Washington, Dec 12 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Wednesday was the 12th day of the 12th month of 2012, a rare triple digit date so unique that it prompted thousands of couples in the US to tie the knot on what many saw as an extra lucky day.
"Weddings are one of the most important and significant events that happen in a woman's life, and the ability to able to combine that with a once-in-a-lifetime date like 12-12-12 is something that doesn't come along very often," Brian Beitler, executive vice president of David's Bridal wedding wear, told Huffington Post website.
"For a bride trying to make the most of her special day, a unique date like this, an iconic date like this, provides something that not many brides for the rest of this century are going to be able to do," he said.
The wedding supply chain estimates roughly 7,500 couples will marry across the US on Wednesday, up more than 1,400 percent from the 485 couples who wed on the same date in 2011.
Among the lucky couples are Alysen Hargrove and Tommy Cowan of the state of Colorado. They got engaged last year 11-11-11, which also happened to be the bride's birthday.
For some, the number 12 is considered lucky. For others it represents faith and love.
Numerologists say it is a symbol of wholeness and completion. It is also prominent for Biblical scholars -- Jacob had 12 sons, there were 12 tribes of Israel and Jesus had 12 apostles.
Whatever the reason, the weddings are a boon for the US wedding industry and wedding chapels are eager to cash in on it, particularly in Las Vegas, a city known as much for its "quickie" weddings complete with Elvis impersonators as for its high stakes gambling casinos.
"From a marketing perspective, it's a very big deal. Numbers are associated with Vegas," Ann Parsons, marketing director for Vegas Weddings, which runs four chapels in town, told USA Today.
Wedding chapels marketed "12-12-12" packages to lure in brides and grooms. They also marketed the next big iconic date on the calendar with "Armageddon Wedding" packages for Dec 21, 2012, the end of a Mayan calendar that some say will mark the end of the world.
Of course, for those who just are not ready to tie the knot right now, there is another iconic date to consider -- next Nov 12, or 11-12-13.