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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Love Among the Nuggets: McWeddings on the Rise in Hong Kong


In other countries, McDonald's franchises sell different things.  Big Macs are made with lamb in much of India.  In Greece, a Greek Mac consists of several smaller patties tucked into a pita.  In Hong Kong, you can get a burger sandwiched between compressed sheets of glutinous rice.  At a McDonald's in Hong Kong, you can also get married.
The Royale treatment: This couple became the first to marry at a McDonald's restaurant earlier this year

I'm shaking: The happy meal couple share a slurp at their wedding buffet
I'm shaking: The happy meal couple share a slurp at their wedding buffet

While they were quietly launched last January, "McWeddings" are quickly emerging as a fad among members of Hong Kong's young, fast-moving set.  The "Warm and Sweet Wedding Package" works out to a little over $1282 per service, a price that includes inexpensive wedding gifts, pink invitation cards branded, naturally, with the company's distinctive yellow arches, decorations featuring the Hamburglar and other iconic characters, and an unholy heap of McDonald's menu classics.  For an extra $165, the bride can rent a "white balloon" gown.  A balloon wedding cake will cost an additional $88.  For a bright pink McDonald's-themed backdrop, the couple must fork over a $321 supplement.

According to Reuters, "McWeddings" may actually make sense for cash-strapped lovers:
"With two wedding parties confirmed for this year and around 70 other couples in talks, the American fast food giant is hoping this sideline will take off at a time of economic uncertainty, particularly with traditional Chinese weddings and banquets often imposing a huge financial burden on young couples."
What we want to know is, a year from now, will the same franchises give these couples the opportunity to divorce with the same speed and ketchup-flecked cuteness with which they got hitched? We're thinking that each marriage should come with a coupon for divorce lawyers willing to work for unlimited shakes and half their normal hourly rates: if the coupon is redeemed before the 1st of the following year.