A couple who recently took the plunge decided they would do so feet a away from fresh produce and the dairy section.
On Nov. 9, Southgate, Michigan residents Michael and Jessica Hurd (née Bojanowski) got married at an Aldi, the first couple to ever do so in one of the grocery chain’s locations. The happy couple exchanged vows at the brand’s Aldi Insights Center in Batavia, Illinois, which was transformed into a wedding venue for the big day.
The newlyweds were winners of a contest Aldi ran back in August searching for a couple who were willing to let Aldi throw their wedding for them in one of its locations. After up to 500 applicants submitted short essays highlighting why they deserved the opportunity, the Hurds were chosen.
This week, they received their prize: a free-of-charge wedding, complete with hair and makeup for the ceremony, a professional photographer and more.
“Getting married at Aldi feels like a dream come true,” Michael and Jessica Hurd told TODAY Food, adding that the supermarket has always been a key part of their relationship because they work opposite schedules and weekends are the only time they get to really see each other.
“We’ve always cherished our Sunday morning shopping ‘dates’ at Aldi. It’s something we look forward to doing together each week. As soon as we heard about the contest to get married in an Aldi, we both agreed it was fate,” they said.
The Hurds even got to walk away with a wedding gift: a year’s worth of free groceries, care of Aldi. That means Jessica and Michael, who have been together for nine years, can truly enjoy their first weekends as husband and wife without putting a strain on their wallets, at least when it comes to supermarket shopping.
“Neither of us were looking for love at the time and it took a few months of friendship and late nights together at work for either of us to realize that we had an undeniable spark between us,” said Jessica, who met Michael while working with him at a local bar in 2013. “It wasn’t until I asked Michael out after learning he, too, was a fellow Aldi fan. It was fate … right place, right time. Aldi has always been a staple of our relationship and in our home.”
I had the distinct pleasure of attending the ceremony — virtually, of course — but that didn’t stop the tears from welling in my eyes watching the happy couple. (I’m actually being serious; it was very nice.)
As “Somebody To Love” by Queen was played by a live string section, the wedding party walked down the aisle, including three precious flower girls tossing petals onto the aisle. Once the bride joined the groom in front of family and friends, the wedding officiant, Aldi’s own marketing manager, delivered a grocery-pun-filled monologue that was at once hilarious and touching.
“Whether this is your first time or 100th time at an Aldi store: Welcome. We’re gathered today to witness and celebrate the marriage of Jessica and Michael, exactly nine years their first date. This is the dream wedding they never knew existed,” said Matthew Case, marketing manager for Aldi and the day’s master of ceremonies. “Their love is filled to the brim with kindness, mutual respect and the kind of comfort we thought was only found in a bowl of Park Street Deli Macaroni and Cheese.”
Then, after readings from family, Case instructed the couple to exchange their vows.
“The last nine years we’ve shared together have been the best of my life and I am grateful that I get to spend the rest of my tomorrows loving you,” said the bride to her groom while taking moments to wipe back tears.
The groom similarly had touching words to say and his vows to his now-wife.
“I know I found my one, that one who encompasses all the same core values, sees quality in the small things a good difference with you, I have no fear that the chaos of the world could ever overshadow the simplicity of our love,” said Michael, with a happy sniffle. “You make me want to be the best version of myself and I strive to make you happy. “
“And since Jessica plans to keep their home full of Red Thunder and chips and dip for midnight snacking, we know Michael will continue to surprise Jessica with flowers,” Case said to laughter from the grocery store congregation. “May there always be enough Winking Owl Wine to sip while you and cooking recipes from your Aldi cookbook.”
Then, the bride helped her groom take out the rings from his jacket because he appeared to be a little nervous, which frankly was adorable.
“Just like a Mama Cozzi’s pizza, these rings are unbroken circles with ends that have been joined together to represent your union. It is a symbol of infinity and of your infinite love,” he said as they placed rings on each other’s fingers. And just like that: They were married.
After the couple said their “I do’s,” Aldi provided a reception filled with signature Aldi goodies, including Aldi-themed wedding favors, a storefront photoshoot and a branded tiered wedding cake. Family, friends and other loved ones snacked on Aldi food and drink. And the Hurds couldn’t be happier with how the whole thing turned out.
“Our very first date was November 9, exactly 9 years ago. So when we found out the wedding would be on the anniversary of our first date and at Aldi, we knew it was made to be,” said the happy couple. “We still can’t believe we had the opportunity to get married in one of our favorite places, surrounded by all our family and friends.”
This article was originally published on TODAY.com