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Popular Wedding Day Falls on Terror Attack Anniversary


Published: August 10, 2004

Josephine Antico says her daughter, Jennifer, considered having her wedding on the second Saturday in September - Sept. 11 this year. She decided on Oct. 2 instead.

"We felt, not only is it a sad day for New Yorkers, but I felt for the guests," said Mrs. Antico, who spent yesterday afternoon in Manhattan helping her daughter choose a wedding cake. She said they did not know which guests had lost loved ones in the attacks, and would not, as Mrs. Antico put it, "think it was appropriate to be partying on that day."


"There are people who have the attitude, life must go on, but they're probably not the people who lost someone on that day. I didn't think people would want to party," she said.

For the first time since the terror attacks of 2001, Sept. 11 falls on a Saturday this year. September has become a popular month for brides - second only to June - but people who plan weddings say that some prospective brides and bridegrooms are avoiding the day and the overtones of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They do not want grief-laden memories of loss and fear dimming the joy and hope that will come with saying "I do," running the gantlet of rice-throwing guests and dancing their first dance as a married couple.

Bloomingdale's said that one-third the number of brides who registered for weddings last Sept. 13 - the second Saturday of September last year - had registered for this Sept. 11. "All in all, the bridal registry is ahead of last year," a Bloomingdale's spokeswoman said, "so it's obvious they're picking other dates."

The Bridal Association of America, a year-old confederation of 250 wedding-related businesses that is based in Bakersfield, Calif., said information from its Web site indicated that three times as many brides had registered for Sept. 18 as for Sept. 11.

"People are avoiding the Sept. 11 date because they're remembering, obviously," said Kyle Brown, the executive director of the association. "They're trying to celebrate a momentous occasion and they don't want it overshadowed by the memory of Sept. 11."

Sylvia Weinstock, the doyenne of wedding cake makers, said she had "absolutely fewer" orders for Sept. 11 than for other weekends next month. She said six cakes had been ordered for Sept. 11, compared with 12 to 15 for a normal weekend in September.

"Some people think it's the wrong day to celebrate," she said. "They want to use it as a day of mourning, and some have the attitude, we go on, because if we don't, they've won - the terrorists."

She said some couples who were going ahead with Sept. 11 weddings had not focused on the anniversary of the terror attacks when they chose it as a wedding date, and had done some soul-searching when they realized that it could have raw emotional implications. "They sat down and thought about it," she said. "Some people went for the end of August," she said, while others delayed their weddings until late September or early October.

Those are conversations that people who follow the wedding business are well aware of. Darcy Miller, the editor of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, said flatly, "Sept. 11 is a day that a lot of people do not want to get married. You don't want it to be your wedding anniversary. It's not a day for celebration."

Millie Martini Bratten, the editor in chief of Bride's magazine, said many brides were avoiding Sept. 11 "because of the profound sadness associated with it."

But there are brides who are going ahead with weddings during the weekend of Sept. 11. Shari Alazraki, who plans to marry Maurice Appleman at the Albany Country Club in Voorheesville, N.Y., on Sept. 12, sounded as firm Ms. Miller, even as she reached the opposite conclusion.

"Yes, it was a day a lot of tragedy happened," Ms. Alazraki said, "but people need to turn around and make the day into something good."

Mrs. Antico said her daughter and prospective son-in-law could have had their pick of hotels in which to hold their reception. "We could have had our choice of anywhere because that day was open everywhere. But such a solemn day for some people, they'd think it was insensitive."

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