It’s a matter of time
By Earl Gray

The Pinckneyville Park Recreation Center in Berkeley Lake was starting to fill up.  It was an eclectic mix of men and women: different ages, different races, and different styles of dress. One thing they had in common, however, was the constant checking of time.  On this day, time was of the essence.



Kristina Blum and Chris Ballar were watching time as well.  They had their own style of dress but with good reason; both are Gwinnett County judges.  Kristina is the county Chief Magistrate Judge while Chris is the county Probate Judge.  Dressed in their black gowns the two stood out in a sea of mostly white.  That they stood in front of nearly 100 people on a Saturday morning was their own doing.

Jaquan Ray is a Flint, Michigan native who now lives in Snellville.  He and his bride to be, Michele Fletcher, had one of the larger groups of family and friends on hand.  They too made the decision to tie the knot only one week before the event.

"I was panicked," Michele exclaimed about the lack of time.  "But it all came together."  Jaquan said there would be a reception at the house and then the newlyweds would be off to Jamaica, "to escape the cold."

Compared to some of the other couples, Julia Futch and Christopher Johnson had more time to plan for their big day.  "I heard about it on the radio about three weeks ago," Christopher said, adding, "We thought that would be cool."  According to Julia, three weeks to get ready was barely enough time. "It was a crunch getting everything together," she said.  The two planned to celebrate their marriage with lunch, followed by a reception at home.

Just before 10:00 in the morning, everyone was gathered in the main room of the center. At 10:06, Judge Ballar began the ceremony: "Dearly beloved we are gathered here today…", and at 10:11, as planned, the brides and grooms exchanged their "I do's."  

If you missed out on the 12/13/14 group wedding, don't worry, there are more sequential dates on the way.  You just have to be a little patient.  In 20 years there will be January 2, 2034 (1,2,3,4), and in 89 years there will be January 2, 2103 (1,2,3).  The next 12, 13, 14, however, won't come around for 100 more years when the calendar hits December 13, 2114.  My advice: Don't Wait!


Earl Gray is a freelance writer.  Send comments/suggestions to