In 14 years as McDonald’s employees, Stephanie Garcia and Phil Hammond probably can’t count the number of times they’ve heard, “Do you want fries with that?” “
And just like some of those customers who say ‘Yes’, the Cambridge couple will say the same two words on August 24 when they celebrate their nuptials in the drive-thru of the fast food franchise where they met.
That’s right, a drive-thru I do.
The high-profile event, aptly dubbed the “Drive-Thru Say I Do,” called on Hespeler Road McDonald’s to offer a non-denominational marriage to two couples based on a 250-word submission on their relationship and why they love McDonald’s. Lunch is on McDonald’s for couples and guests alike, with a wedding photographer, videographer, and professional decor on hand.
Hamilton couple Aline DeVries and Aaron Rozon will also seal the deal, perhaps even with a Happy Meal, an hour later, as they will also be reciting their vows at the drive-thru window.
While Stephanie admits getting married in a drive-thru at a McDonald’s is “unconventional,” she adds that her friends and family agree that it suits the couple.
“They are so excited that we finally have the chance to get married, which everyone knows we were hoping to do someday,” she said in an email.
In fact, the couple, who have four children, have wanted to get married for a long time, despite Phil fell asleep on their first date at the movies.
However, life, as usual, got stuck. As their family grows, the couple are expected to catch up financially after every Garcia maternity leave. They also decided to buy a house, which brought its own set of bills. When they decided it was finally time to grab a bite to eat on a wedding date, COVID struck.
“So it became less of a priority,” she said.
When Stephanie returned to work, Phil fell ill and had three emergency surgeries in nine days and was hospitalized for about a month. He was absent from work for five months as he needed a fourth surgery.
“Life has always been so busy, so when that opportunity finally presented itself, it wouldn’t have made sense not to take it,” she said, noting that being employees made the wedding a perfect highlight in their history.
Aline and Aaron also had their share of struggles, and McDonald’s was their pick-me-up.
Marriage plans were put on hold after the birth of their “high needs” son, so their time and energy was focused on him. Then came their daughter.
They decided that once she was in school they would plan a wedding.
When their daughter started school, Aline was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.
“The next two years were a blur of chemo, radiation therapy, surgeries, scans and more surgery,” she said.
With the treatment of tolls, and feeling less and less like cooking, the couple gifted their children with McDonald’s. Not only did it make the kids smile on some rough days, but McDonald’s fries are also one of the foods their son, who is a very picky eater, will devour.
When they saw an article on “Drive-Thru Say I Do” it seemed like the perfect way to finally get married.
“Now that our kids are old enough to participate and my hair is finally back, we felt like it was the right time,” said Aline, noting that family and friends are thrilled on their wedding day.
“They are delighted that we are adding such a unique wedding story to our untold love story.”
While weddings will be as sweet as a hot apple pie, Stéphanie is already thinking beyond “yes”. And yes, these are fries.
“I’m excited for my McNugget meal.”