Hoda Kotb is officially in the record books!
On Friday’s TODAY with Hoda & Jenna, a Valentine’s Day-themed segment gave the anchor a chance to help an unprecedented number of couples say “I do” to each other one more time — at the very same time.
Hoda, who happens to be an ordained minister, decided to celebrate the season of love while taking on the Guinness World Record for “Most Vow Renewal Ceremonies Performed Online Simultaneously” on the show. She only needed to do the honors for 51 couples get the glory, but she managed to go above and beyond.
Standing before a display in Studio 1A, Hoda addressed 53 couples from all around the country who joined her via video call. Some of them first swapped vows as recently as one year ago, while others had already celebrated as many as 66 years of marriage together, but they all had one thing in common — the desire for a vow do-over just before Valentine’s Day.
And there was one other person who watched along remotely: Guinness World Records adjudicator Christina Conlon, who addressed Hoda just before the big moment began.
“The only thing left is for you to lead them in renewing their vows simultaneously,” she said. “I’ll be watching closely to make sure that everyone does, in fact, say their vows all at the same time, out loud.”
Thus kicked off a ceremony like no other, in which Hoda put a twist on the usual “we are gathered here to today ...” intro.
“We are logged into this Zoom today to celebrate your continued dedication to each other,” she told the virtual crowd. “And if you made it throughout the last year, you certainly demonstrated all the dedication, persistence and love that couples need to be calm and carry on. Love is patient, love is kind, love endures, and today, love is joining 53 beautiful couples, breaking a Guinness World Record and reconfirming your commitment to each other in front of millions of Americans just sipping their coffee and slurping their green shakes.”
She then asked them all to “recommit to the words” that they “spoke to each other’s souls” when they first married. The synchronized “I dos” that followed did just that.
When it was all over, Conlon confirmed that a new record was set.
It’s no surprise to see Hoda usher in this particular record. While she and fiancé Joel Schiffman have had to delay their own wedding plans amid the pandemic, she’s been eagerly helping others make sure their big days happen without a hitch via Zoom.
Back in April of last year, she officiated a surprise wedding for a couple who’d been forced to cancel their planned ceremony. In May, she surprised six couples awaiting their big days with a virtual first dance. And in June, she officiated the nuptials of two New York nurses.
Congrats to all the couples — and to Hoda for making so many happily-ever-afters happen.