How do you picture your perfect wedding day?
I tend to envisage the more traditional setting; white dress, church, cake, confetti and the like.
What I don’t conjure up in my whimsical imaginings is a Big Mac.
It’s not exactly standard wedding fare. Unless you’re newly married couple Joseph and Louise Shapton that is…
The newlyweds opted to incorporate a McDonalds' meal on their wedding day, organising a reception in one of its Hertfordshire restaurants for 30 guests following their nuptials in a registry office. They did go for the traditional white dress and cake, but they added the unusual McDonalds twist to cater for their friends and family.
This wasn’t a random occurrence. There is a backstory – the couple had their first date in a McDonalds and still visit three times a week.
Amazingly they’re not the first, merely ‘one of the first,’ to hold a McReception, as a few employees have chosen to do so in the past.
As a former McWorker, I can only marvel at the crew members that opted for this. When I was flipping burgers, literally the last place I’d want to tie the knot was out on the lobby. I’d probably have preferred to tie a knot in a noose and hang myself over the fry vat in truth. But that's because I worked there...I'm sure it's different for mere patrons.
McDonalds has had a rocky relationship with PR over the years. The wilderness years of the Morgan Spurlock ‘Super Size Me’ documentary were a particular low point, but its 100% beef mantra saw it come out of the horsemeat scandal smelling of…well, beef. Which was certainly better than horsemeat.
This wedding is a nice PR win for a permanently embattled brand. The rolling wave of healthy eating has swamped McDonalds, but not sunk it. The storm of gluten free, vegetarian veganism continues to rage around it, but it’s bobbing away and staying afloat. A PR life ring in the form of a wedding ring is a welcome sight.
But despite this, I’m sure the majority of us would read the story with a raised eyebrow and a certain sense of Jeremy Kyle-esque superiority.
Even in the midst of a shambolic wedding reception, involving fists, and furious relatives, the groom could always whisper: “Don’t worry, love. It could be worse. We could be having the reception at McDonalds…”
But who am I to judge? The majority of us pass under the golden arches at some time or other. I commend Joseph and Louise for staying true to themselves. They love McDonalds, they’re happy on their wedding day and that’s what matters.
I’m sure McDonalds is grateful for their continued patronage, and certainly grateful for a PR boost. Looking at the wedding photos, they might not appear to be paragons of healthy living (barbed Mail Online comments leave this in no doubt) but they’re clearly huge fans of McDonalds, and fans who are willing to champion their fast food restaurant of choice. As a business, you want as many promoters of your brand as possible and the Shaptons are definite 10's on McDonalds Net Promoter Score.
Good luck to them and here’s to their future!