Let's hope Scott and Stacy Rust don't run into this kind of trouble. After all, the couple's anniversary date only comes around as often as the Summer Olympics. That's because the couple chose to marry on 2004's bonus day. While that might seem a little odd, Stacy, 36, swears up and down that she and Scott, 32, are just another "normal" couple.
Getting married on Leap Day is one thing. Getting married at a 24-hour drive-through wedding chapel in Las Vegas--in the back seat of a rented, cherry-red convertible Mustang, no less--on Leap Day is an entirely different matter.
No, really, Stacy claims, she's part of a very average couple.
Originally, it wasn't the couple's intention to be married on the year's 366th day, says Stacy, a bookkeeper and part-time Postal Service worker. "It was kind of a fluke," she says, adding that, this year, Leap Day happened to fall on a Sunday, the only weekend day she wasn't working. After a while, though, the idea of having a red-letter, once-in-four-years special day as a wedding anniversary seemed like a fun way to mark a new chapter in the couple's lives.
A refreshing thought, especially if you consider that their relationship started under some common--but not particularly fun--circumstances.
Scott and Stacy met at the Decoy Saloon on Northwest St. Helens Road in the fall of 2000. At the time, both were hanging onto failing marriages, and they found comfort in their shared situations. A month after they met, each cut ties with their former partners. "We were drying our tears together," Stacy recalls.
Both admit that the first days of their new relationship were difficult. Scott became a full-time dad to his 7-year-old son and says his marriage didn't exactly end on a good note. Stacy, it seems, fared better: She and her ex now share custody of their two dogs.
It wasn't long before their domestic situations improved and, six months into their new relationship, the couple moved in together. Though they had spent nearly every day together, both decided that another marriage wasn't in the works. They even okayed the decision to remain partners rather than spouses with Scott's mother, who gave her blessing.
Over time, however, that attitude changed. When Scott started talking to Stacy about proposing, she told him she'd say no. Still, Stacy had an idea that he might pop the question on a Florida holiday last year. "I think he knew I wouldn't really say no," Stacy says. Instead, Scott surprised her two weeks before the vacation while at a friend's house for dinner. That night, Scott successfully called her bluff: Stacy said yes.
The couple originally planned to have a formal, summertime wedding and asked Scott's son, Nick, to take part in the ceremony. Though they talked to him about what the day would be like--the tux-wearing and ring-bearing parts--Nick ultimately decided he didn't want to be part of the process. "He's really shy, and we didn't want to push it," Scott says.
Instead, the couple shelved plans for a Portland ceremony and chose to elope in Vegas. They spent less than 24 hours there, marrying just after the clock struck Feb. 29 in a short--and very cold--drive-through ceremony. After sleeping only two hours, the couple caught a plane back to Portland in time for a Leap Day reception where friends were waiting to share in their commitment.
Here's the thing: If those friends want to celebrate the couple's first official anniversary, they're going to have to wait until 2008.