If soaring wedding costs have you wondering how you can afford it all (and yet, you couldn't be bothered with the effort to put on a more eco-conscious wedding) then McDonald's may have the answer for you.
In Hong Kong, where weddings are biiiig business (my own cousin's glitzy matrimonial affair there last winter -- hosted in a fancy hotel and complete with ice sculptures, shooting lasers and yes, shark's fin soup -- comes to mind), the fast food chain is now offering "McWeddings" at select locations for young, cash-strapped couples.
The South China Morning Post quotes McDonald's Hong Kong director of corporate communications and relations Helen Cheung as saying:
Traditional weddings use cherries for the newlyweds to eat together and kiss. We will have French fries for them to kiss.
Right. But for McDonald's this opportunity apparently makes business sense. Says Cheung:
People said they'd dated here (McDonald's restaurants), or met here, and wanted to get married here... We see this as a business chance.
According to the Vancouver Sun, a table for 10 people at a five-star hotel restaurant in Hong Kong can cost upwards of HK$10,000 ($1,300 US). With families typically hosting more than a dozen tables, weddings can really add up.
With the Mickey D weddings, the idea is cut costs by limiting it to only 100 guests. Beyond weddings, anniversary and engagement parties are also welcome, with McDonald's providing the venue, decorations, guest gifts, audio system and even a MC. It's the budget, fast-food version that appeals to wallets (but maybe not waistlines).
Overall, it all sounds a little overfried, and we sincerely hope that this will be a passing fad. With environmental awareness growing even in an image- and money-conscious place like Hong Kong, hopefully, some couples will shy away from planning a fast food wedding and take a little more time to plan a greener (and more meaningful) wedding instead.
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