Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/10/11 wedding date: So popular, conjugal, consecutive

By Lini S. Kadaba

For The Inquirer

Wedding date mania is about to hit.

When lovebirds pick the day to seal the deal, they might consider when their eyes first met, or numerals divined as lucky, or a time of year with flawless weather for those outdoor pictures.

But on occasion, a perfect date jumps off the calendar page purely for its novelty. When that unusual sequence of numbers also falls on a Saturday, it's more sought after than a taffeta gown half off at Filene's.

This year, that must-have date is 9/10/11.

Wedding bells will chime aplenty on Saturday, and that means venues are packed, videographers are jammed, bakers are squeezed. Even relatives of the brides are overscheduled, having to choose which wedding to attend on this oh-so-coveted date.

"According to our numbers, it's the most popular date of the year," said Anja Winikka, site editor of, a wedding planning website that has more than 37,000 members set to take the plunge on 9/10/11. (Meanwhile, 11/11/11 - another number doozy, but on a Friday - came in at nearly 24,000 registered nuptials.)

"Couples want to find meaning within all of the wedding-day details," Winikka said. "9/10/11 makes it feel special and a little more meaningful. It's aesthetically pleasing. It falls on a Saturday, the most popular day for weddings."

Bride-to-be Hilary Kissinger needs no convincing. "I know at least five other couples who have the same wedding date," said the Philadelphia resident.

Kissinger and fiance Tom Connors, however, have come to regret the neat number choice. "We have family members who can't come because they're going to another wedding," she said. "Some are doing our ceremony and someone else's reception. They're making it a wedding marathon."

Dave Williams wishes the couple had chosen another date as well. He co-owns CinemaCake Filmmakers, a Philadelphia-based wedding and event videography business where Connors works as an editor and cinematographer (when he's not getting married, that is).

"It's crazy," Williams said. He has three weddings booked and would have taken a fourth but for Connors, who took along two other employees as his groomsmen.

"That's a whole team," he said, adding that he had to turn away business. "I couldn't convince him to change his wedding date."

Liz Deeny's 9/10/11 wedding was fated, she's sure. Her beau, Jared Trout, proposed on 11/10/09, knowing her "thing with dates ever since I was a little kid," she said.

At first, the Bloomfield, N.J., couple considered a June wedding for this year, but once Deeny saw the 9/10/11 option - yes, a reversal of the proposal date - she had to have it, as she blogged at, and was willing to wait the extra months. Now, she said the number "is one of the highlights of my wedding," which will take place at the Glen Foerd Mansion in Northeast Philadelphia. It will appear "everywhere. It's on the invitation, the program, the seating chart . . . I'm excited."

Historically, a wedding date often was chosen for its auspiciousness. Ancient Greeks are said to have foretold the fortunate date from pig entrails. Some Asian cultures still consult astrologers to select an ideal date and time for marital rites.

But for many, it comes down to the numbers. Last year, 10/10/10 was a big bridal hit. A few years ago, many betrothed with Chinese roots wed on 8/8/8, a number believed to bring good fortune. And 7/7/7 was an obvious choice.

This year's Big Day falls right before another unforgettable day - 9/11, which marks its 10th anniversary on Sunday. The fact that knot tie-ers have not avoided the weekend perhaps suggests that the country has healed, at least in part.

Mother-of-the-bride Cate Heck of Malvern allowed that some guests have refused to fly back home on 9/11 after her daughter's Saturday hitching in New York.

But Nicole Heck and her fiance Nick Jedinak, who both lived in New York City when the twin towers fell, picked the date after much deliberation. A decade later, they hope their wedding will serve as a small way to reclaim "a weekend that had so much tragedy," Heck said. "It's a nice way to celebrate happy days and happy thoughts."

In the years following 9/11, many wedding vendors offered discounts around the date to attract bookings, said wedding photographer Rebecca Barger, whose namesake business is based in Jenkintown. No more. "I think people don't find a stigma with 9/11," said Barger, who has a gig Saturday and turned down more than a dozen other requests.

Logistics is the challenge for Nancy Bauman. "We're insanely busy on 9/10/11," said the tristate-area sales rep for Gala Cloths, a Maryland-based company that provides table and chair covers and linens. "That one day, we need to be in 15 different locations setting up."

One client alone has a guest list of 340, she said. "That's 340 chair covers in an hour and a half," said Bauman, sounding harried last week.

At Classic Cake in Cherry Hill and Washington Township, bakers will be up to their elbows in frosting as they ready a record 17 wedding and groom's cakes.

One of those orders is for Sarah Carter and Richard Sambenedetto, who live in Gloucester Township. Carter said the couple booked the date a year ago, and even though she will share it with innumerable others, it will still stay special for her and her groom.

"It's memorable," she said. "My fiance would never have an excuse to forget our anniversary."

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