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Lucky 7s for planners: Unusual date falls on Saturday, attracting flurry of wedding requests

February 12, 2007

Certain days of the year are always popular for weddings. Nothing can beat the romance of a Valentine's Day nuptials or the fun of a New Year's Eve ceremony. But this year, couples have a once-in-alifetime opportunity to tie the knot on a unique day-July 7, 2007, or 7/7/7.

Whether brides and grooms are choosing the date for luck or the ease of remembering their anniversary, July 7, which happens to be a Saturday, is turning out to be one of the most popular days this year to get married, according to local event planners and wedding vendors.

"We've had so many inquiries for that day," said Ilene McHone, owner of Carmelbased Classic Cakes. "For a while, we were wondering why everybody was calling for that date."

McHone braces for a June rush every year, then normally takes a vacation in early July with her husband to celebrate their own wedding anniversary. This year, she said, "we may have to change our vacation plans."

So far, no one ordering a cake for a July 7 wedding has requested a "lucky sevens" theme, but McHone has heard a few jokes about grooms being able to remember their anniversary.

Cakes, photographers and florists may be more difficult to come by for anyone still in the planning stages of a 7/7/07 wedding.

"Choices might be limited for vendor selection," said Tonya Shadoan, owner of Circle City Planners, who noted that almost every reception venue in the city is already booked for July 7.

Shadoan started working with a couple who wanted to pin down July 7 a year ago, allowing them to take their pick of venues and vendors.

"They decided this was the perfect day to get married, so they hired me and we picked those vendors right away," she said.

Her clients, however, didn't choose the day for luck or convenience, but decided to have a little fun with the numbers.

"They realized their parents got married on 6-6 and a sister got married on 8-8, and [the bride] was born in 1977 and weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces," Shadoan said.

Now that many other couples have jumped on the 7-7-7 bandwagon, Shadoan said it's "kind of annoying" for her clients, but they are reassured to know they have a head start on their planning. "They kind of laugh at the people who just got engaged and say they are going to get married on 7-7-7," she said.

Fortunately for those tying the knot that day, vendors and reception sites aren't taking advantage of the greater demand by commanding higher rates.

"It doesn't translate to higher prices, and facilities aren't raising their minimums," Shadoan said.

Another reason July 7 is turning out to be a favorite date is its proximity to the July 4 holiday.

"Holiday weekends in general are always popular," said Leslie Swathwood, a Carmel-based wedding planner with Elegant Events and publisher of the "Perfect Wedding Guide" publication.

"I encourage people to have their wedding over a holiday weekend," Shadoan added. "It gives guests the opportunity to travel here and enjoy our city."

Of the 1,100 brides who attended the guide's January bridal show at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 48 were planning a July 7, 2007, wedding, Swathwood's database shows.

"People think it's a cool anniversary to have and they can do cute stuff related to favors," she said. "One of the biggest trends in weddings is personalization and customization. Brides want to have something special and unique for their circle of friends and family."

Playing with numbers may be one way to put a unique stamp on a wedding. Planners said it's increasingly common for couples to choose their wedding date based on the appeal of the numbers involved-or to steer clear of a particular day that doesn't sound right.

"I did have a couple a few years ago that was very into numerology and they picked their wedding day based around what these numbers meant for wealth and health," said Deanna Boyce, owner of Indianapolis-based Eventfull Planning LLC. "But most people pick dates based on how much time they have to plan the date."

Shadoan worked with a couple who was bound and determined to get married on a particular date, even though it was a Wednesday.

"I've yet to do another Wednesday night wedding," she said.

On the flip side, couples view some dates as minefields, as many expectant mothers did around June 6, 2006. Fewer weddings are held on the 13th of any month, and when Sept. 11 falls on a Saturday, as it did in 2004, there's a noticeable dip, according to McHone.

Overall, however, September and October are gaining ground as popular months to get married and may someday surpass May and June as the traditional wedding season, Swathwood said.
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