HARDIN, Ill. (AP) _ It's a December-May romance - she's 72, he's 22.

But Mary and Daniel Huntley, who got married this week, think mostly about the month of March.

''We met a month ago at a country dance,'' Mrs. Huntley said. ''It was love at first sight.''

Does the age difference matter?

''Not a bit in the world,'' Mrs. Huntley said in a telephone interview Wednesday night.

''My mother didn't like it,'' said Huntley, although his wife figured out why.

She was ''sore because she wasn't asked to the wedding,'' said Mrs. Huntley. ''We didn't invite anybody. We didn't have time.''

The couple, who live in the southwestern Illinois community of Pittsfield, were visiting Hardin 50 miles north when they decided to get married. He already had proposed, but no date had been set.

Circuit Judge Robert Welch married them Tuesday. Mrs. Huntley's daughter, 32-year-old Becky Mielke, was maid of honor.

Mrs. Huntley, a widow whose first husband died five years ago, has 11 children, 23 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Huntley, an unemployed janitor, remembers when he asked his bride to marry him, at 3 a.m. two weeks ago.

''We had been courtin' a few weeks,'' he said. ''We were drinking coffee and listening to Hank Williams Jr. on the radio. I turned and said, 'Mary Alice, will you marry me?'''

She did not hesitate.

'''I do,' I answered. I meant, 'I will.' I was a little nervous,'' Mrs. Huntley said.