The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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December 12, 2012

Numbers lovers: Prosecutor makes 12-12-12 her wedding date

PITTSBURGH — It will be 100 years before another 12-12-12 date rolls around, so a soon-to-be-wed federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh is making the most of it.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Johnson has announced her wedding on that date – today – to Deputy U.S. Marshal Brian Allen.

A federal judge will marry the couple at 12:12 p.m., and they will exchange 12-word vows: “Do you, Brian/Amy, take this woman/man to be your lawfully wedded wife/husband?”

Margaret Philbin, the spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, got into the spirit with a news release Tuesday that contained sentences of 12 words each and – counting her first-name salutation of “Margaret” – also contains 12 lines.

The postscript on the release underscored the point: “Headline and sentences each contain 12 words to further attract your attention.”

Duly noted.

Johnson, 34, said the couple had been planning a small ceremony in the courtroom of Senior U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose, attended by Allen’s 16-year-old son, their infant son, and her mother, who was to watch over the baby.

But as friends learned of their numerically unique plans, the couple decided to spread the word – it’s not every day that the U.S. attorney’s office issues a news release announcing the nuptials of a staffer.

“We initially started this out as kind of being low-key,” Johnson said.

“But as word kind of filtered around, a lot of people started thinking it was interesting and intriguing that we chose this day. Prior to that, it was going to be a very small venture, but it’s kind of spiraled into something.”

Because both have friends and co-workers elsewhere in the federal courthouse downtown, the couple expects many last-minute guests will wander in on their lunch hour to witness the event.

The couple thought of the idea when Allen proposed last December and Johnson said both realized, “This is really the last opportunity in our lifetimes that we’ll have a chance to get married on a day when the month, day and year will all be the same.”

The date has other perks, too.

“First and foremost, Brian will never have an excuse for not remembering our anniversary,” Johnson quipped. “So that’s a bonus.”

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