EAST MIDDLEBURY — An ideal pairing of partners is often referred to as a “match made in heaven.”
Jaclynne Reed and Frank Wootten can truly lay claim to that maxim in light of an airborne exchange of vows this past Sunday, in a celestial ceremony that was also heavily steeped in numerology. The couple has the interesting distinction of having been married on the 10th day of the 10th month in the 10th year of this century at 10 a.m. at 10,000 feet.
Neither bride nor groom is likely to forget her or his anniversary date anytime soon.
“Oh, we’re not at all romantics,” Reed said playfully on Monday as she and Wootten packed for their honeymoon.
“It was magical,” she said of the ceremony.
It was actually in May this year that Wootten and Reed figuratively swept each other off their respective feet.
They had met last fall at a party in the Adirondacks, hosted by a mutual friend. They hit it off, and decided to take the friendship to a higher level. And Wootten took that literally, since he is a flight instructor.
“The first date that I agreed to was a flight in a plane,” Reed said.
“It was a good excuse,” Wootten said with a smile about the voyage.
“Part of the pursuit.”
So they took to the skies last Nov. 19, and have been flying high ever since. They got engaged this past May and their thoughts turned to novel ideas for their wedding, which would not be the first for either.
“We were joking about how we should get married in a plane, since that was our first date, and then we thought — ‘Why not?’” Reed recalled.
They both considered the fun imagery of tin cans strung to the back of an airplane. And they quickly agreed that this would be a flight Wootten was going to make as a passenger.
“We decided it was probably not a wise idea for Frank to pilot the plane while he was getting married,” Reed said with a chuckle.
With that in mind, they enlisted the help of one of their friends, Gail Isenberg (also a flight instructor), to be their pilot into the friendly skies of matrimony.
Next came the matter of setting a date. Wootten did some number crunching. They agreed on Oct. 10, 2010, at 10 a.m.
“I just have a thing about numbers that feel right,” Wootten said, “and 10-10-10 felt right.”
The 10-10-10 sequence also dovetails with numerology, Reed noted. The numerological sequence of Wootten’s birth month, day and year add up to 30 — the same as the sum of 10 plus 10 plus 10. In addition, the 10-10-10 sequence in binary code is the number 42 — which happens to by the numerological sum of Reed’s birth month, day and year.
“These were all omens,” Reed said with a laugh.
From there, they added yet another factor of “10” to the mix — 10,000 feet, the altitude at which they hoped to cruise while trading vows. They asked for, and received, special permission from air traffic control authorities in Burlington to hold a course at that level.
So on a sunny, crisp Sunday, Oct. 10, at 9:30 a.m., the bride, groom and Justice of the Peace Alice George boarded Isenberg’s four-seat plane at Middlebury State Airport. Soaring through a steel-blue sky suspended above a lush bed of red, orange and yellow foliage below, Reed and Wootten timed their “I Do’s” to the appointed hour.
It also proved a thrilling and unique experience for George. She had presided over approximately 10 other weddings in 2010, all of which had been firmly planted on terra firma.
“It was fantastic,” she said. “I thought it was great.”
Joining two people in matrimony is a special, uplifting treat for George, a registered nurse and Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association member who often encounters injury and death in her day-to-day activities.
“This is the fun part of my (professional) life,” George said. “It was such a happy occasion.”
After a flawless landing, the couple hosted guests at a reception at Lincoln’s Burnham Hall. A couple of days later, Wootten and Reed once again took to the air — on board a commercial jet to their honeymoon in California. There, they were to reconnect with their respective children and tour wine country.
Returning to the exact spot at which they got married might be more complicated than it is for most couples. But that just adds to the unconventionality of their union.
“It was a first for all concerned,” Wootten said.
Reporter John Flowers is at firstname.lastname@example.org.