Retail wedding trend leads to "I do's" at T.J. Maxx, Taco Bell
reprinted from USA Today article

A couple in Santa Fe went to the local Home Depot for their "Midsummer Night's Dream" wedding because they spent so much time there. The store put up a floral arbor using products off the shelves.

By Jillian Berman, USA TODAY
Lately some brides and grooms are using their weddings to show their love for more than just each other.
Instead of getting married in a church or banquet hall, more couples are choosing their favorite retail spots as the backdrop for their special day. The shops range from T.J. Maxx to Taco Bell, and they all combine the couple's love for a brand with a desire to have a wedding with a personal twist, says Rebecca Dolgin, executive editor of

"Brides are obsessed with making their wedding different from anyone else's," she says.

Dolgin says she's seen a few brides discussing retail weddings on's message boards, adding that it could be the start of a new trend similar to Star Wars or Goth themed weddings that have gained momentum in the past.

"If this came up 15 years ago it would not have been as readily accepted," she says.

Later this month Lisa Satayut and her fiancé, Drew Ellis, will be the first couple to get married in a T.J. Maxx when they walk down the size 8 shoe aisle of the Mount Pleasant, Mich., store in front of friends, family and shoppers.

Though retail weddings are still relatively rare, Dolgin says they fit with a larger trend of couples looking to their history together to plan their weddings.

"The one constant in my life, no matter what, has always been T.J. Maxx," Satayut, a self-proclaimed "Maxxinista," says.

In addition to brand loyalty, there's another reason couples are getting married in their favorite stores, Dolgin says: "In some cases, too, I think the economy might play into it, where people are really trying to be resourceful."

Satayut and Ellis said they'll probably save about $150 by holding their wedding in T.J. Maxx, but some couples could save thousands. Other retail weddings include:

•The Home Depot. The Home Depot has hosted about half a dozen weddings, spokeswoman Kathryn Gallagher says. Most recently in June, a bride and groom — both employees of the store who met there — walked down an aisle set up in the garden department of a California Home Depot while family, friends and customers watched.

Gallagher says Home Depot doesn't charge to hold weddings in their stores, adding that most of the materials used — like orange buckets and plywood for pews — can be put back on the shelves after the ceremony.

•Cold Stone Creamery. Two employees at an Ohio Cold Stone chose the ice cream store as the site for their June nuptials in a Cold Stone first, says Jami Thompson, director of public relations for Kahala, Cold Stone's parent company. Store owners agreed to a late opening for the wedding and didn't charge for the ceremony, but Thompson says prices may vary because all stores are independently owned.

•Taco Bell. One couple said "I do" at an Illinois Taco Bell last January, while customers ordered tacos and chalupas. According to Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch, the restaurant typically hosts about one wedding per year and doesn't charge for the ceremonies.


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