorced in 2008. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Hawaiian paradise

    Rocker Eddie Vedder and model Jill McCormick wed in a romantic ceremony in Oahu on Sept. 18, 2010. They have two daughters, Olivia, born June 11, 2004, and Harper Moon, born Sept. 23, 2008. Vedder and McCormick became engaged in Dec. 2009 at the Kennedy Center Honors gala in Washington, D.C. (Paul Morigi / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. She took our breaths away

    Kelly McGillis, the actress who won the heart of Tom Cruise in the 1986 movie "Top Gun," wed her girlfriend of ten years, Melanie Leis, in a civil union ceremony in Collingswood, New Jersey, on Sept. 15, 2010. (Mike Coppola / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Model love

    Supermodel Kate Moss married her long-term, rocker boyfriend Jamie Hince in August 2010. According to reports, Moss went barefoot and wore a see-through white gown for the low-key ceremony in Sicily. (Fred Duval / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Lowe high on love

    Chad Lowe and Kim Painter were married on Aug. 28, 2010, before a small group of friends and family at Terranea Resort in Los Angeles. According to People magazine, Chad's brother Rob Lowe was best man and the couple's 15-month old daughter Mabel served as ring bearer. (Duffy-Marie Arnoult / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Just her (blood) type

    Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, stars of the HBO vampire drama "True Blood," got married Aug. 21, 2010, at a private residence in Malibu, Calif. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Duff love

    Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie married Aug. 14, 2010 in Santa Barbara, Calif. The 22-year-old Hilary, in Vera Wang, and the Canadian hockey player, 29, exchanged vows in front of 100 guests. (Dr. Billy Ingram / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Field day

    British pop star Robbie Williams and actress Ayda Field got married Aug. 7 2010. The couple, who met in 2006, exchanged vows in front of about 75 friends and family members at his Beverly Hills home. (Dave M. Benett / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Keys in key

    Singing star Alicia Keys and music producer Swizz Beatz attend a benefit at Russell Simmons' estate in East Hampton, N.Y., on July 24, 2010. The couple, expecting a child together, held a wedding celebration on the island of Corsica on July 31, 2010, where the guests included Bono and Queen Latifah. (Jerritt Clark / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. T.I. twosome

    Rapper T.I. and singer-songwriter Tameka "Tiny" Cottle arrive at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February 2009. The couple, who have two sons together as well three other children, were married in Miami Beach on July 31, 2010. (Larry Busacca / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Wedding of the year

    Chelsea Clinton walks with Marc Mezvinsky after their wedding ceremony at Astor Court in Rhinebeck, N.Y., on July 31, 2010. Bill and Hillary Clinton's daughter married her long-time boyfriend in what has been dubbed America's royal wedding. (Genevieve De Manio / Handout via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Love in Bloom

    Australian model Miranda Kerr and actor Orlando Bloom attend the grand opening of Vdara Hotel & Spa in Las Vegas in 2009. On July 22, 2010, Kerr released a statement announcing that the couple had been married in a quiet ceremony. (Denise Truscello / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Give that couple an Oscar

    Spanish actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem joined the ranks of Oscar-winning married couples after tying the knot in the Bahamas in July 2010. The pair, each marrying for the first time, started dating in 2007.

    Cruz, 36, won an Academy Award in 2009 for her supporting role in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." Bardem, 41, won his statuette a year earlier for "No Country For Old Men." (Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Hockey player finds his "Idol"

    Country star, Carrie Underwood, 27, and her hockey player beau, Mike Fisher, 30, tied the knot at a luxury resort Saturday, July 10, before 250 friends and family. The ceremony featured classical music and the couple's favorite Bible readings, according to PEOPLE.

    Fisher, who plays for the Ottawa Senators, was engaged to Underwood on Dec. 20, after quietly dating for about a year. Underwood told PEOPLE in March that with their busy schedules, “We'll be little nomads for a while” and that they planned to keep homes in Nashville and in Peterborough, Ontario. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. All-star wedding

    TV personality La La Vasquez and Denver Nuggets basketball player Carmelo Anthony attend their wedding at Cipriani 42nd Street on July 10 in New York City. Some of the guests that attended the wedding were Ciara, LeBron James, Ludacris, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian and director Spike Lee. (Moises De Pena / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. "Office" star finds his Pam

    Actors John Krasinski and Emily Blunt made got married on July 10, in a private ceremony at the Villa D'este in Como, Italy. Krasinski's rep confirmed the wedding, according to published reports, adding that Blunt wore a custom cream chiffon sweetheart draped Marchesa gown with embroidered detail. Krasinski, 30, and Blunt, 27, began dating in 2008 and became engaged in August 2009. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. 'Bad Boy' becomes husband

    Comedian Martin Lawrence and longtime girlfriend Shamicka Gibbs were married on July 10. Their daughters Amara, 7, and Lyanna, 9, and Lawrence's daughter Jasmine, 14, (File photo shows Jasmine, right and Lyanna, left) from a previous marriage were flower girls. After the ceremony, Lawrence, 45, and Gibbs, 35, held a family-style celebration. (Gregg Deguire / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Foxy couple

    Megan Fox and former "90210" star Brian Austin Green got married on June 24, 2010. Green's son, Kassius, 8, was present at the ceremony. Months before the wedding, Megan told Us Weekly that Brian would be a hands-on groom: "He is in on the planning. He wants to be!" (Phil McCarten / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Indiana settles down

    On June 16, 2010, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart tied the knot in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The ceremony took place at the Governor's mansion, where Governor Bill Richardson officiated. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Full of glee

    "Glee" actress Jane Lynch and Dr. Lara Embry were married at the Blue Heron Restaurant in Sunderland, Massachusetts, on June 6, 2010. A friend who became a Universal Life minister for the event officiated. (Jon Furniss / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Happy TV ending

    Former "Beverly Hills 90210" star Ian Ziering, who was on the 2007 season of "Dancing With The Stars," married Erin Kristine Ludwig, a nurse, in Newport Beach, California, on May 28, 2010. (Michael Buckner / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Musical union

    Alanis Morissette married rapper Mario "Souleye" Treadway during an intimate ceremony in Los Angeles on May 22, 2010. "So happy to share with you that my man Souleye and I got married," Morissette shared on her Twitter page. "We're very excited to embark on this journey with each other." (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Network nuptials

    CW stars Danneel Harris and Jensen Ackles were married in Dallas, Texas, on May 15, 2010. The couple dated for three years and costarred in the 2007 comedy "Ten Inch Hero." (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Red-hot love

    Actor and comedian Seth Green married model Clare Grant on May 1, 2010, at a private vineyard in Northern California. (Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. That's niiiiiiiice

    Comedian and "Borat" star Sacha Baron Cohen married Australian actress Isla Fisher, of "Confessions of a Shopaholic," on Mar. 15, 2010, in a small Jewish ceremony in Paris. According to PEOPLE magazine, Isla said of her nuptials, "It's very important to me to have a beautiful ritual celebrated with my family and friends. And when you are in the public eye, to keep that private and to make it happen without it being really visible is really difficult."

    On 19 October 2007, Fisher gave birth to a baby girl named Olive Baron Cohen in Los Angeles, California. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Good news

    "Weekend Today" anchor Amy Robach and former "Melrose Place" actor Andrew Shue were married in New York City's Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers on Feb. 6, 2010, which was also the bride's 37th birthday.

    Shue's mother officiated the ceremony and the couple exchanged their own vows before guests. "It was the most beautiful night in every way," Robach said.

    (Courtesy of Amy Robach) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. What a Dahl

    British author and model Sophie Dahl, 32, married singer and pianist Jamie Cullum, 30, in a secret ceremony in the New Forest, Hampshire on Jan. 9, 2010. According to reports, the bride wore an ivory Versace-style gown for her reception.

    Sophie Dahl is the granddaughter of celebrated children's author Roald Dahl, who penned "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Matilda." (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Swinger no more

    On Jan. 2, 2010, "The Break-Up" star Vince Vaughn married Canadian real estate agent Kyla Weber in his hometown of Lake Forest, Illinois. They enjoyed a small, private ceremony at the Great Hall of the historic Armour House at Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois.

    The couple has been engaged since Valentine's Day 2009. (Charles Rex Arbogast / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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