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Vegas Couples Hope Sevens Will Be Lucky Wedding Day

By the time Terrence Balcita and Chevela Luong were joined as one at 9:30 am Saturday, Las Vegas was in full swing -- not enjoying blackjack or Wayne Newton, but that other Vegas specialty: the quickie wedding.

"Every marriage needs a little luck to go with the love." Balcita said.

Couples tied the knot in chapels all over the city Saturday, eager to enjoy a 7/7/07 wedding date.

"This is a historic day in Las Vegas," David Foote, owner of the Little Chapel of the Flowers, told the couple.

"If you were one of the many people who stood in line for a marriage license yesterday, congratulations to you, because that was about a four-and-a-half hour wait," he said.

Whether they believe in lucky sevens, in the number's religious significance or in the simple fun of it, some 3,000 couples married Saturday in Clark County.

"The great demand for 7/7/07 is definitely because couples feel that it will be lucky to be married on this day and particularly in Las Vegas," Foote said.

Several ceremonies were performed en masse, others at drive-up windows.

Balcita and Luong chose the 50-year-old Little Chapel of the Flowers, on the famous Las Vegas Strip, for a ceremony that was a tad more traditional.

"This was the day for us," Balcita said. "Everything fell into place, we were ready and the date just seemed right. We're hoping luck stays with us throughout our marriage."

Luck and love were part of the chaotic atmosphere on Friday in the city, when hundreds of couples lined up outside the Marriage Bureau in downtown Las Vegas, applying for marriage licenses on the last possible day to receive one in time for a July 7 wedding.

Starting at around 5:00 am Saturday, couples began marrying at the small chapels that have performed the ceremonies for decades.

Larger resorts and hotels that frequently host weddings designed e laborate marketing campaigns to lure couples to their venues on this historic day.

The Little Chapel of the Flowers hosted around 115 weddings Saturday -- more than twice the usual number -- with the final wedding scheduled for 11:59 pm.

"We turned down approximately 100 more weddings because we want to do them correctly," Foote said.

The publicity surrounding the date will only help the city's ever-popular marriage industry, Foote said.

"I do believe that Las Vegas can be a great place to be married if you choose a location that takes marriage seriously," Foote said. "There are great prices, great hotels, restaurants and shopping and it is very easy to get the marriage license."

And the significance of the triple sevens date?

"I personally feel that it will (be) much more important for the couples to love and care each other," Foote said.

Barbara Rushing, who married at the Little Chapel of the Flowers early Saturday morning, agreed.

"It's a fun thing to get married on this date, but the real fun is only just starting," Rushing said. "We're looking forward to marriage, but first we're looking forward to a few more days in Vegas."


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