Couples covet 12/13/14 wedding date

James Wilson and Charity Deere-Fitchett snuggle a little while her wedding dress gets altered Friday in north Wichita.
James Wilson and Charity Deere-Fitchett snuggle a little while her wedding dress gets altered Friday in north Wichita. The Wichita Eagle

More than 20,000 couples in the United States will get married Saturday, according to a David’s Bridal poll, nearly three times the number of couples who wed on that same weekend last year.

The reason: It’s a day for the record books – 12/13/14 – the last sequential date of the century.

That specific mathematical matrimonial magic won’t happen again until Jan. 2, 2103, or 1/2/03.

Charity Deere-Fitchett and James Wilson didn’t realize the significance of the date at first when they planned their Wichita wedding Saturday.

“I think we got even more excited when we realized it,” Deere-Fitchett said Friday, the day before she became Charity Wilson.

The date did come with some aggravation, she said.

“Do you know how hard it was to find a place?” she asked, laughing.

Ana Betancourt and Ascension Rojas of Wichita “absolutely” chose the date on purpose.

“I just wanted it to be memorable,” Betancourt said of their future anniversary.

Booking a reception place, Abode Venue, was one of her first tasks

“That was the first thing I booked because I knew it was going to be a popular date,” she said.

Years in the making

Online discussion boards frequented by brides-to-be lit up more than two years ago with breathless chatter about what the New York Post has declared “this year’s wedding status symbol.”

The marketing potential wasn’t lost on some wedding destinations that played up the hype with special offers like the Lucky in Love package at the Mandarin Oriental in Atlanta. One Caribbean resort offered the Sequential Love & Legacy.

Special deals flooded out of Las Vegas, the self-proclaimed “marriage capital of the world” where lucky numbers count for everything.

The MGM Grand offered couples a “numerology package.” Caesars Palace offered a chapel ceremony complete with two buffet lunches for $1,213.14.

Vegas tourism officials report that many of the city’s wedding chapels are booked up for Saturday. The most popular ceremony time? Thirteen minutes and 14 seconds past noon. That would be 12:13:14.

“Numerically quirky” dates, as the wedding planning website The Knot calls them, make many brides salivate. Hilton’s fiancee had actually eyed another unique date for their wedding – May 10, 2015, or 5/10/15 – “but I didn’t want to wait almost two years to marry her,” he said.

Palindromes prompt particular palpitations. And guaranteed there will be a rush on Jan. 2, 2034 – or 1/2/34.

The acknowledged biggest day ever for weddings was July 7, 2007 – lucky 7/7/07.

(For the record, The Knot advises brides to consider avoiding some of the calendar’s more dicey dates, including unlucky Friday the 13th and that pesky Ides of March.)

‘It’s meant to be’

Paige Ward and Phil Jones of Kansas City, Kan., are getting married Saturday in Lawrence, but the date sort of chose them. They were dating when they went to a wedding together on 11/11/11.

“Someone asked when the next time a date like this would fall on a Saturday and Phil … quickly pulled out his phone to check,” said Ward, 27, a senior associate with Grant Thornton in Overland Park.

“He promptly announced to our table that the next Saturday would be on 12/13/14, and then he nudged me and said, ‘There ya go babe, we can get married on 12/13/14!’ We all laughed it off and went on with our night.”

But the date came back to them after they got engaged in June 2013 and went on a look-see at the Oread in Lawrence, a venue that Ward had her heart set on. The hotel, on the edge of the University of Kansas campus, has become a popular wedding venue since opening in 2010, and available reception dates were limited.

But then the hotel’s wedding director told them of one date that was open: 12/13/14.

Pure luck?

“Phil’s jaw dropped as he turned to look at me,” Ward said. “He said, ‘Do you remember that conversation we had on 11/11/11 at so-and-so’s wedding? It’s meant to be! Plus, I’ll never forget our anniversary, but if I do, Christmas is just around the corner.’”

Contributing: Deb Gruver of The Eagle