Star Wars fans marry at Akron court’s May the Fourth weddings

For Julie Samuels and Jared Bernstein, the wedding march was a bit played out.

Instead, the couple walked down the aisle to “The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme).”

The Star Wars superfans were among seven couples wed by the Akron Municipal Court on Thursday: a holiday coined by the saga’s fans as “May the Fourth” as a nod to the famous “May the force be with you” line exchanged among the lightsaber- wielding Jedi knights.

Judge Ron Cable presided over the weddings at the historic Highland Theater, which projected the 1977 debut film “A New Hope” on the single screen as couples were married.

Newlyweds Julie Samuels and Jared Bernstein of Beachwood are photographed by Nicole Hagy, community outreach coordinator for the Akron Municipal Court, in front of the Highland Theater after their Star Wars-themed wedding Wednesday in Akron.

“I was probably on the phone 20 minutes after I saw they were doing this,” Bernstein said. “We already knew we wanted our anniversary to be May the Fourth, so it felt like a cosmic, galactic coincidence.”

He and Samuels began dating in 2017. At the time, Samuels was living in Virginia, so their long-distance relationship began with virtual movie dates over video calls during which they watched all the Star Wars movies.

“It’s just something we connected about very early on,” Samuels said. “We both grew up with it and had great memories attached.”

Akron Municipal Court Judge Ron Cable presides over a Star Wars themed wedding for Julie Samuels and Jared Bernstein of Beachwood on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 in Akron, at the Highland Theater.

When she returned to Ohio, they put their love for Star Wars on full display in their shared Beachwood home. Their green bathroom walls are adorned with art from the films, their living room features a Millennium Falcon rug and large Lego displays of iconic machinery such as AT-ATs and X-wing Starfighters are scattered throughout their rooms.

“What I love about Star Wars is it lets you dream and think about what else could be out there,” Bernstein said. “They built this world that so many people care about.”

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