Lillian Hartley and Allan Marks are officially the oldest newlyweds ever.
With more than 193 combined years under their belts, 95-year-old Hartley and 98-year-old Marks broke a Guinness World Record for the oldest aggregate age of a couple on when the two tied the knot Wednesday.
The couple said, “I do,” in a civil ceremony in Indio, Calif., on Wednesday after 18 years together, according to the Desert Sun. They unknowingly surpassed the previous record of 191 aggregate years, which a French couple set in 2002.
“We talked about it for years, but our lives were so busy that I just never got around to it,” the bride told ABC News, citing their busy lifestyle filled with travel, trips to temple on Saturdays and watching their favorite basketball team, the Los Angeles Lakers. “We just decided to go to Indio and have the marriage ceremony in one day.
“We don’t know for sure what’s going to happen, so I’m not taking any chances. I want to be with Allan for the rest of my life,” she said.
“I want to be with Lillian for the rest of my life,” Marks echoed.
Riverside County Clerk’s Office Deputy Commissioner of Marriages Yvonne Cruz, who performed the ceremony, said Hartley and Marks’ love was evident from the moment they walked in.
“When they came to my window, I spoke to her first and she says, ‘I want to marry this man,’” Cruz recalled. “He puts his arm around her waist and says, ‘I want to be with her for the rest of my life.’ And she says, ‘I want to be together forever.’”
Cruz, who has officiated thousands of marriages over the past seven years, including one two years ago for an 82- and 83-year-old, said Marks was “one of the most romantic grooms” she’d ever seen, at any age.
“She told us that he tells her he loves her at least three or four times a day,” Cruz said.
During the time the couple was at the clerk’s office, Cruz recounted how the groom gestured lovingly at his bride, put his arm around her, kept giving her pecks on the cheek and told her how much he loved her. “Little things that added up to one big picture that these two were incredibly, incredibly in love,” she said.
Cruz helped Hartley and Marks fill out the paperwork and helped them from the main lobby to another room, where they exchanged vows. (Marks tried to kiss his bride a little too early, but who can blame him.)
“You see couples who come in and they’re in love, but in their case it was just … the degree of their love, surpassed even their ages. It was just so beautiful. It had to be one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever officiated,” Cruz said.
The bride and groom were both widowers when they met 18 years ago at temple in Palm Springs on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. He, a retired veterinarian, talked up the retired paralegal, complimenting her dress, and one thing led to another.
“I believe in fate and destiny a little bit and I think that was meant to be,” Hartley said. “I had been a widow for six years and I really loved my freedom. …I said, ‘Oh, I don’t want a relationship,’…and then he came along, and somehow hooked me.”
The duo is certainly one to learn from. “The wisdom, the knowledge and the love that they have for one another,” Cruz said, “that’s something that you don’t see every day.”