They knew each other since seventh grade at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School, went to Lakeland High School together and even though they went their separate ways after graduation, somehow they always bumped into each other.
Yet, it wasn't until after they saw each other at a Shrub Oak laundromat, where Andrew Mekeel was working as a manager and Bridget Ciliberto needed to do some laundry, that they formed a more lasting bond.
"We just had this connection and everything was so easy and natural," Bridget Ciliberto-Mekeel said.
One day Mekeel blew her a kiss and asked her out on a date.
That was 12 years ago.
On Dec. 12, 2012 at 12 p.m. the couple, both 35, tied the knot in front of friends, family and their 18-month-old son Andrew at Yorktown Town Hall.
A once in a lifetime opportunity – the 12/12/12 date will be the last recurring-number until Jan. 1, 2101 – the couple said the decision to tie the knot on a rare date was a bit of a spontaneous decision.
"There is no excuse for me to forget [the date]," Mekeel said.
Ciliberto said she and Mekeel had been talking about getting married and only a few weeks ago they brought up the possibility of making it official on 12-12-12. Since they had to get a marriage license 24 hours before the wedding, Mekeel, an office support trainer, and Ciliberto, a nurse, got their license from Yorktown Town Hall on Monday during his lunch break.
"You are my friend and you are my partner," Ciliberto told Mekeel in her vow during the ceremony. "I cherish our journey so far over these 12 years. And I want to continue that life with you until the end. You and [son] Andrew are my life and I love you and I will continue to love you."
In his vow Mekeel told his wife the day of their marriage symbolizes their love. And although their journey has not been conventional – from sitting on a bench together, to signing their middle school yearbooks and a chance of meeting at a local laundromat – it has been "their" journey, he said.
"As we continue this journey I vow to continue to make you laugh, to support you and [son] Andrew and cherish the relationship we have," Mekeel said during his vow. "I vow to be true to you, be consistent in who I am, and to be flexible, to navigate the turns and speed bumps as we continue this journey together, this journey of life."
(Check out the video above for a clip of their ceremony).
When asked how Mekeel would describe Ciliberto, she answered for him "awesome."
"Funny," he added.
The way Ciliberto describes her husband is "loving, funny, warm, very smart, handy...just my love."