EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 7, 2013

A ZIP code wedding

Amesbury couple plans wedding for 01-9-13

By Mac Cerullo
Staff Writer

---- — Wednesday is a special day in Amesbury that won’t come again for another century, and one local couple is planning on commemorating it by getting married at the gazebo in the center of town.

What exactly makes Wednesday so special? The date, Jan. 9, 2013, is also Amesbury’s ZIP code (01913).

Cheryl Bennett and her fiancé, Steven DeLong, who are longtime Amesbury residents, realized that recently and felt like it was a perfect time to celebrate both their new family and the community in a special way.

“What better place and time to do it,” Bennett said. “People just pick dates all the time, so to have a date with such significance is really special.”

DeLong, 45, and Bennett, 31, will be holding a short ceremony in the evening with their families, and their intention is to keep it simple, personal and quick so that Bennett doesn’t have to spend too long out in the freezing cold in her wedding dress.

Bennett, who is originally from Ware, works at a dentist’s office in the area while DeLong is a mechanic at his family’s auto business on Elm Street. The two have been together for five years.

The couple’s wedding plans came to the attention of city officials around Christmastime, when they called the mayor’s office and told chief of staff Eric Gregoire about their plans.

“They’re very enthusiastic about the community,” Gregoire said. “I guess Steven has been in the community for most of his life, so they just wanted to celebrate that aspect.”

Bennett said the ZIP code wedding date idea was hers, and that as strange as it sounds, numbers are really big for her. For instance, she said she knew that DeLong was the one after she found out that his birthday was Nov. 22.

“Eleven and 22, those are my two favorite numbers and it’s my favorite date,” Bennett said. “So I knew it was meant to be when we met.”

Bennett said DeLong was on board with the idea right off the bat,

“He’s 100 percent a townie,” Bennett said. “It’s just something neat. We’re on a budget, we spent the money on our first weddings, and it will never happen again, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Both Bennett and DeLong are divorced and have kids from their previous marriages, and besides the community aspect, the couple is looking at their marriage as a chance for their two families to come together and unite as one.

“Our kids refer to each other as brother and sister,” Bennett said. “It’s not the way I planned for life to turn out but that’s the way it did, and it’s good. Nothing was rushed, and the date means so much because everything finally fell into place.”

Although neither is sure what the future holds for their new family, one thing is for sure. If DeLong ever forgets his and Bennett’s anniversary, he’s going to be in a lot of trouble.