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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lucky Number Nuptials

MT
There are predictable ways of trying to decrease your chances of divorce -- choosing the right partner, for one. But this year, thousands of couples are seeking good fortune by marrying on July 7, considered a lucky date.

Even celebrities such as "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria and her fiance, Tony Parker, are among those hoping the rare combination of 07.07.07 will encourage a longer, happier marriage.

There are numerous explanations as to why the number seven is so lucky -- and three sevens together even more so. Some cite the ancient Egyptians' seven gods, the Parsees' seven angels, the Muslims' seven heavens, and many Christian references, such as the seven virtues, seven sacraments and the belief that 7 and 777 are numbers of God and the Holy Trinity (as opposed to 666, the Number of the Beast).

Triple-seven is a winner in casino slot machines -- and appropriately, Las Vegas is taking full advantage of the situation with specials on weddings for the 7th, 17th and even 27th of July at the Viva Las Vegas Wedding chapel.

The trend may not be as big in Moscow, but there definitely has been a rise in demand for 777 weddings.

Galina Tyapina, a wedding photographer with Fotograf na Svadby agency, said she has been booked out for the date since early May. This is unusual for her -- usually people don't book so far in advance. Tyapina had not raised her 12,000-ruble daily rate for the date, and she expects it will be difficult to find enough freelancers to meet the demand.

Tyapina was pleased with all the business, but not so much concerned about the date itself. "I just hope that people are happy with each other; the date they get married shouldn't matter," she said.

A "bling" wedding on July 7 seems a popular option. Arshakuni Dream Coachworks limousine rental company said it had been booked out for the date since April, with prices starting at 5,000 to 7,000 rubles an hour for a stretch Hummer.

There is even memorabilia available to celebrate the wedding date. The Internet shopping site www.cafepress.com sells a July 7 wedding thong for $12.99 with the date of the nuptials and a wedding ring embroidered on the front.


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To top off this already-superstitious occasion, a new "tradition" has been added to the wedding lineup: A metal tree has been erected on the Luzhkov footbridge beside Bolotnaya Ploshchad, where couples can hang padlocks engraved with their names or initials to mark the big day.

Whether or not getting married on July 7 is really lucky, it has not made Russian regulations any easier. While locals can choose any registry office or Wedding Palace, foreign and mixed marriages can only be registered at Wedding Palace No. 4. Reservations are taken up to two months in advance, but foreign citizens first have to show their passport with valid registration, provide a notarized translation of the passport as well as a notarized and translated certificate of no impediment to marriage (usually obtained from the relevant embassy) and pay a 200-ruble fee.

Olga Gromova, the manager of the Dmitrovsky marriage registry office, said July 7 was fully booked by the end of May.

Not everyone is enthused about July 7, however. Le Mariage wedding photo studio was heavily booked but considered the date to be popular just because it's a popular time of year for weddings.

"We have had some client interest in the date, but not enough to get excited about it," said photographer Irina Gruzdeva. "I don't see anything special about it."

Groom-to-be Konstantin, who withheld his surname, said that he had a choice between getting married on July 7 or 14 and chose the former -- just because "that's the way it worked out."

"I'm not superstitious but I just thought it would be more interesting," he said.

Despite the date's popularity, Gromova at the registry office also did not see what the fuss was about.

"I don't know if it's a happy day or not," she said. "I've been talking to young people who are trying to get married on this day -- and why they wait in line for a booking. Most of them can't explain."

Contacts

Arshakuni Dream Coachworks limousine rental company, (903) 707-0033,

http://limohummer.ru/

Fotograf na Svadby, (903) 246-9904, www.fotograf-na-svadby.ru.

Le Mariage, (903) 200-2415, www.lemariage.ru.

Wedding Palace No. 4, 17 Butyrskaya Ul., 285-0694, M. Savyolovskaya,

www.nasvadbe.ru/zags.