When long-time Cambridge couple Stephanie Garcia and Phil Hammond said their “I dos” Tuesday, it wasn’t in a church before pews full of family and friends, it wasn’t in a picturesque setting on a beach in the tropics, or a shady cottage backyard.
The couple, with their four children at their side, said their vows from the front seats of a white Mustang convertible at the drive-thru window at the McDonalds on Hespeler Road in Cambridge, a packed parking lot of family and friends cheering them on.
And that’s exactly how they wanted it.
Steph and Phil met at McDonalds as crew members 14 years ago, fell in love and are raising four kids together, one of which carried the moniker Little Mac until they dubbed him Braydon.
“Finally,” Steph said with a laugh after enjoying a happy meal with her kids, taking questions from a throng of local and national media there to capture the historic moment.
“It’s been a long time coming," she said. "I’m really excited. It was perfect for our story.”
Steph said they’d been wanting to get married “forever” but plans always got put off with competing work schedules and four children to raise. And then COVID hit.
But, in late July, Steph read about the 'Drive-thru Say I Do' contest McDonalds Canada was offering to couples who wanted a chance to get married under the Golden Arches.
She eagerly applied, telling their unique, McDonalds story and were selected, along with another couple from Hamilton, to celebrate their nuptials at the Hespeler Road location.
Friend and McDonalds co-worker Brianne Horne said she was as surprised as anyone to learn her friends wanted to get hitched at the drive-thru window, but she soon thought how fitting it was.
“Because everything’s been about McDonalds for them,” she said.
“I think it was quite fun. I’ve dubbed it the Hamburgler wedding,” Horne laughed, adding she was expecting Grimace to make an appearance since purple is Steph’s favourite colour.
Stephanie’s brother Darryl Garcia said he learned about his sister’s plans when he happened to be standing next to their dad when she called with the news.
“I was feeding off his reaction,” he says. When he got on the phone, he knew immediately it was the perfect setting for the couple to say their vows.
“The opportunity was right up their alley. It was something they wanted to do for a long time.”
Asked if he thinks the micro-wedding concept might become a trend at fast food chains, Garcia agreed it could become a thing, but he doesn’t know if any of the others can pull it off like McDonalds just did.