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Las Vegas Chapels Prepare for Busy Wedding Day on 9-9-09

Two years after Las Vegas chapels hit the wedding date jackpot with lucky sevens, it's all eyes on the nines for 9-9-09.

Wedding officials in Sin City were preparing Wednesday for one of the busiest days of the year on a quirky date to get hitched — Sept. 9, 2009, or 9-9-09.

Jessica Skrutvold of Las Vegas said she and her husband-to-be Chad Lyons were expecting nine guests for their 9 p.m. wedding, which coincidentally celebrates her favorite number.

"The easiest day for my poor memory to remember was 9-9-09, and we've been doing everything last minute ever since," said the 31-year-old who works for a local insurance agency. "It was easy, and both of us can remember it and never forget."

Skrutvold said she called to book a chapel in March, and found the only open slots were for 8:30 or 9 that night.

"We took the most obvious choice," she said.

Nine couples were to marry at the Madame Tussauds wax museum on the Las Vegas Strip at 9:09 a.m., while 99 more were waiting until 9:09 p.m. for a shared ceremony in the observation deck at the Stratosphere Tower. Each paid $99 for their wedding package.

Chapel of the Flowers spokeswoman Whitney Lloyd said the chapel booked 70 ceremonies for Wednesday, compared with 12 on Sept. 9 last year. She said three 9 a.m. slots were booked at least one year ago — an eternity by Las Vegas standards.

"Grooms love it, because they'll definitely remember their wedding day," Lloyd said.

Employees normally off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the marriage services division of the Clark County clerk's office were called in to help quickly distribute licenses, Marriage Services Supervisor Cheryl Vernon said.

Vernon said 418 marriage licenses were issued Monday and another 416 were issued Tuesday by mid-afternoon, with the bureau staying open until midnight. The bureau issues an average of about 260 licenses per day.

While Wednesday was shaping up to be a busy wedding day, officials didn't think it would be as lucrative as July 7 two years ago or Aug. 8 last year, as weddings have declined for Sin City since 2004.

Couples often are surprised to find a line when they arrive at the bureau intending to marry on a quirky day, Vernon said.

"They think that the number combinations, that they're the only ones that thought of it," she said. "They're always surprised."

Nevada law allows couples to get their marriage license and wed on the same day, though the documents remain valid for 10 days after they are first issued.

In Hollywood, the day became lucky for at least nine couples who won a 99 Cents Only Stores promotion in which they paid only 99 cents to be wed in the company's Hollywood store on 9-9-09. For their 99 cents, the nine lucky brides received wedding gowns made out of T-shirts, table cloths and other items sold at 99 Cent stores.

After exchanging their vows in Aisle 9, the brides and their husbands were to be treated to a reception inside the store. They were also being awarded honeymoon packages worth a good deal more than 99 cents, including a stay at a fancy hotel, dinner at an upscale restaurant and professional wedding photos.

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