A skim of your calendar or a glance at the corner of your computer screen or a mention from a clever pal:
“Oh, Saturday is 12/13/14.”
No, no, this is more than cool. It’s the very last sequential day of the century. We are already out of triple dates, the 11/11/11s and 12/12/12s, and Saturday we run out of 1/2/03s and 4/5/06s.
There is no 13/14/15! And there won’t be anything like it until the year 2101!
No, no, dear reader. Journalists have been reporting on these special dates — calling wedding planners and casinos and numerologists and “scientists” — and maybe exaggerating the details of the situation a bit, but we’ll get to that — for 14 years.
So to celebrate this century’s last hurrah, this final quirk of the calendar, let us compile all the essential ingredients for the ultimate 12/13/14 sequential date story.
Step 1: Find the couples.
The meaning of a repeating or sequential date is, obviously, true love. Take, for example, Laura and Jarred Illingworth of Indianapolis. USA Today found them for a story about weddings on 7/7/07. Wedding Web site the Knot estimated that 31,000 couples were married on that Saturday.
“Call them Lucky Laura and Jackpot Jarred. Their friends and family do,” the story said. They must really love numbers.
Actually, “We gave ourselves those nicknames . . . after we picked the date for the wedding,” Illingworth says when we chat with her. She and her husband, still happily married today, picked the date because the number seven appears so frequently in the Bible.
Well, there’s always last year’s big winners, Elliot Bryant and Shanel Manzano. They got married on the set of the “Today” show, live on national television at exactly 9:10 a.m. on 11/12/13. Now that is some dedication to the cause.
“We were planning to just get married in city hall and have dinner afterward,” Manzano says. Four days before her casual Tuesday wedding (chosen because her lucky number is 12 and her fiance’s was 13), “Today” found her on the Knot. The show offered to do her makeup, take care of transportation and let her whole family come. It sounded all too convenient (and free) for the couple to pass up.
“It was their idea to get married at 9:10 exactly; we didn’t really care,” Manzano said.
If there are couples out there who are as excited about sequential numbers as morning television producers and, ahem, features writers have made them seem, they’re hard to find. For most, it comes down to . . .
“It’s just a fun date,” says Meghan Gates, who lives in the Woodley Park area of Northwest Washington. She is getting married at the Carnegie Institution for Science on 12/13/14.
Elsewhere in town, a 12/13/14 wedding will happen at the Corcoran because the date falls exactly one year after Jessica Myers and Greg Chin got engaged.
“We were surprised no one had taken this coincidental date,” Myers says. “We just thought it was cool.”
2. Consult numerology. Just don’t explain it too much.
Oh, cool. Yes, it is cool. But for a real celebration/exploration of . . . numbers, all in a row, these stories nearly always call in someone who can really explain those numbers.
The date of your wedding day, according to numerology, is incredibly important to the future of your partnership.
Elizabeth Summers, “master esoteric numerologer and medium,” take it away:
“Between you and me, this has nothing to do with numerology,” Summers says. “This is just a human thinking, ‘Oh, this is cool.’ ”
Numerologists do their work, Summers explains, by adding the numbers within a specific date. The sum is a single number, one through nine. That number has an inherent meaning. This applies to any date, not just a date with an interesting lineup.
But since we’re here, maybe it can tell us something anyway. In numerology, 12/13/2014 is a 5 day and if you put stock in numerology, a 5 day is . . .
“A date I would never pick for a wedding,” proclaims Glynis McCants, “celebrity numerologist” and a regular on TV’s “Dr. Phil.” “A 5 is not necessarily promoting a long-term commitment. There’s a lot of drama there.”
3. Surely there must be an expert in all of this?
Things aren’t looking good from the numerology perspective, so how about we bring in a skeptic. Eric Carlson is a professor at Wake Forest University, where he researches particle physics. On 11/11/11, he became the expert voice of dissent in the fun-number-date craze.
“I don’t know if you really want to talk to me,” he says before answering any questions.
You see, his job has nothing to do with all of this. He was first interviewed by a local television station for being part of a club that hangs out on Friday the 13th and does things that cause bad luck, like walking under ladders or spilling salt, just to make the point that dates don’t have anything to do with anything. Once that interview went well, the channel asked him to do an interview for 11/11/11. He said yes.
“I literally spent 30 minutes searching on Google about it,” he said.
Wake Forest issued a news release encouraging other news outlets to use Carlson as a source. Before long, Carlson was doing interviews with the Huffington Post, CNN and “NBC Nightly News.” Three years later, he’s still laughing about it.
“I kept getting asked if I plan to continue my ‘research’ in this area. And I really don’t think Googling constitutes research.”
4. Give up and go to Vegas.
There’s still time to save our ultimate story of 12/13/14 obsession.
In the District, there are no weddings planned at the Hay-Adams or St. Regis hotels. There is a wedding at the Plaza Hotel in New York, but a sales manager there said the couple were not interested in the numbers. A golf resort in Texas offered a $1,213.14 marriage package, but no one booked it. (Kudos, though, to Little Palm Island in the Florida Keys, where a couple booked a $195,000 12/13/14 special to rent out the entire private island for the weekend.)
So off to Vegas, where you can choose any wedding chapel or hotel, and they are slammed with bookings on 12/13/14. It’s no 7/7/07, but phone calls to the chapels indicated that they will be way more packed that usual.
A tally from a few days before the big date: The Bellagio has 14. The MGM Grand has 25. The company Vegas Weddings has 93 reservations, some as early as 12:01 a.m. And then there is the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, which is hosting up to five weddings in every half-hour slot from 7:30 a.m. to midnight. So far, that’s 125 wedding reservations in one day, including a gangster wedding, an Egyptian pharaoh wedding, a Blues Brothers wedding and, of course, an Elvis wedding.
“People think everything crazy happens in Vegas, so they have this crazy idea that Vegas is all about crazy,” says Jessie Tyron, one of the chapel’s coordinators. “12/13/14 is going to be crazy.”
The chapel has, in fact, made a hoopla about special dates since 1/1/01 and 1/2/03 — the days that, general manager Brian Mills says, make people feel special. Like on 11/11/11, when he boasts, “we had 230 weddings in 36 hours.”
Doesn’t 36 hours mean that some of the weddings weren’t actually on the special date?
“Yes, well,” Mills said. “Some people just got married the night before or day after.”