A 07/07/07 wedding? It could be your lucky day

NEW YORK - Thousands of US couples planning to tie the knot this year aren't leaving their chances of marital success to love alone, with a rush to marry on what some see as the luckiest day of the year - 07/07/07.

The number seven is considered by many to be lucky, with seven a perfect number in the Bible, Buddha walking seven steps at his birth, and seven lucky gods in Japanese mythology. In the game bingo, the call is "Lucky Seven, God's in Heaven."

Wedding industry professionals are reporting venues fully booked across the United States for weddings on July 7 which falls on a Saturday, and wedding planners, florists, bakers have experienced a surge in demand for services that day.

"The number seven is associated with luck and couples believe that having all sevens would add that extra hint of luck. Also, it is an easy date for their spouse to remember," said Kristin Ciccolella, co-founder of online wedding site WedAlert.com.

WedAlert's bride database shows 605 weddings planned for that date, which is three times higher than on the equivalent Saturday a year ago.

One celebrity couple is joining the throng. US actress Eva Longoria, a star of the television series "Desperate Housewives," and basketball player Tony Parker plan to marry in Paris on July 7.

"Tony is extremely superstitious and thinks 07/07/07 is the day most lucky to get married on," a source was recently quoted as telling the US celebrity magazine US Weekly.

Las Vegas, which calls itself the "wedding capital of the world" as it processes over 100,000 marriages a year, said it had experienced a spike in demand for that day.

"Wedding chapels have reported couples booking further in advance to secure a slot on that desirable date and are booking as small as 15 minutes increments to accommodate as many couples as possible," said Erika Pope, spokeswoman of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

"People do tend to gravitate toward any date that is memorable, like 01/01/01, or 02/02/02, and I think people enjoy the idea of saying they married in Vegas on 07/07/07."

The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, not usually known as a wedding destination, has come up with a plan after realizing many would-be-brides were finding venues and vendors booked solid for July 7.

Wal-Mart said on Tuesday it was giving seven betrothed couples wedding ceremony and reception packages at local Wal-Mart Super centers - in the lawn and garden areas.

"Considering that the average American wedding costs a whopping US$22,000 and requires multiple trips to various vendors, the betrothed will be delighted to save money and time at Wal-Mart," said a company statement.

But will a marriage on this magical date be different?

"Love is the foundation to a happy, solid and lasting marriage, not numerology," said Ciccolella.

- REUTERS

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