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'Honeymoon Capital' falls short of Guinness record for most 'I dos'

Some of the brides wore fancy jewelry and their wedding gowns from the day they were married.

Many of the grooms donned matching tuxedos and bow ties.

But they all came out to Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls on Saturday to take help break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Marriage Vow Renewal Ceremony.

While more than 1,800 couples registered  to say "I do" again,  only about half showed up, officials said. In the end, that was not enough to break the record of 1,201 couples.

But the day still was pretty special for many of those who participated.

Fimone and Elijah Snipes, for instance, celebrated 30 years of marriage on June 4.

When he proposed, they were having dinner at home in Rochester.

“I got up to do something in the kitchen, and he hid the ring under my napkin.” Fimone said.

What better way to recommit their love 30 years later than by participating in the vow renewal ceremony, said Fimone, who read about the event in her local newspaper.

“I was like let’s do it,” Fimone said. “It sounds like fun. I really think it’s a fun event, very memorable.”

When Fimone came to her husband with the idea, he responded simply "OK."

“Whatever makes her happy,” he said.

Mary Commerford’s husband Paul found out about the event on social media. It didn’t take much for Mary to get on board.

“I said you want to do it?” Paul said.

“And of course I did,” Mary said.

The Commerfords have been married 18 years.

But Saturday wasn’t the first time the Springville couple had renewed their vows.

The first time was on their 10th wedding anniversary.

The ivory, beaded gown that Mary wore Saturday was the same one she wore for the first vow renewal.

“We had a new garage and initiated it that way,” Mary said.

Retired Buffalo Bills legend Bruce Smith was the celebrity officiant for Saturday’s event. The NFL Hall of Famer led the couples in a single vow: “I pledge to you a renewing of our love now and forever."

Julie Singh looked very bridal in a long, flowing, cream-colored gown with a floral, halter-style stop.

The Lewiston couple first exchanged I dos in the month of December in Toronto.

Married for 15 years to her husband Ranjit, Julie said they wanted to be a part of breaking the record.

“It’s a great idea,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to renew our vows again.”

Ranjit’s first thought was “it was a very romantic idea,” he said.

“Fifteen years is a landmark, and this is a great way to celebrate,” he said.

Much like the Singhs, Marcy and Michael Kamery wanted to help break the vow renewal record.

It was Marcy who saw the event advertised on a billboard.

“We wanted to be a part of history,” said Marcy, who wore a white sleeveless lace gown with a teal ribbon adorned with pearls and crystals around her waist. A matching teal and crystal necklace and earring set and a crystal headband completed her wedding vow renewal ensemble.

Michael wore a teal shirt with a white tie.

Shannon Baldwin wore her white, spaghetti strap wedding dress to Saturday’s event.

She was happy she could fit into the dress after 12 years. Her husband, Jason, was not as fortunate.

“You see I’m not wearing my tux,” he joked.

The Newfane couple were married in Lockport. A friend of the theirs posted about the event on social media. Shannon signed them up right away.

“I thought it would be fun,” she said.

“It’s cool to be a part of something bigger than ourselves,” she said.

Some of the couples at Saturday’s event have been married for decades, like Margaret and Brian Mowczko, who have been married 40 years.

The Mowczkos live in the Town of Tonawanda and were renewing their vows during Saturday’s event and again on Sunday in North Tonawanda in front of family and friends by a friend who is an ordained minister.

It was Brian’s idea to participate in the vow renewal Saturday.

“How do you not do it? It’s great to be a part of something bigger,” he said.

Margaret said she was “game” when Brian brought up the idea.

“I get to marry my best friend all over again,” she said. “He’s a good man.”

Other couples Saturday were newlyweds, as in the case of Teresa and Fred Kelly.

The pair has been married nine months and traveled from Alabama to participate in the vow renewal event.

Fred heard about it on his local radio station that broadcasts national programming.

“Oh, that’d be neat,” said Teresa when Fred asked her about it.

The couple had been in Niagara Falls since Thursday, touring both the Canadian and American sides and taking a ride on the Maid of the Mist. It was going to be a second honeymoon.

The whole trip wasn’t cheap, Fred joked.

“But she’s worth it,” he said.

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