Timing was everything for Jon Hilton when he got down on one knee and proposed to Kila Saxton last year.
He knew he had to pop the question to give his beloved enough time to plan a wedding on the memorable date that she coveted: 12/13/14.
So Hilton proposed in August 2013. And now here they are, getting married at The Loretto on Saturday, a day for the record books — the last sequential date of the century.
That specific mathematical matrimonial magic won’t happen again until Jan. 2, 2103, or 1/2/03.
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At first, the date was more important to Hilton’s fiancee than it was to him, “but then I thought about it and I thought, ‘That’s pretty cool,’” said the groom, 28, who works for the City of Lee’s Summit. “And it will be easy for us to remember.”
This year, 12/1314 fell in a very sweet spot, on a Saturday, the most popular day of the week for weddings. And lest you think that no one noticed, consider that more than 20,000 couples in the United States will get married on Saturday, according to a David’s Bridal poll, nearly three times the number of couples who wed on that same weekend last year.
Indy Wedding Officiants in Indianapolis plan to be busy Saturday performing weddings in 15-minute increments. The $125 ceremony is called the 12/13/14 Elopement Special.
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 hype created a scramble for many venues on that date, which some brides found rather annoying. Anna Eaverson and her fiance, Owen Kennedy, both of Topeka, got engaged last year in November. The couple wanted to get married in December, specifically Dec. 13, to accommodate her work schedule.
“But when we were starting to kind of plan everything, calling venues, they said, ‘We’re so sorry to tell you, but we already have that booked.’ And then the next one said the same thing,” said Eaverson, assistant director of bands at Seaman High School in Topeka. “We were like, if we want any sort of say, we need to get on this really fast.”
They were turned down by four venues before choosing Kansas City’s Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art for their wedding and reception Saturday.
Across the country, DJs and wedding vendors reportedly had to turn couples away, too, because so many people wanted that day.
“It was very popular,” said Cara Middleton, director of sales and marketing at Loose Mansion in Kansas City. “There were tons of brides that were very firm on that date.”
The couple who booked the mansion for their wedding Saturday, though, canceled two months ago, too late to accommodate the many others who had inquired about the date.
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 already 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 fiance 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.)
Amy Pulver, who does business as the KC Minister of Love, figured there would be lots of couples wanting to tie the knot this weekend. So she put an ad on Craigslist offering her services as an ordained minister. “Get Married 12.13.14,” it read.
In eight years of marrying folks around Kansas City, her busiest day was 9/10/11. She married eight couples that day, starting at 9 a.m. “I had to turn people down,” said Pulver, who works for American Family Insurance as her day job.
She was surprised, then, that as of earlier this week she had no bookings for Saturday.
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.
“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.’”