UK & World News
Vegas Weddings: Thousands Flock For 12/12/12
Thousands of couples are expected to descend on Las Vegas wedding chapels today - to be married on the memorable date of 12/12/12.
It will be the last time in most people's lifetimes that there is an auspicious triple-digit date, as the next one will not happen for another 89 years.
Previous propitious dates have been big draws for Las Vegas and Clark County.
On 07/07/07 a total of 4,333 couples were wed, whereas an average daily total is normally about 145.
More recent repeating digit dates attracted 3,090 couples on 10/10/10 and 3,342 on 11/11/11.
The Clark County Marriage Licence Bureau has nearly doubled its staffing level and around 80 wedding chapels have readied themselves for the rush.
According to Viva Las Vegas Weddings, the number 12 is particularly lucky.
"The 'go-getting' 1 and the 'sensitive' 2 make this a very balanced number. 1 is the vibration of 'new beginnings' and starting things afresh," it explained on its website.
"The 2 vibration is about seeking 'balance' and that's certainly something that many will struggle with - balancing the bank balance, balancing the food and beverage intake, balancing the emotions ? balancing in every way."
It offers a variety of wedding themes, including Cleopatra and Mark Antony, the Blues Brothers, the Grim Reaper, Alice Cooper, and Rocky Horror Show couple Brad and Janet.
Other wedding themes available in Sin City include pirates, Woodstock, Austin Powers, gangster and disco.
Traditionalists still have the option of choosing the standard Elvis-themed union.
Tourists from Britain, Europe, Brazil and Australia have lodged wedding applications for the day, in addition to thousands of Americans.
Chapel of the Flowers spokeswoman Aimee Stephens told the New York Times her firm would deal with 80 weddings instead of its normal 15 unions.
She believes there is another reason beyond luck that has driven couples to get married on the 12th.
"People like being a part of something larger," Ms Stephens said.
She added that the brides also wanted "to make it easier for their husbands to remember" their wedding date.
While it can cost $60 for a wedding minister's fee, some themed marriages top $2,500.
Viva Las Vegas has put a premium on certain times of the day, boosting the price above its budget $712.12 themed ceremony cost.
It warned those searching for wedded bliss: "Please note the midnight 12/12, 12 noon, or midnight 12/13 slot must be the $1212.12 Diamond Wedding Package or higher."
Thousands of couples in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore are also tying the knot today, seeking good fortune for marriages begun on the century's last repeating date.
Couples also queued to marry in many mainland Chinese cities, on the basis that 12/12/12 sounded like "Will love/will love/will love" in Chinese, the official news agency Xinhua said.
:: Las Vegas wedding chapels are already preparing for the next big event, an alleged global apocalypse based on the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21.