It's the place that marks the beginning of the end for most couples as they fight over cabinets, getting lost and the last meatball, but Shirley Stewart and Berkeley Smith marked the start of their married life together at the Ikea in New Jersey. They are the most recent couple to have a wedding in IKEA but are certainly not the only ones (yes, we know), and they chose the store as that is where they met eight years ago.
It has all the hallmarks of a modern love story. Stewart was shopping in Ikea with her 14-year-old daughter Jashirele who had been suspended from school. As they shopped, they suddenly spotted Smith. Both mother and daughter agreed that he was "cute" and hovered in the background while they tried to see if he had a wedding ring. Eventually Jashirele went over and asked for his number for her mother.
Stewart, talking to the New Jersey Star-Ledger Sunday said: "He asked me, 'Is this your daughter? I don't give little girls my phone number, did you want it?' And I panicked, I think I turned purple."
What other weird places have people got married?
The bride and groom had to ask for special permission, and talking to Good Morning America, she said: "I called and explained we wanted it to be just him and I in that section, and just take a picture and that's it."
Rather than walking down the aisle, the bride was taken through the whole store before ending up in the frame section, which is usually in the marketplace part of the store. They were then given a suitcase with 'Just Married' written on it, filled with gifts donated by IKEA.
For other Ikea fans who aren't willing to fully commit to a wedding instore, Ikea also do wedding gift lists. What do you think of Ikea weddings?
A Dollar Store
<a href="http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2009/09/99_cent_only_wedding.php" target="_hplink">A 99 Cents Only Store in Hollywood</a> decided to make September 9, 2009 (09/09/09) a very special day for engaged couples (nine of them, to be exact.) For the low cost of 99 cents, each couple said their "I Do's" in aisle 9 of the discount store, which provided all the décor for the wedding ceremony and reception--from their very own inventory.
A Donut Shop
At Portland's <a href="http://voodoodoughnut.com/index.php" target="_hplink">Voodoo Doughnut</a>, you can stop by for a maple-bacon donut--or even a legal wedding ceremony, if you'd like. With an entire <a href="http://voodoodoughnut.com/weddings.php" target="_hplink">section of the menu</a> just dedicated to wedding services, couples can tie the knot <a href="o http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/20/nation/la-na-hometown-portland-20110220" target="_hplink">next to a sugary doughnut centerpiece</a>, coffee included.
In <a href="http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/survivor-vanuatu-winner-chris-daugherty-marries-on-daytona-speedway-victory-lane-3254.php" target="_hplink">February 2005</a>, "Survivor: Vanuatu" winner <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1006714,00.html" target="_hplink">Chris Daugherty</a> and bride Lorie Groves <a href="o http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/6964183/ns/sports-motor_sports/" target="_hplink">exchanged vows</a> at the Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. NASCAR driver Mark Martin <a href="o http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/6964183/ns/sports-motor_sports/" target="_hplink">served as honorary best man</a> at the ceremony on the racetrack.
A Taco Bell
In <a href="o http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/11/taco-bell-wedding-couple_n_156963.html" target="_hplink">2009</a>, Paul and Caragh Brooks decided to celebrate their <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/11/taco-bell-wedding-couple_n_156963.html?" target="_hplink">"offbeat relationship"</a> at one of their favorite local joints -- Taco Bell. Employees decorated the restaurant for the couple with streamers, balloons and hot sauce packets with the words "Will you marry me?" The two <a href="o http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/11/taco-bell-wedding-couple_n_156963.html" target="_hplink">exchanged vows while customers ordered tacos and burritos</a> at the Normal, Illinois fast-food joint.
A Nudist Resort
Why deal with the fuss of a wedding gown when you can just wed in the nude? For some uninhibited couples, a nudist resort has always been the most natural destination to be married. In <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1170839.stm" target="_hplink">2001</a>, eleven tourist couples stripped down to their birthday suits to be married in an <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1170839.stm" target="_hplink" target="_hplink">event publicized as "the world's largest nude wedding."</a>