- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Thousands of couples are betting on good luck this Saturday. About 60,000 Americans are set to wed on 7/7/07, according to wedding planning Web site theknot.com. Some are fascinated by the good fortune association with the number seven. Others cite the many mythical and religious references to the number, such as the “seven lucky gods” of Japanese mythology or the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church.

Many Washington-area wedding venues and services have been booked solid for July 7 as wedding planners scrambled to satisfy as many couples as possible.

“We knew this was probably going to be the most popular wedding date in decades, so we secured vendors very early on,” said Jenny Nemiroff, president of the D.C. wedding planning company A Touch of Sass.

About 12,000 couples hold marriage ceremonies nationwide on an average summer Saturday, according to theknot.com. Last year, some 12,226 couples said “I do” on Saturday, July 8, compared to this Saturday’s 30,000.

Several area wedding planners said that venues and services — everything from hotels to florists — were booked quickly for this lucky Saturday.

Creative Cakes in Silver Spring will be baking 21 wedding cakes for the day.

Vicky Johnson, owner of local wedding planning company Holy Matrimony, described demand for services on July 7 as “absolutely incredible.”

“I have seen backlogs everywhere,” Mrs. Johnson said. “Everybody is just getting swamped.”

About a year to nine months earlier, anything deemed reasonably priced was gone, Mrs. Johnson said. Many of the more expensive venues quickly followed.

But not all of them.

The Hilton Embassy Row reported no above-average demand for this Saturday. Neither the Grand Hyatt Washington nor the Four Seasons have a single wedding scheduled that day.

When Alexandria residents Dave Mohel and Jill Lobliner picked July 7, 2007, as their wedding date, they had little idea they were choosing what wedding planners are calling the most popular wedding date in decades.

The couple originally chose the day because it coincided with the fireworks for the birthday celebration of Alexandria, where they are holding their wedding.

Miss Lobliner said the lucky aspect of the day also helped persuade her to get married in July, despite Washington’s infamous heat and humidity.

“Originally we had no interest in getting married in the heat,” she said.

Typically, the July heat does keep people away from the altar, Mrs. Johnson said.

Not this year.

Marketers across the country have been hyping the date to the maximum.

The Las Vegas Flamingo Hotel will host 77 weddings at seven outdoor locations on Saturday.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. held a “Lucky in Love” contest in which the world’s largest retailer awarded seven couples an all-expenses-paid wedding on the parking lot of their local Wal-Mart — to be held July 7, of course.

Six Flags Inc. is hosting seven weddings at each of its 12 theme parks across the country. All the weddings will take place at 7 a.m. Seven local couples are tying the knot at the Six Flags America park in Largo.

All the marketing attempts evoked a sigh from Mr. Mohel, who didn’t seem to be quite as thrilled as his soon-to-be wife with the popularity of 7/7/07.

“It’s fun to watch and I’m sure it would be better if we were on the outside looking in,” he said. “But it’s caused quite a few problems.”

One of Mr. Mohel’s friends and two of Miss Lobliner’s friends also chose to get married Saturday, so they are missing each other’s weddings. One wedding guest is attending one ceremony in the morning and then the guest’s own at night.

Mr. Mohel said he is concerned about other complications arising because florists, caterers and tuxedo rental companies are booked, which leaves no room for error if anything goes wrong.

Wedding planner Mrs. Johnson agreed: “It takes a toll on everyone. The resources are limited.”

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