Possible World’s Shortest Wedding Ceremony Will Be Part Of 1st Ever 21st Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade®

HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — Will the World’s Shortest Wedding Ceremony take place on Sunday, March 17, as part of the First Ever 21st Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade® on 98-foot Bridge Street in downtown Hot Springs?

Answer: Possible.

Janet Smith and Jerry Don Wheeler plan to be married in a 60-second wedding ceremony near the conclusion of the world-famous little parade.

An internet search gives varying results for the world’s shortest wedding ceremony, but the claimed world record is listed as 6 minutes 36 seconds for a ceremony in Westminster, Colo., in 2007.

Smith and Wheeler plan to ride on their own float, called “Lucky You, I Do,” and have the vows over and done with in 60 seconds while the float traverses the 98-foot parade route.

“This parade and attention is not us or how we live, but it’s just crazy and something that we will always remember,” Smith said. “It’ll be another one of our amazing experiences together.”

The couple say they split their time between residences in Hot Springs and Mount Ida.

“We met years ago at work and would run into one another (mostly when I would lose my keys and need to be let into my office),” she said. “Years later, we ran into one another in town and caught up on what was going on with one another. There was a commercial on the radio for the Keith Urban concert that night in Little Rock. He said that we should go, but it literally was going to start in four hours. I said we didn’t have time to go and he insisted we did. I insisted that we went only as friends and he agreed 100 percent. This went on for about 40 minutes. Somehow we managed to go separate ways, get ready, meet again, and be in our (amazing last-minute) seats on time. He was a total gentleman, and even took me to Waffle House afterwards. We have been together ever since that night.”

Asked if they had ever visited Ireland, Smith said, “No, but it looks absolutely beautiful.” Have they ever attended World’s Shortest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade® before? “Of course.”

“Meeting someone later in life hits differently,” she said. “Your goals are different at this point, and you tend to slow down and find that ‘things’ are not as important as the people and experiences you share. We are both grateful that we have found one another.”

Hot Springs’ celebration of the St. Patrick’s Day weekend will begin Saturday, March 16, at 4 p.m. with the running of The Zero-K World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Foot Race, followed by a free public concert featuring country legend Pat Green and Arkansan country star Bonnie Montgomery.

Sunday’s 98-foot parade will feature Dallas Cowboys running back legend Emmitt Smith as the celebrity grand marshal and “Yellowstone’s” Forrie J. Smith as the official starter.

The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade® annually attracts more than 30,000 fans from across the country to Bridge Street, which Ripley’s Believe It or Not declared the World’s Shortest Street in Everyday Use. It features an array of 40 or more zany entries that include a troupe of marching Irish Elvis Presley impersonators, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, wacky floats, marching bands and assorted marchers who adopt the parade’s irreverent take on the boisterous holiday.

For more information call Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.