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Couple Marries on Groom's 100th Birthday

The bride, 90, keeps her promise to wed longtime love

The world's oldest newlyweds Rose Pollard and Forrest Lunsway.

Robin Gray

Rose Pollard and Forrest Lunsway got married at the Dana Point Senior Center at a party to celebrate their wedding and Forrest's 100th birthday.

Forrest Lunsway waited 15 years to marry Rose Pollard, who promised to wed him on his 100th birthday.

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They tied the knot on that day — March 19. And Rose, 90, looked like a blushing bride as they kissed and took a spin around the dance floor at the Dana Point Senior Center in Dana Point, Calif., where about 100 friends and family members witnessed their remarkable union.

"The best thing about being married is just being comfortable together and knowing it is going to be from now until death do us part," says the bride, who is now known as Rose Pollard Lunsway.

On their big day, Forrest told his new wife: "I want you to hang around for a lot of years because I'm going to be 110!"

The newlyweds may be the oldest couple in the world ever to get hitched, with a combined age of 190 years and 208 days and could end up in the Guinness Book of World Records. The current record holders are a French couple, who at the time of their wedding had 190 years and 126 days between them.

The Lunsways met 29 years ago when both were widowed and were introduced by mutual friends.

"I told all my friends I wanted to have a dance partner when my husband died. My friends knew him and fixed us up on a blind date," Rose says.

It turned out to be a lucky first date that is lasting a lifetime.

Worth the wait

They've been companions for 28 years and have lived together for several years in a house in Dana Point. They held off making their union a formal affair.

Forrest asked Rose to marry him about 15 years ago. She always said she would never marry again but told him that day she would when he turned 100.

The day was finally approaching, Rose says, and she realized she had to make good on her promise.

"I didn't really expect him to be 100 years old," she admits. "As the time came closer, it became obvious, we got serious."

"She's pretty nice," Forrest says of his bride. "If she wasn't, she wouldn't be here. We get along real well."

Vanna Murphy, the site director for the Dana Point Senior Center, arranged their wedding, the sit-down dinner and wedding cake.

"It was an unbelievable event," Murphy says. "These are people who have been in love for a very long time."

The happy couple spent their first night as Mr. and Mrs. Lunsway at a local hotel, arriving by limousine and finding champagne and strawberries in their room.

Next: Getting used to each other at 100. >>

Give and take

Although quite content with their new arrangement, getting used to each other at their respective ages wasn't always easy.

Forrest, a former pipe welder, admits he is set in his ways, and Rose, who worked as a photographer, concurs.

"He does not cook, absolutely not. He will wash the dishes. Other than that, he figures it's the woman's thing to do the housework," Rose says.

She said her husband likes fried food, steaks and pork chops, while she often insists on healthier meals every day. She usually gets her way: "He eats anything that's in front of him."

Forrest, however, pulls his weight outside the kitchen. "He has a real green thumb. Anything he plants grows," she says.

Forrest says he loves everything about his new wife, especially her dancing. "I like to dance, ballroom dancing," he says. "I think I'm a good dancer. And she can follow me pretty good."

The couple spend every weekday at the senior center, where they have lunch and meet their friends, and just enjoy being together.

"We are very much committed to each other," Rose says. "Just knowing that, we don't have to worry about arguments."

Judi Hasson is a writer in McLean, Va.

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