July 7, 2007. It's not just the day when Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives fame will get hitched to San Antonio Spurs' star Tony Parker in a castle north of Paris, or when celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck walks down the aisle in Capri, Italy. It may well be the most popular wedding day in history.
Superstitious Americans (and apparently one French-born point guard with an NBA championship on the line) have gone to great lengths to secure the triple sevens as their wedding date, hoping the lucky numbers will make them lucky in love. (Parker, not Longoria, insisted on the lucky date, claims US Weekly.) "Everyone loves that day because seven is lucky and three times seven is really lucky," says Mindy Weiss, the Los Angeles wedding planner in charge of the Longoria-Parker wedding. Longoria sent out Save the Date notices highlighting 777 on the front, "but she's not taking the theme too far," says Weiss.
Other couples are running wild with it. Brides-to-be are ordering everything from casino-style receptions to dice-motif napkins and triple- seven lottery tickets as party favors for guests. They're serving up seven- course meals and choosing seven kinds of flowers for their bouquets. One wedding planner reserved a hotel room with seven on the door and requested a limo with a 777 license plate. Get ready to see a lot of black, white and red wedding colors that day.
Henry Singleton and Angelina Santiago got their dream date by accident. The couple was originally planning for a July 21 wedding the three-year anniversary of their first date but the space they wanted in New Rochelle, N.Y., was double booked and the vendor offered them the 7th instead. "I was like, really?" says Singleton. "That's the most popular day! We feel blessed to have it." Singleton and Santiago will incorporate a few seven-related themes: she will have seven bridesmaids, he seven groomsmen; the reception starts at 7 p.m. Singleton's friends are planning a gambling bachelor party, transforming a hotel room into a casino night with black jack and roulette tables. "I don't think I'm supposed to really know about it, but I asked for it," says Singleton.
Those involved in the wedding business had long ago seen a dramatic spike in nuptials planned for July 7. Inquiries for that date began to materialize in 2005 or earlier, more than a year before the usual six to 12 months it takes to book a wedding. The average number of weddings registered on the website The Knot for any Saturday in July is about 12,000, but for 7/7/07 the number tripled to 38,000. "It will be the biggest wedding day ever," says Carley Roney, editor in chief of The Knot. "Even more than the millennium." It certainly helps that the luckiest day of the century happens to fall on a Saturday, right after the Fourth of July. In fact, when Wal-Mart saw how popular the day was, it decided to host a contest where seven couples will win an all-expenses-paid wedding held in their closest Wal-Mart Super Center lawn and garden area.
Chapel of the Flowers in Las Vegas was so overwhelmed with requests for the date that it stopped booking in March, something it has never had to do before. From 6 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. (guess which times filled up first), the chapel will host 113 ceremonies on July 7, compared to the 30 to 50 on a usual Saturday. "This is the busiest day Las Vegas has ever seen," says Whitney Lloyd, director of marketing for the Chapel of the Flowers. "Everyone is panicked to get this day, thinking it will be a jump start for their marriage."
For Las Vegas gamblers, the sevens have an obvious appeal; not only is 7-7-7 the top slot machine jackpot, it also adds up to 21 in Black Jack. But the sevens have a lot of other significances as well. The simplicity is a big seller, especially for guys prone to memory lapses. In numerology, seven is filled with mysticism and is thought to be the most significant number. We have seven days in a week, seven notes on a musical scale and Seven Wonders of the World. The number carries religious symbolism too. God created the world in six days and used the seventh for a rest, and Catholics celebrate seven sacraments and seven virtues. In Jewish weddings the bride circles the groom seven times and the couple has seven days of festive meals. "There are many reasons why people choose the date ranging from 'I figured he'd never forget our anniversary' to the seventh day is the holiest day to we just like the aura around it," says Roney of The Knot.
Still, Sin City probably has the most invested in the upcoming day. Flamingo Las Vegas will host a record 77 weddings and so will the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino (three times their normal number), while the Mandalay Beach at Mandalay Bay is offering a full-scale wedding package for $1077.07. The Ritz Carlton in Lake Las Vegas has its "Seven Ways of Wonderment" package that includes a deluxe room, seven hours of spa treatments for two, a seven-course meal and a tour of Hoover Dam, one of the Seven Wonders for $7,707.
While 7/7/07 will never come around again in our lifetime, couples can still look forward to 8/8/08 next year. Eights are considered good luck in the Chinese culture. And August 8, 2008, falls on a Friday.