Their decision makes them something of a rarity, at least in the parts of the country near Ground Zero: of the 30 or so New York City–based wedding planners TIME contacted for this story, the vast majority said they were not planning a wedding on Sept. 11. But elsewhere in the U.S., more people are choosing to marry on Sept. 11, according to statistics from the wedding-planning website, TheKnot.com. The site, which tracks wedding trends based on data that couples input when they are registering on the website, reports 1,712 registered weddings this year on Sept. 11 — that’s nearly double the number of weddings the last time the date fell on a Sunday, in 2005. Similarly, last year, when the anniversary fell on a Saturday — the most popular day of the week for weddings — there were 9,210 ceremonies registered on the site, a significant increase from Saturday, Sept. 11, 2004, when there were 5,303. “What we’re seeing is a lot of couples are reclaiming the day as a happy event,” says Anja Winikka, an editor at TheKnot.com.
That’s what Antoinette Perrie and Philip D’Ambrosio decided to do when they booked a beach venue for this Sunday on Long Island. Perrie, 57, a chiropractor and acupuncturist in Queens, said she and her fiancé sat down to plan their wedding about six months ago. At that time, their favorite venue was essentially all booked up. “The manager looked at me, and she said, ‘Well, I do have one date, but no one wants it,'” Perrie says. “Once she told me, I thought, you know, I am not going to be spooked by this day. I thought if I said no, the terrorists would win.”