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Wedding Essentials

Double bliss on Nov 20

That red-hot date for weddings this year is doubly auspicious because the numbers are repeated
The Straits Times - July 3, 2011
By: Natasha Ann Zachariah and Melissa Pang
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Double bliss on Nov 20 Ms Daphne Maia Loo and Mr Nicholas Lee picked Nov 20 as their wedding day because they wanted a date that is easy to remember. -- ST PHOTO: LIM WUI LIANG

Singaporeans love their lucky numbers, and some brides and grooms are saying 'I do' to two times the luck this year, in terms of numeric nuptials.

They are canny couples who have managed to snag this year's hot wedding date - Sunday, Nov 20, 2011, which forms a double repetition of 2011.

The repetition plays into a common Chinese belief that good things come in pairs and is associated with the doubling of happiness.

Fifteen hotels that LifeStyle spoke to say they have been fully booked out for months in advance for that date, for lunch and dinner events. Some bookings were made as far back as 11/2 to two years ago.

The double-digit delight also means double happiness for hotels - as demand is high for this lucky date, some of them are charging extra or imposing minimum requirements.

For groom-to-be Lin Weijie, who will hold a wedding banquet at the Intercontinental Singapore, the lucky date was an 'added bonus'.

Says the 28-year-old tax consultant: 'It is already significant because it's also my bride's birthday. When we checked the Chinese calendar, it said it's an auspicious day for us, so that's good.'

One hotel boss doing a high five over 20/11 is Ms Cecilia Lim, vice-president of sales and marketing in Asia at Millenium and Copthorne International, which runs four hotels: the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Orchard Hotel, Copthorne King's Hotel and M Hotel.

The hotels received bookings for the date as early as April last year, she says, adding that inquiries across the four hotels were up by between 50 and 100 per cent. All the ballrooms and banquet suites at these four places have been booked.

Ms Lim notes: 'The date has numerical significance and falls on a Sunday, so the demand to hold a banquet then is high.'

Over at the swanky Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, the nine function rooms and grand ballroom are booked solid, with one early bird nabbing a spot 15 months ago.

Lucky or not, for some couples, it is just a convenient date. Social media consultant Daphne Maia Loo wanted a date, literally, to remember.

The 28-year-old, who will be having a lunch reception at Seb's Bistro at Rochester House, says: 'We were afraid we would forget our anniversary, so we picked this one out of the others we were thinking about. It's easy to remember.'

Wedding bells also mean ringing tills for hotels.

The Mandarin Orchard, for example, which is hosting three weddings that day, is imposing a 20 per cent increase on package prices.

Similarly, wedding couples at the posh Four Seasons Singapore have to choose the highest priced dinner menu, out of four wedding banquet menus available. The management declined to reveal the cost of the menu.

The Regent Singapore increased the minimum table requirement for banquet dinners from 35 to 40 tables. For lunch banquets, couples must take a minimum of 30 tables instead of the usual 25 and opt for the $788 eight-course Chinese dinner.

The higher costs at the Regent Singapore have not put off bride-to-be Yvonne Lau, 25, who will hold her wedding dinner there.

Ironically, she did not pick the date for its nice ring, but rather because it marks the seventh anniversary of courtship with her 26-year-old fiance, insurance executive Mike Tan.

The marketing officer, who booked her venue last September, says: 'It just happens to be a nice number but that doesn't matter. The date itself has a special significance for us, which is why we picked it.'

While many hotels are booked out, florists and photographers can still look forward to packing in more jobs for that day. They have already been getting more requests than usual.

Mr Gilbert Chua, owner of 9 Frames Photography located in Sin Ming Lane, has seen inquiries increase sixfold for the day.

The photographer, who has been shooting weddings since 2007, normally gets between one and five wedding inquiries for a weekend date, but has received between 20 and 30 inquiries for Nov 20. So far, he has been booked for one wedding and can fill one more slot.

Far East Flora, one of the bigger florists here, says there was a deluge of requests for last year's hot date, Oct 10, for which keen couples confirmed their orders at least six months in advance. Usually, most couples decide on floral arrangements about one month before their wedding, says Ms Yhan Pilones, who works for the company's weddings department.

However, this year, they are 'anticipating more couples to confirm their bookings closer to the date'.

Those who missed out and still want a nice-sounding number to remember their big day need not fret. They could try Nov 11 this year, which falls on a Friday.

There is also Dec 20 next year or Dec 11, 2013, which forms 11/12/13.

One bride opting for Nov 11 is graduate student Elizabeth Chong. She will hold her church wedding in the evening at 8pm, followed by a reception there for about 300 guests.

The 27-year-old had been scouting for a suitable day that included the number 11, as it has been 11 years since she and her beau met.

'It's a date that means a lot to us, so it's also nice that our wedding month shares the same number,' she says. 'Even though it's a Friday night, we hope our guests will come to share our special day with us.'



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