Thinking Outside the McBox

I try to read the New York Times weddings section every Sunday. There are some wonderful stories about the romantic lives of real people. Are they the same age? Are they the same sex? Where did they go to school? Where did they meet? Where did they marry?

Typically, the couples are married in a house of worship, or a hotel, or a party venue of some kind. I don’t believe I’ve ever read about a wedding taking place in McDonald’s.

Now comes a story about the restaurant chain’s newest offering in Hong Kong: weddings. Apparently, weddings are big business in Hong Kong. But many couples have to save for years or go into debt to pull one off.

McWeddings are less expensive than the typical cost of a Hong Kong wedding:$1,280 vs. $29,200. The McWedding package includes food and drink for 50 people and includes a “cake” made of stacked apple pies, gifts for guests and invitations…although you can forget the champagne. But you can raise your milkshake instead.

According to Chinese University of Hong Kong anthropologist Gordon Matthews, a McWedding appeals to Hong Kong brides and grooms because they grew up studying at McDonald’s, which was deemed a safe haven and kept them off the streets. “A McDonald’s wedding wouldn’t be seen as tacky here,” he said.

Hats off…er, bridal veils off to McDonald’s for its clever thinking, and for its superb PR placement in the newspaper of record.

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