Memorable dates hold special charm for special events, and a big one is coming up soon—Nov. 11, 2011, or 11/11/11. Some event pros are already adding up the party bookings for that day.
"We have three weddings—unheard of for a Friday in November," says Mark Michael, co-founder of Occasions Caterers of Washington.
What's the allure of 11/11/11? "I know for a fact that these weddings were selected for the date," Michael says, adding, "The grooms will never forget their anniversary date."
Chef's Expressions of Timonium, Md., has been "booked solid for a year" for 11/11/11 events, says owner and corporate chef Jerry Edwards, CPCE.
Edwards isn’t so sure that the distinctive date will help grooms remember their anniversaries. "It could be on the husband's birthday and they'd still forget!" he jokes. Instead, clients "like the idea of saying the date and feeling it is a special number," he says.
Brides will be incorporating the "11" element in their weddings in fun ways, Edwards says. "We have one wedding where the party is before the wedding, and they are getting married [afterward] at 11 p.m.," he explains. And in another wedding, "The bride has decided to make all the tables No. 11," he says. "She wanted open seating, so it is her quirky way of playing a joke on the guests."
Katie Pacioni, event coordinator at Coup des Tartes in Phoenix, says she will help one couple celebrate their 11/11/11 wedding with a ceremony starting at 11:11 a.m.
Janel Gonzalez, event coordinator with Glendora, Calif.-based planner Mary Dann Wedding & Party Coordinators, will be working weddings all day on 11/11. But those events will wrap by 10 p.m., and Gonzalez will celebrate her birthday—also 11/11—with a party at 11 p.m. "I've got to work, but will be celebrating by 11!" she says.
11/11 NOTHING SPECIAL
For others, however, 11/11/11 just isn't adding up to new business.
When asked if he has any 11/11/11 events on the books, "Surprisingly—no," says wedding consultant Frank Andonoplas, MBC, based in Chicago.
Wedding consultant Kevin Covey agrees. "I don't have a wedding on 11/11/11, and I was quite surprised because brides typically like to choose weddings with dates that are truly memorable," says the Brea, Calif.-based planner.
9/10/11 ADDS UP
A bigger date than 11/11/11 for some so far was less than two weeks ago--Sept. 10, 2011, or 9/10/11.
"I could have made a lot of money that day!" Covey says. "I had to turn down that date to brides so many times, it made me sick. I booked my 9/10/11 a year and a half prior to the big day!"
Steve Weaver, vice president of Celebration Party Rentals in Kansas City, Mo., agrees. "It was huge," he says, noting that Sept. 10 had some help by falling on a Saturday this year. "It was by far the biggest 'date' wedding day we've have ever had."
In a poignant note, another landmark date came this year: 9/11/11, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the U.S.
"We really thought we would see a downturn in events, but just the opposite happened," says Steve Kohn, president of Miller's Rentals of Edison, N.J. "It seemed that our clients were not going to give in to terrorist threats. Life went on."
Of course, security concerns on that landmark anniversary made event logistics tougher. "Getting from point A to point B--especially in New York City--was a logistical hassle," Kohn relates. "Our trucks went through constant security checks at every major crossing—Lincoln Tunnel, George Washington Bridge and Holland Tunnel--plus many of the major intersections in the city."
WAITING FOR THE BIG 12/12/12
The next big date will be Oct. 11, 2012, or 10/11/12, which—sad to say--falls on a Thursday. Following that is Dec. 12, 2012—12/12/12. And even though it will fall on a Wednesday, "We are almost completely booked" for it already, Edwards says.
Covey has a 12/12/12 bride who is going all-out: "My bride is planning on doing everything around 12--12 guests each at 12 tables, and a total of 12 in the wedding party," he says. The dance floor will have a special logo incorporating the number 12 along with the bride and groom's initials. And for the topper: "She is also having a damask pattern created with little 12’s that will be the pattern," Covey says.
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