Hitched on 8/8/08: To infinity and beyond | SierraSun.com

Hitched on 8/8/08: To infinity and beyond

Jenny GoldsmithSierra Sun

It may not be as lucky as a string of 7s, but hundreds of couples will head down the aisle on Friday in the 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-Recorders Office, said of the surge in marriage licenses.Eight couples have secured a spot to receive their licenses from Placer County on Friday, compared to six couples in Nevada County, said Gregory Diaz, clerk-recorder for Nevada County. Were preparing for more than six, Diaz said. Thats a lot more than an average day we dont even get six in a week.For some couples, its as simple as having an easy anniversary date to remember. But for others, the significance lies in turning an eight horizontally to form the mathematical symbol for infinity, said Rev. Juliette Howell, co-director of North Lake Tahoes Dream Maker wedding services.The sign of infinity means having no end, which is good luck for couples, Howell said. Its always nice to start out with the best luck you can.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 Valentines Day, Howell said.For Jason Nunemann and his soon-to-be wife Maria Gamino, the once-in-a-lifetime digits signify 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 fiancs 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 shes among the majority who have had to turn couples away. While wedding industry officials gear up for the influx of business on Friday, Lake Tahoes Blue Sky Event Planning has a wide open calendar for August 8 due to a last minute cancellation, which may be a reflection of financial gloom, said Rebecah Wiegardt, client services manager.Weve had three cancellations this summer, which is the first time thats 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 weve never experienced before, but business is still good, Wiegardt said. Howell agrees that nuptial activity is steady, but said she has seen brides cutting back on the guest list. Ive noticed that weddings are much smaller, usually 75 guests or less, Howell said. In general, its not our biggest year, but its not our smallest year either.Same-sex marriage boomThe Tahoe Basin wedding industry has remained unaffected by the staggering economy, partly thanks to the California Supreme Court ruling that allows same-sex couples to tie the knot in the Golden State.Exactly one month after the law was passed, same-sex couples accounted for one-third of marriage licenses in Nevada County, said Clerk-Recorder Gregory Diaz.Between June 17 and July 17, Nevada County issued 116 marriage licenses, with 41 being issued to gay couples, Diaz said. As long as voters dont re-institute the ban on same-sex marriage come November, gay and lesbian couples are projected to spend $684 million on cakes, flowers, rings, hotels and other wedding-related services over the next three years, according to a study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.Even if we had one same-sex wedding, I think it would be significant, Diaz said. All these weddings are a step in the right direction.