Photo By Elli Hugh. Provided By Emillie Hawkes
Emillie Hawkes of Delta and her fiance, Christopher Chisholm of Salt Lake City, pose for their engagement portrait at Thanksgiving Point in June 2008. They have been engaged since Nov. 24, 2007.

Digits that repeat themselves in certain contexts are a novelty to some, but others find the string of 8-8-8 (as in Aug. 8, 2008) to be a sign of luck and wealth.

In the Chinese culture, the number eight is lucky, signifying good fortune. The more eights involved in a couple's lives, the better, they believe.

Emillie Hawkes of Delta and Christopher Chisholm of Salt Lake City could not agree more. The couple became engaged on Nov. 24, 2007. They planned to get married earlier but decided to wait because of the uniqueness of today's date.

The couple found the repeating eights significant and have tried to incorporate the date as much as possible into their wedding plans.

"If you turn the '8' on its side, it's a symbol for infinity," Hawkes explained.

Her engagement ring not only signifies eternity by its circular shape, Chisholm said, but her fiance also had the inside engraved to say "forever, forever, forever," in memory of the date, 8-8-8.

The date is so auspicious in China that, according to a report by the state-run Beijing News, many Chinese mothers are opting to have Caesarean sections so their babies will be born today, the opening of the Beijing Olympics. The Games begin at 8:08 p.m.

The numbers 8-8-8 have taken on a special meaning for people coordinating events on the date; for some it will mark the beginning of life and others the beginning of a life together.

"We'll probably have the TV on during the honeymoon," Hawkes said, "because I love the Olympics."

However, Utah does not appear to favor the number 8 as much as the Chinese population.

August is always a popular month for marriages, regardless of the date, said Diane Theurer with the Joseph Smith Memorial Building Catering. She said today is busy for a Friday in August, but "there are not as many receptions as we expected."

And marriage licenses have only sold slightly higher than average for the month, according to Kris Mitchell, Utah County Marriage License Division. The eighth is going to be a little busier than normal but not significantly, she said.

"The number of August weddings has not increased, but that date is popular," explained Phyllis Nielsen, store manager of Orem's Allyse's Bridal. She said any dates with repetitive numbers have been popular for weddings since the turn of the millennium.

E-mail: [email protected]