Days are numbered for 'funny' wedding dates

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Some couples want to tie the knot on special dates, such as 12-12-12.

Bonda Weaver went to a wedding this year on Aug. 10 (8-10-12). She knows of a wedding planned for Dec. 12 (12-12-12).

So, when she was planning her own wedding date a few months ago, it's no surprise that Oct. 11 (10-11-12) jumped out for her big day.

"We just wanted to have the quirky date -- it was kind of fun," said Weaver. "When we saw that it landed on a Thursday, we talked about it and thought 'at least it will be easy to get reception halls and caterers on a Thursday.' "

Her guests don't seem to mind attending a wedding on a Thursday -- 250 of them are expected to be in attendance.

The low-numbered years we're living in abound with dates with a nice ring -- for putting a ring on it. There was 11-11-11 (a Friday), 1-1-11 (a Saturday), 10-10-10 (a Sunday), plus a host of others.

As for Oct. 11, approximately 4,000 couples were married that day across the country, according to a survey by David's Bridal. The company also estimates that 5,000 brides will marry Dec. 12, which is a Wednesday.

"We have noticed more people asking for funny dates," said Pat Gibbons, director of Pittsburgh's Heinz Memorial Chapel, a popular wedding venue. "It seems like a recent phenomenon -- weddings as a whole have become more events than religious services."

Heinz Chapel hosts only two or three Thursday weddings a year, she said, and one of those was scheduled to take place Oct. 11.

Those getting married often incorporate the date into their wedding ceremonies or receptions as a plain old date might not be. Weaver's wedding featured bottles of wine with custom labels bearing the so-called "quirky date."

Tony Lee, senior catering sales manager at the Renaissance Hotel in Pittsburgh, recently received an invitation for a wedding Nov. 10 where the date, 11-10-12, figured prominently on the invitation.

The Renaissance has seen its share of special-date weddings, he said, including a large Chinese wedding Aug. 16, 2008 (8-16-08). In China, 8 is a lucky number.

"Every year we have a date like that," he said. "Up until we hit 2013 and run out of dates that go with the months."
And that might not be the only wedding problem for 2013.

Susie Wilden, store manager of a David's Bridal in Pittsburgh, has encountered three brides who actually changed their wedding dates from the year 2013 after realizing that the "13" part of the year might be unlucky.

Two brides moved up their weddings to the end of this year, she said, and one moved it back to 2014.

Gibbons at Heinz Chapel hasn't encountered any reluctance about the year 2013 ("if all people couldn't get married in 2013, we'd have a problem," she laughed), but she's no stranger to superstition. In the 25 years that she's worked at Heinz Chapel, she can only recall one or two weddings that took place on a Friday the 13th.

Wilden has also seen many brides aiming for special dates. In addition to the "fun" element those dates bring to a wedding, there's also a practical purpose, she said.

"It's easy to remember," she said, referring to the anniversary date. "I really think it's more for the groom. We women, we don't forget those kinds of things. She's probably doing him a favor."

Weaver has also thought of the anniversary angle. In her case, though, she's more worried about forgetting the date herself.

"It's terrible to say," she said, "but it makes it easier for me."


Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.scrippsnews.com.