Houston Community News >> Couples Bet On Seven For Love

7/6/2007-- Jamie Lynn Donzanti doesn't believe all that stuff about the number seven being lucky, so she's amused at network TV stories about so many couples getting married Saturday because the date is July 7, 2007 -- that is, 7/7/07.

The 23-year-old Miami woman says she and Jeff Burns, 25, who will wed Saturday, fell serendipitously into the perfect storm of sevens.

''It just happened that we have seven bridesmaids and seven groomsmen,'' she says. ``And that Jeff and I have been together for seven years. And that he works at Station Seven of the [Miami-Dade] fire department. It wasn't planned.''

Still, the couple is joining a national rush to marry Saturday. TheKnot.com, a web-based clearinghouse of nuptial news, says it has 38,000 couples signed up in its gift registry for Saturday, compared with 12,000 on an average sultry summer Saturday.

Led by Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria and her tall squeeze, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, American couples are in seventh heaven, flocking to the altar on what they consider -- usually without profound introspection -- a fortuitous date.

It could be the greatest mass American psych-out since everyone thought the world would end on Y-2K.

ALL BOOKED UP

''People are going crazy,'' says Linda Bernstein, of the Miami wedding planning firm A Story Book Wedding. ``I have five weddings booked for Saturday, and calls for 10 more.''

Flamingo Gardens in Davie, which usually doesn't do summer weddings, had six requests for Saturday, says Claudia Piranio, its wedding coordinator. ''I kind of turned them down,'' she says. ``Outdoor weddings in the summer are brutal.''

Ana Paz Cakes of Miami usually does 17 or 18 wedding cakes on a mid-summer Saturday; she's doing 36, from three-inch wedding cupcakes to 560-serving, $7,000 megacakes.

Party Time DJs of Miami has 15 music hosts working weddings Saturday, twice the usual number for a Saturday in hurricane season. ''We've been sold out for months,'' says co-owner Debbi Greene.

Donzanti says that, when she realized everything was coming up sevens, she and her mother, Pat Donzanti, a wedding planner, threw up their hands and went with the flow.

SEVENS OF EVERYTHING

Now, by design, they will have a seven-tier cake, seven varieties of flowers, seven kinds of candy, seven candles on each table, a signature drink of Seven & 7 (Seagram's Seven Crown whiskey and 7-Up) and seven almonds in each favor bag for luck.

Oh, and a seven-night cruise on Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas.

''I could go on,'' she says.

Given the opening, American capitalism is responding with an alacrity that has nothing to do with luck.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Miami is offering a ''Lucky in Love'' package aimed at lovers popping the question on 7/7/07. For $295, a couple gets a six-course dinner at the hotel's gourmet restaurant, Azul, including a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne and a box made of chocolate with a message inside that says ``Will you marry me?''

''The man is supposed to be on his knees with the ring by that time,'' said hotel spokeswoman Alexandra Wensley.

The Seminole Hard Rock Casino near Hollywood has hired a justice of the peace to hold a free mass wedding/recommitment ceremony for more than 100 signed up to arrive at 7:17 p.m. One Dania couple, David and Jerre Specter, will renew their vows on their 50th anniversary, having married on 7/7/57. He's 77; she's 71. If you go, the Lobby Bar is offering draft beer for 77 cents from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

PIZZA, LOTTERY

Papa John's Pizza is giving away 777 large, one-topping pizzas to randomly selected customers, and one Papa Card worth $777 for future pizzas.

The Florida Lottery, by mid-afternoon Friday, had sold out of the 7-7-7 combination in its Cash 3 game. If that number hits, 20,000 bettors would receive $500 each, hitting the $10 million payout cap for a given combination, officials said.

Finally, Travelers, the Hartford, Conn., insurance company, is marking 7/7/07 by offering a wedding interruption policy against hurricanes, military orders, photos who fry your photos, DJs who don't show up, caterers who feed you potato salad la salmonella and so on.

But will it insure a groom against a runaway bride? A bride against a closet couch potato who, as soon as he's married, reverts to his game-watching, beer-belching true self?

(Contributed by Miami Herald)