Guinness World Records announced Wednesday that Miami University officially broke the world record for the most couples renewing their wedding vows at once. The event took place during alumni weekend on June 20, 2009. The official count is 1,087 couples, breaking the previous record of just 624 couples renewing their wedding vows in Pittsburgh in 2008.
The announcement comes just as Miami is sending out Valentine’s Day cards to 12,606 "Miami Merger" couples, alumni who are married to each other. Of Miami alumni, more than 14 percent are married to each other, believed to be one of the largest numbers of alums-married-to-alums at any university.
Miami set out to break the world record during its bicentennial year (1809-2009) by first recruiting Miami Mergers, then inviting Miami Acquisitions -- alumni married to non-Miamians -- then Miami parents, faculty, staff, friends and the community.
The Merger Moment ceremony, officiated by Oxford Mayor Prue Dana, took place at the Upham Hall arch on campus where it’s fabled that a couple who kisses under the arch will marry. After the ceremony, couples were invited to walk through the arch for a kiss. The ceremony included Miami’s oldest Merger, Robert (’38) and June (’39) Frame of Cincinnati, Miami head basketball coach Charlie Coles (’65) and his wife – whose immediate family includes four Miami Mergers – and former U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (’69) and his wife Frances (’71).