WATERLOO --- March 9, 1990, proved to be a busy day for Lilian Gallo Seagren and Kirk Seagren. The seminary students took final examinations that morning, got married in the afternoon and moved into an apartment that evening.
Kirk Seagren also had to help fix his bride-to-be's hair on their wedding day after a girlfriend assigned to the job forgot she had to work midway through the primping.
Judging from photographs, "It was very nineties," quipped Jane Anne Seagren, 20, the couple's daughter.
The Seagrens and two other couples ushered in the new year Friday several hours shy of midnight by renewing their marriage vows at Kimball Avenue United Methodist Church. The ceremony included Scripture passages, prayers and readings. Vocalist Bill Quibell sang about love and commitment. Teary-eyed couples kissed and embraced.
"For me, it kind of like reflects on the commitment we made to each other," said organizer Beth Kirkevold, who wed her husband, Scott, 24 years ago.
Organizers hoped more couples from the church and public would have shown up for the potluck, card games, ceremony and red velvet cake. They noted questionable weather earlier in the day but didn't want to cancel the inaugural event.
The evening wasn't all solemnity. Couples also rehashed first date stories, shared wedding memories and swapped tales from a combined 90 years of marriage.
Scott Kirkevold said he tried every antic he could think of to get Beth's attention at her sister's rehearsal dinner. He was friends with the groom. Beth said she left the event without noticing him.
Scott later gave Beth his number and asked her to make up her mind within two months. Beth, who memorized his number using area highways as a memory device, called on day 60.
She insisted she wasn't playing hard to get.
"I was busy," she said.
Pauline and Jerry Kehoe of Waterloo, married 46 years, met at a bowling alley in Manchester. Jerry managed the joint and Pauline needed help with her game.
The pair attended the vow renewal ceremony to support their church. Pauline thinks worshiping together helps couples get along.
When it comes down to it, the Kehoes and others at the vow renewal ceremony said staying together really boils down to a decision.
"At least from my perspective, you know there are good days and there are bad days and you just ..." Jerry Kehoe said.
"You have to roll with the punches," Pauline cut in.
"You have to roll with the punches," Jerry echoed. "But when it's all over and done with you remain friends."
As pastors, the Seagrens have seen marriage and weddings from both sides of the pulpit. Both agree that extravagance isn't necessary for either to succeed.
Ever a romantic, Kirk spent a month-and-a-half's worth of his allowance to take Lilian out for a lobster dinner on their first date. From that point on, the couple resolved that love didn't have to mean spending a lot of money.
It's about partnership.
"He helps me. I help him," Lilian said.