— Las Vegas will hit the wedding jackpot Friday with a lucky number: 11-11-11.
The singular date will make matrimonial unions of at least 3,500 couples who have applied for marriage licenses in Clark County, where Las Vegas — long a destination for nuptials — is located. With a couple of days left, more could be flocking to the gaming mecca to make a bet on marriage.
"It's once in a lifetime chance," said Stacy Alsen, 32, of Boise, Idaho, hours before her flight to Las Vegas Tuesday. She and her fiancé, Dustin Hall, are planning to get married at 1 p.m. Friday at Chapel of the Flowers. "We're so excited. It's going to be such a great day and what a better place than Vegas."
Clark County Clerk Diana Alba urged couples to plan ahead as her license bureau prepared for an onslaught of applications. She has temporarily reassigned staff to process applications to keep up with the average speed of 20 minutes.
Typically, the office gets less than 1,000 pre-applications in the queue for a period of 60 days, said Jim Pierce, assistant county clerk.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the clerk's office had 3,500 pre-applications for — you guessed it — Nov. 11, 2011.
'Tremendous boost' to business
That has given a lift to Las Vegas' wedding-related businesses up and down The Strip, where at least 100 wedding chapels are promoting 11-11-11 packages.
"Logistically, it will be a challenge, but a lot of fun," said David Nye of the A Elvis Chapel, where 40 couples were expected to exchange vows on the day. That's compared to the chapel's average of 40 a week.
"It's been pretty spectacular and has given us a tremendous boost," said Aimee Stephens of Chapel of the Flowers.
Stephens said the chapel has called in more workers, hired additional chauffeurs and rented extra limousines to accommodate couples. Chapel of the Flowers officiates at least 20 weddings on a typical Friday, compared to the 77 on the books this week.
Many people believe getting married on triple numbers is lucky and will bring a lifetime of fortune and happiness. Remember 10-10-10 and the most sought-after wedding day, 7-7-7?
"Those were big days," said Tiffany Masters, a socialite who organizes parties and events in Vegas. "But we hope that this wedding experience on 11-11-11 will be like no other."
Masters was promoting her latest venture — one of the largest wedding receptions at the Tropicana.
“I’m 40 years old, and too old to fist pump, so I have to make sure I help all those lonely hearts out there achieve their dream wedding,” she said.
"Every wedding chapel in town is sold out," she said. “If a love-struck couple arrive here and don’t find a chapel, we will have ordained ministers on hand. For folks who don't want a drive-thru wedding, you can come on over and have two shots and say your 'I do's'."
On the other coast, a date with a date
In Florida, one couple has opted for a more private affair.
Candice Seiler and her fiancé, Brad Hinds, both of St. Augustine, Fla., plan to tie the knot on Friday during a ceremony on Anastasia Island. Time of their service — 11:11 a.m.
Seiler said the number 11 is particularly special for the couple.
"The number seems to turn up everywhere," said Seiler, 28. “For one thing, we’ve been together 11 years and when we started dating, I had a curfew of midnight. It seemed like whenever we looked at the clock, it was 11:11 p.m.”
She has worked at the Seafood Shoppe, a specialty store,
for 11 years, she said.
When she ordered her wedding cake from Three Sisters Bakery in town, the owners told her they have been in business for 11 years.
"The number seems to follow us everywhere," she said. +