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   Largest wedding vows renewal-world record set in Pittsburg

[Feb 11] PITTSBURG, PA, USA--629 couples gathered in Pittsburgh Sunday to renew their wedding vows and set a new world record for the Largest wedding vows renewal.

  Photo: Helen and Ed Downing of Avalon are recognized for their 60 years of marriage. Philip G. Pavely/Tribune-Review
  (enlarge photo)

  The couples said "I do" all over again as part of a shot at getting in the Book of World Records.   

  The special event was presided over by Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl as part of the "Pittsburgh 250" celebrations marking the city's 250th birthday, and everyone stuck around for a cake and champagne reception.

  "I am proud to have had the opportunity to preside over this event, because to me, Pittsburgh is family. This ceremony is a great way to celebrate Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary because it honors the generations of family that have been dedicated to building this City," said Mayor Ravenstahl.

  The couples presented their marriage certificates before the ceremony at the Carnegie Music Hall in the "Steel City".

  The couples paid $30 each to participate in the ceremony. They also were required to bring a copy of their marriage certificates and recite the same vows they took initially.

   All couples received a commemorative certificate of participation, along with a bag full of gifts and special offers.

  Most of the couples who didn't gain any extra weight wore their original wedding gowns and tuxedos.

  Ed and Helen Downing, both 81, of Avalon, were recognized as the longest-married couple, having recently celebrated their 60th anniversary.

   Christine Carvajal, 41, of Spring Hill, was decked out in the gown she wore when she wed her husband, 45-year-old Chet Shuty, 11 years ago. Attending the ceremony was her husband's idea, she said. ''I thought it would be romantic, fun and record-breaking,'' he said.

  The event was conceived by Kitty Julian, marketing director for Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History and Pittsburgh 250 Committee Member, and organized by Leigh Kish, also of Carnegie Museums.

    "Pittsburgh is such a family town. We love weddings and celebrating. What better way to celebrate love and Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary than to try for the Guinness Record for the most couples to renew their vows together. It has been such a joy to bring everyone together to pull this off," said Julian.

   Major sponsors for the event were TWOgether Pittsburgh, one of the most intensive marriage support initiatives in the Pittsburgh area, Great Western Champagne and radio sponsor Star 100.7.

    Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History partnered on the Re-Union event with VisitPittsburgh, the official tourism and promotion agency for Allegheny County, which is leading the "Reunion 2008 Initiative" of the Pittsburgh 250th Anniversary Celebration.

  Largest GOLDEN wov renewal-world record set in Bucharest

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