‘Marry We’: A Valentine’s Day group wedding in Piedmont Park
By Hannah E. Jones
If you’re strolling through Piedmont Park next Tuesday, you might see some Atlantans saying “I do.” Actually, you will see quite a few folks tying the knot. This Valentine’s Day, about 15 local couples will head to Piedmont Park to be married by Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens — all at once.
“Marry We” is a blend of a classic wedding and an elopement — with the untraditional nuptials featuring elements of a standard wedding like portraits and reception, only on a grand scale. The event is hosted by the Southern Hospitality Event Group.
On the big day, the couples will arrive at the park around 4 p.m. to take outdoor portraits. From there, Mayor Dickens will lead the ceremony where all couples will be wed in unison. Next, the couples and their guests will head to Piedmont Park’s Greystone building for a reception with dinner, cocktails, cake and a DJ.
“Mayor Dickens is the ideal officiant,” Southern Hospitality Event Group Principal Crystal Love said. “I hear him say a lot that Atlanta is the city too busy to hate and if we’re not hating, then I guess we’re all about love.”
Love added that she chose Piedmont Park because sees the park as “synonymous with Atlanta.” With the last name “Love,” she certainly seems like the right person to plan a mass wedding.
The team expects around 15 couples for a total of 30 newlyweds. Each group can bring up to four guests, which should make for a fairly large celebration. The mass elopement is open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, religion or race. Couples who are already married can also join to renew their vows.
“If it’s legal for you to get married in the state of Georgia, we welcome you,” Love said. “‘Marry We’ is for any and everyone who wants to celebrate their love. We’re a very non-traditional wedding experience, so we’re excited about being able to celebrate love in any way it shows up.”
This is the Southern Hospitality Event Group’s first mass wedding, but Love plans to host them semiannually in Atlanta and eventually expand to other cities.
Folks have until Sunday, Feb. 12 to sign up. The price for each couple is $1,000, which includes the cost of a marriage license with the Probate Court of Fulton County.
“I’m going to do my best not to cry, but I always cry at weddings,” Love said. “We really want them to feel special. They should, they deserve it. They’ve found the love of their lives, and we are excited about helping them celebrate that.”
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