Remembering 9/11… as a wedding anniversary

Today marks the eleven year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 20o1. Across the nation people gather to mourn the loss of loved ones, honor those who so proudly serve our country, and remember the devastating effects of hate and terrorism.

For many, this is a quiet and solemn day – a day to reflect on the events of 9/11 and their impact worldwide. In the years since the attacks, Sept. 11 has become almost a sacred day – a prevailing mood that infiltrates all aspects of daily life, including the wedding industry. Many couples have been skeptical about planning their weddings today. Is it uncouth to host a joyous celebration on a national day of mourning? Can your wedding anniversary ever be considered a happy memory when such sad sentiments overshadow the date?

It seems that couples lie in two camps – those who wish to turn the date around into a happy occasion, and those who shy away from the idea. On the one hand, to give into defeat is to give the terrorists what they want. Some see it as an act of defiance and a bold step forward to declare that we will not be consumed by such hatred. The other side may find it disrespectful to ignore those who suffered losses.

Last year USA Today published an article about couples who have toyed with the idea. The Wedding Channel reported WeddingChannel.com reports that about 10,000 couples across the nation were wed on  9/11/11. Because the date fell on a Saturday, the most popular day of the week for weddings, it’s numbers were higher than usual – and much higher than the expected number today as a Tuesday.

Experts in the hospitality industry cite 9/11 as one of the most difficult dates to entice couples to book. Hotel owners have even offered what has been sardonically named the “terrorism discount” in an effort to improve sales for this date.

I predict that the number of weddings will steadily rise as we move further away from the incident. Take Pearl Harbor for example – there are relatively few memorial ceremonies on December 7th anymore – and even less resistance to planning parties. 9/11 will undoubtedly follow the same path.

What do you think? Is it inappropriate to celebrate in the face of so many who are grieving? Or is it okay to want to shed a positive light on 9/11 and move forward?

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