Wednesday may not be the most desirable day of the week for a wedding, but across the Bay Area couples headed to county clerks' offices in droves looking to marry on an auspicious date.
Numerically, today's date is 9.9.09, a sequence of numbers that some find lucky and others simply notable. Counties around the Bay Area reported larger than average numbers of couples getting married today.
Some couples wanted not only a 9.9.09 date, but also a 9:09 a.m. marriage, he said.
Alameda County marriage commissioners usually perform between eight and 14 marriages a day, Hing said.
"It wasn't as busy as it was for 8.8.08, but it is much busier than usual," he said.
Alameda County Deputy Marriage Commissioner Janet Appel usually reports for work at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, but arrived at 8:30 a.m. anticipating a busy day. The county has issued 67 marriage licenses today, she said, and many couples Appel married today obtained their license in advance.
Translators assisted with weddings in Spanish and Chinese she said, and about half the couples arrived in formal wedding attire, including long white dresses, tuxedos and ornate red dresses for Chinese brides.
Staff members are assisting Appel and another commissioner, both volunteers, by escorting couples to and from the ceremony room so commissioners can perform ceremonies as efficiently as possible.
"They don't know they're being rushed," Appel said of the couples. "But I'm not letting them take as many pictures."
By 3 p.m., county staff estimated 33 ceremonies had been completed, and Appel excused herself to complete two more.
In San Mateo County, "we are seeing more than usual," said deputy assessor-clerk-recorder Theresa Rabe. Usually the officer does four ceremonies a day, but today that number doubled to eight, she said.
A total of 55 couples were scheduled to be married at the Santa Clara County building today, county spokeswoman Laurel Anderson said. That includes 23 marriages performed at a special 4 p.m. group ceremony in the county board chambers.
In Marin County, the clerk's office performs an average of two marriages a day, said spokeswoman Olga Lobato. One marriage commissioner performed a double wedding this morning, she said, and at least nine were scheduled for the remainder of the day.
While the 9.9.09 date is notable for its symmetry, it also holds auspicious meaning, according to Fengyuan Ji, assistant program director at the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco. The Chinese pronunciation for the number nine sounds similar to the word that means "long-lasting," she said.
"People want to get married on a day that sounds like the marriage will last very long," she said.
Bay City News