Couples are eager to tie the knot on 8/8/08 |

Couples are eager to tie the knot on 8/8/08

Jenny Goldsmith / Sierra Sun

Belinda Grant Photography Flower girls play on Lake Tahoe's shoreline after a wedding.

It may not be as lucky as a string of 7s, but hundreds of couples will head down the aisle Friday in the Lake Tahoe Basin hoping the date 8/8/08 will bring good fortune.

“We had to finally stop booking them,” Robin January, acting manager of the Placer County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, said of the surge in marriage licenses.

Eight couples have secured a spot to receive their licenses from Placer County on Friday, compared with six couples in Nevada County, said Gregory Diaz, clerk-recorder for Nevada County.

“We’re preparing for more than six,” Diaz said. “That’s a lot more than an average day – we don’t even get six in a week.”

For some couples, it’s as simple as having an easy anniversary date to remember. But for others, the significance lies in turning an 8 horizontally to form the mathematical symbol for infinity, said the Rev. Juliette Howell, co-director of North Lake Tahoe’s Dream Maker wedding services.

“The sign of infinity means having no end, which is good luck for couples,” Howell said. “It’s always nice to start out with the best luck you can.”

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Dream Maker has eight weddings scheduled for Friday, starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m., turning the nontraditional day of the week into the second-most-popular wedding date, rivaling only Valentine’s Day, Howell said.

For Jason Nunemann and his soon-to-be wife, Maria Gamino, the date signifies more than just mathematical luck.

“The date 8-8-96 was the day my father died, so I wanted to turn a sad date into a happy date and also wanted to commemorate my dad,” Nunemann said. “Plus, eight is my fiance’s lucky number, and the infinity sign also looks like an eight – and marriage is supposed to last forever.”

“All these coincidences just fell into place for us,” Nunemann added.

The Kings Beach Conference Center has two weddings scheduled for Friday, and wedding coordinator Kathy Giebel said she’s among those who have had to turn couples away.

While wedding-industry officials gear up for the influx of business Friday, Lake Tahoe’s Blue Sky Event Planning has a wide-open calendar for Aug. 8 because of a last-minute cancellation, which may be a reflection of financial gloom, said Rebecah Wiegardt, client services manager.

“We’ve had three cancellations this summer, which is the first time that’s ever happened,” Wiegardt said. “I think it may have to do with the stresses of getting married on top of the unstable economy.”

With the exception of those few cancellations, Wiegardt said the wedding business still remains strong in the midst of a dramatic oil inflation, skyrocketing food prices, home foreclosures and other economic woes.

“The wedding industry is still growing. We did have those cancellations, which we’ve never experienced before, but business is still good,” Wiegardt said.

Howell agreed that nuptial activity is steady but said she has seen brides cutting back on the guest list.

“I’ve noticed that weddings are much smaller, usually 75 guests or less,” Howell said. “In general, it’s not our biggest year, but it’s not our smallest year, either.”