Couples wed on lucky 8-8-08

The bride wore a white dress.

The groom wore white, too, except he was clad in shorts.

And on the day noted in history for its homage to the number 8, Tommy and Denae Kerns of Sparks professed their union in front of a small crowd that included the bride's parents, who were married at the Carson City courthouse 40 years earlier.

The couple had earlier wanted to marry on a different date, until they settled on one that won't be too hard for Tommy to remember in a few years.

"I thought 8-8-08 really sounded much cooler" than any other date, Tommy Kerns said.

It's her first marriage, and his second. "I needed more practice than her," said the groom, a baseball player who met his wife, a standout Kent State softball star, at a Reno-area batting cage.

That's where the couple plans to have a reception.

"That's just how we roll," Denae said.

Denae said she met her future husband after a coach of his made a simple request when both were teenagers.

"Now Tommy," the groom remembered his coach asking once, "I just want you to hit the ball like Denae."

While the two have known each other for years, they didn't begin dating until more than a year ago.

The couple joined a steady group of newlyweds arriving to marry on this, a day noted for its good luck in Asian culture. The number 8 in Chinese pronunciation is similar to the word "prosper" or "luck."

Austin Teague, 23, and Karen Lu, 24, of San Diego, came to Carson City after finding courthouses up and down California booked on Friday. The couple tried booking civil ceremonies in South Lake Tahoe, Tracy, Modesto and Stockton, Calif., finding no available slots before making the drive to Carson City.

The couple was joined by the groom's family, which included parents Dave and June Teague and Austin's two brothers and sister.

"We pushed to make sure we could get married on this date," said the future Mrs. Teague, who has known her new husband since high school.

Karen Lu, a Navy pilot, said she fell in love with her new husband in part because he's always been a gentleman.

The groom's parents, who drove from Tracy, offered their son and daughter-in-law some sage advice.

"Just make sure you both travel on the same path," Dave Teague said.


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