The List

McWeddings and the fast-food nuptial trend

Tying the knot at McDonald's, renewing vows at White Castle: Are fast-food chains the next frontier for romance?

In a struggling economy, it's only logical that lavish weddings would give way to more modest proceedings. But McDonald's weddings on the cheap? Yes, at least in Hong Kong, where official packages are on offer. In fact, fast-food weddings are not uncommon. Here, a short list of recent examples:

1. Weddings at McDonald's
In Hong Kong, McDonald's has begun advertising itself as a venue for fast and inexpensive weddings. The "Warm and Sweet Wedding Package," which costs couples a little over $1,000, includes cheap wedding gifts, McDonald's-branded invites, and Hamburglar decorations. Already, two McDonald's weddings are planned, and another 70 are under discussion. "It's a day you'll never forget, says Brian Heater at Gearlog. "The wedding procession, the ring, the sound of the deep fryer bubbling in the background."

2. Kentucky Fried Wedding
On February 12, Gareth Pritchard and Kalli Buchan of Bristol, U.K., decided to forgo an expensive banquet hall and celebrate at the local KFC instead. Buchan's parents had gotten hitched at a Bristol McDonald's in 1989, and, as the bride's mother said, "It's nice to carry on the tradition" of fast-food nuptials. The Consumerist reports that the couple feasted on about $320 worth of chicken and french fries with 30 friends.

3. Renewing vows at White Castle
Louisville, Kent., couple Cheyenne and Christopher Stallings won an annual local radio contest that offers a "White Castle Wedding" as a prize. Though already married, Cheyenne Stallings said, as quoted by Wave 3, that "we just want to renew our vows and my husband absolutely loves White Castle." After the February 13 ceremony, friends sprinkled the couple with salt and pepper to further "season" their marriage, and chowed down on a "hamburger cake." White Castle is no stranger to romance — every Valentine's Day, the chain transforms into a sit-down restaurant complete with red cloth and roses..

4. Anniversaries at McDonald's
When Menomonee Falls,  Wis. couple Chuck and Carol Synold were wed in 1971, a snowstorm delayed their reception, leading them to visit a nearby McDonald's and bring burgers back to their peckish wedding party. The couple has since celebrated every one of their anniversaries at the fast-food giant — "often hitting the drive-through and taking lunch or dinner home for a quiet celebration," says Jim Stingl at The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. McDonald's was alerted to the tradition this past January, and surprised the couple with "a vase of roses, a cake, a gift certificate and dinner on the house."

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