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Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony Expected to Break Record

750 Couples in Pittsburgh Say 'I Do' All Over Again

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a wedding vow renewal ceremony that took the cake, approximately 750 couples joined together in Pittsburgh to say "I Do" all over again. While official results are pending, the ceremony attempted to set the Guinness World Record for the most people to simultaneously renew their vows.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl presided over the ceremony that served as a kick-off to a year-long celebration in honor of Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary. "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 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.

The sold-out ceremony took place in the romantic and elegant Carnegie Music Hall. The master of ceremonies for the event was Esther Bush, co-chairman of the Pittsburgh 250 Reunion Committee. Co-chair Jeffrey Letwin introduced County Executive Dan Onorato, and acknowledged the official witnesses: Judge Cynthia Baldwin; Allen Kukovich, Pittsburgh Office of Governor Rendell; Pittsburgh City Councilman Patrick Dowd and Rebecca Whitlinger, author of "Always a Bridesmaid: 89 Ways to Recycle That Bridesmaid Dress."

"On behalf of the Pittsburgh 250 Commission, I congratulate the 750 couples renewing their wedding vows," said Jim Rohr, chairman and chief executive officer of PNC Financial Services Group and chairman of the Pittsburgh 250 Commission and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. "As one of our region's most elegant concert halls, Carnegie Music Hall is just one of the many jewels in our region's thriving and vibrant arts and culture scene. With its strong sense of community and family and a high quality of life, our region provides the perfect backdrop for couples to recommit to fulfilling, happy lives."

At the event, County Executive Onorato highlighted eight participating couples who are celebrating their 50th anniversaries in 2008, as well as Helen and Ed Downing, the couple who have been married the longest -- an amazing 61 years in November. He also noted that 22 couples traveled to Pittsburgh from out of state to participate in the ceremony.

Couples supplied copies of their marriage certificates. The number of certificates collected and submitted will be the determining factor in setting the Guinness World Record. The previous record -- 272 couples -- was set September 16, 2007, in Sydney, Australia.

"This was simply an ideal way for couples to celebrate their love in a meaningful and unusual way, while celebrating Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary themed 'Reunions and Homecomings,'" said Ms. Julian.

In addition to the thrill of attempting a new record, the ceremony was followed by a champagne and wedding cake reception. All couples received a commemorative certificate of participation, along with a bag full of gifts and special offers.

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.

VisitPittsburgh

CONTACT: Leigh Kish of Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History,
+1-412-578-2571 (office), +1-412-760-9329 (cell), kishl@carnegiemuseums.org;
or Beverly Morrow-Jones of VisitPittsburgh, +1-412-281-0482, x3146,
beverly.jones@visitpittsburgh.com

Web Site: http://www.visitpittsburgh.com/

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