What's luck got to do, got to do with it?
A lot, say couples who are getting married across Long Island tomorrow on what some believe to be the most auspicious day of the year: 11/11/11.
"Our anniversary every year will be good luck," Rinaudo, 28, says of marrying fiance Dawone Briggins, 33, of Astoria. "And it's actually a cool story for the kids when we have them."
More than 24,000 couples across the country are getting hitched tomorrow, according to The Knot Wedding Network, a huge bump from the 1,700 or so marrying on other Fridays this month. On Long Island, some catering venues were booked up to 21 / 2 years in advance. Representatives from Fox Hollow, Miller Place Inn and Oheka Castle in Huntington say they received about 50 calls inquiring about availability for 11/11/11.
"Any time you get dates such as that -- 10/10/10, 11/11/11 -- especially when they fall on a weekend date, the response is overwhelming," says David Gerin, Fox Hollow's director of banquet sales. Lessings, a Great River restaurant and catering company that works with about a dozen wedding venues, has five weddings tomorrow.
At Camelot Specialty Limos in New Hyde Park, the company's fleet of 26 cars is entirely sold out. "It's extra busy because it's 11/11/11," says co-owner Joseph Palumbo, who dubs it the "wedding jackpot" effect. "When you go to the casino and you hit three of the same numbers -- with the exception of 6/6/6 -- it usually ends well," he says.
Preparing to celebrate
Massapequa bride-to-be Kristen Kolbe chose tomorrow's date to honor her parents, who were wed on Nov. 11 33 years ago, as well as military veterans in her family. The rarity of the date, which won't occur again for another 100 years, is "even better."
"It may be just a number to some people, but it's something you'll never forget," says Kolbe, 31, who will marry John Lipani, 39, of Massapequa
at Bourne Mansion in Oakdale. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Still, nuptial planning seemed to make the walk down the aisle even longer for 11/11/11 brides. Elizabeth Ramirez of Flushing had to contact a dozen reception venues before securing the Venetian Yacht Club in Babylon. "I almost thought I wasn't going to get married on that date," says Ramirez, 27.
All the more reason to incorporate a whole lot of 11s in the festivities. "It's all over pretty much everything, really," says Ramirez's fiance, Eric Nouel, 30, of Forest Hills.
The date is emblazoned atop the dinner menus, a card drop box and a plaque for the couple's sweetheart table and is attached to favors. At 11:11 p.m., the DJ will invite guests to make a wish for the newlyweds, all the while sipping the night's signature drink, natch -- a "wishtini."
"Getting married on 11/11, it's a wish come true," says Nouel.
Fellow groom Dawone Briggins says the number 1 was his basketball jersey number in high school and "11" is his soon-to-be father-in-law's favorite number.
"It's kind of surreal for us to have our wedding on this day," he says, adding there's a special perk for husbands-to-be: "It's also not an anniversary you could forget."