Lucky in Love? Couples Book 7/7/07 Weddings

Mercedes Marnay, center, gets help from her sister, Norma Vina, preparing for her 7/7/07 wedding.
Mercedes Marnay, center, gets help from her sister, Norma Vina, preparing for her 7/7/07 wedding. (By Linda Davidson -- The Washington Post)
By Kendra Marr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 30, 2007

It's unclear whether July 7, 2007, will be the luckiest wedding day of the century, but it will certainly be one of the busiest this year.

Hotels, wedding planners, caterers, florists and bakers are scrambling to accommodate the flood of couples rushing to the altar on 7/7/07. They're juggling more events than usual. Some are hiring extra help. Old hands say the crush will exceed the number of millennium marriages or those celebrated on a typical Valentine's Day.

There are no official numbers for this day. But one indicator is TheKnot.com, a popular wedding Web site. More than 38,000 couples in TheKnot.com's registry are planning to wed next Saturday -- more than triple the average number of couples that signed up to marry on Saturdays in July 2006, said Christa Vagnozzi, a senior editor.

The date is popular for many reasons, as seven is considered an auspicious number in a variety of cultures.

"It's a little extra luck for a happy, long marriage. Any little bit helps," said Deepak Baskaran, 30, of Baltimore, who will be getting married next Saturday in the District. "Plus I'll never forget that anniversary date, or I'll be in big trouble."

In the Orthodox Jewish tradition, the bride circles the groom seven times when she arrives at the chuppah, a canopy used in weddings, symbolizing in part the seven days of creation. Seven candles are lit during Kwanzaa. There are seven wonders of the world. The Big Dipper is formed from seven stars. Buddha is said to have walked seven steps upon his birth. The Islamic tradition involves seven levels of heaven. The ancient city of Rome was said to be built on seven hills. There are seven deadly sins, as well as virtues, in some Christian traditions. And gamblers hit the jackpot with the slot machine combination 7-7-7.

Triple sevens simply amplify the numerological meaning for those tying the knot.

Brides and grooms snatched up wedding venues more than a year in advance. Richard Markel, director of the Association for Wedding Professionals International, did a survey of 2,000 hotels and wedding facilities and discovered that 75 percent were already reserved by December for 7/7/07.

"The good news is that nobody raised their prices," Markel said. "They really didn't expect it."

One wedding planner managed to persuade a bride to get married seven minutes after midnight when she couldn't book the triple sevens.

"There were a lot of brides who actually started looking to buy the date from other brides," Markel said.

Las Vegas, the land of economical and impromptu weddings, is particularly hectic. Travel Web site Vegas.com is booking about six times as many hotel rooms as normal for that weekend. Some hotels and casinos are touting "lucky" deals, such as a chance to win a $777 meal and a mass wedding at 7 p.m.


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