How to Have Your First Anniversary in Four Years

After getting engaged in November, Claire Engstrom, 33, a registered nurse in Atlanta, proposed an idea to her fiancée: Why not get married on Feb. 29? Known as leap day, it is the date added to the end of February every four years to keep the calendar aligned with the seasons.

As Ms. Engstrom saw it, there were practical reasons for getting married that day. “We are not big on celebrating Valentine’s Day or doing big things for anniversaries,” she said. “If we got married on a leap year we could do a big celebration every four years, like go on a trip.”

Her fiancée, MK Mullins, a 29-year-old student in Atlanta, was sold.

With little time to plan a large wedding, the couple decided to go to one of the local city halls that conducts group ceremonies twice a day. They will be accompanied by both of their mothers and Ms. Engstrom’s father. After the ceremony they will head to Buffalo Wild Wings, a spot the couple goes to regularly.

“It’s just going to be really cool to get married on leap day,” Ms. Engstrom said. After all, how many people can say that?

Feb. 29, it turns out, is an appealing wedding date for a number of couples across the United States. According to the wedding website The Knot, the 2024 leap day accounts for more than 37 percent of the confirmed weekday wedding dates that week. (By comparison, over the last few years, Thursdays in February typically accounted for six percent of weekday wedding dates.)Historically, leap day has been a popular day for couples getting married in Las Vegas as well. In 2020, over a thousand couples were married there on Feb. 29. In 2016, the number was a little over 500.

City officials across the country are preparing for a surge in nuptials. The city of Akron, Ohio will hold municipal weddings at the Akron Art Museum instead of the courthouse. San Diego County is allowing walk-in couples to get married that day (usually appointments are required).

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