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Denny's
An artist's rendering of the exteriior of the new Las Vegas Denny's, which will offer weddings — and breakfast — 24 hours a day.
By
TODAY contributor
updated 10/16/2012 4:34:18 PM ET 2012-10-16T20:34:18

Many little girls dream of their weddings — the white dress, flowers, beautiful ring, and a Denny’s Grand Slam. Wait, what, a Grand Slam?

That's right. Starting in early 2013, customers at Denny’s new 6,400-square foot Las Vegaas diner will be able to scarf down some pancakes, eggs and bacon and then saunter over to the wedding chapel to get hitched.

“We’re all about people coming together and being with each other and having fun at all hours of the day or night,” Denny’s CMO Frances Allen told TODAY.com. “We set out to design the diner of the 21st century [where people can] be themselves … and even get married.”

Nice day for a weird wedding: 12 wacky nuptials

The new restaurant, located in in the Neonopolis shopping center on Fremont Street, will employ a licensed marriage officiator to preside over weddings, which can happen 24 hours a day. Wedding photos? No problem. Patrons can pop into a photo booth and upload them to social media. (Photo booths at weddings seem to be all the rage so Denny’s has the current wedding trends covered.)

“For our wedding chapel, we wanted to create a space within a very gorgeous dining room that would feel intimate, yet fun, and really provide the couple the flexibility for any kind of wedding they wanted,” Allen said.

The details of wedding packages, including price, have not yet been set, but Allen does confirm that the company is perfecting a wedding cake made of Pancake Puppies, the chain's signature breaskfast appetizer — crispy balls of pancake that are fried and then rolled in powdered sugar.

Weddings won’t start until the first quarter of 2013 because Denny’s wants to make sure the restaurant runs smoothly for a few months after its mid-to-late November opening.

Denny's
Artist's rendering of the diner at night. This Denny’s will boast an expanded menu, a full bar, and interactive features.

This won't be the first Denny's to host a wedding. Allens said for years Denny’s restaurants around the country have hosted weddings for couples that love the diner; many of them met at Denny’s or went on their first date there.

The Denny's chapel joins a growing list of Sin City alternatives to the traditional Elvis-officiated wedding. For $99 the Las Vegas Wedding Wagon will marry couples at any sidewalk or roadside landmark they want. Couples visiting Vegas can also get married in a helicopter, on private ship, in a gondola, limo, or a naked rooftop wedding.

Forget Elvis! Sin City’s latest wedding chapel is on wheels

But Denny’s feels as if their wedding chapel will bring people together: “We wanted to go back to our heritage and celebrate that we were the original diner … we were the original social network,” Allen said.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Video: They’ve had 24 weddings in 24 places worldwide

  1. Closed captioning of: They’ve had 24 weddings in 24 places worldwide

    >>> is enough work as it is. so imagine doing it over and over again in dozens of ceremonies. well, that's what one couple is doing as they travel the world. and we're going to meet them in a moment. but first, nbc's kristen dahlgren has their story.

    >> reporter: while most people dream of an endless honeymoon, lisa and alex may have figured out the secret. hey baby i think i want to marry you

    >> getting married over and over and over.

    >> hopeless romantic.

    >> yeah.

    >> reporter: 24 times and counting. it started as a lark.

    >> we always blame it on the wine.

    >> reporter: a plan to travel around the world.

    >> we said how about we look for a place to get married. marry me

    >> reporter: but they couldn't narrow it down, so after alex surprised her with a ceremony at home in england.

    >> i laughed and punched him.

    >> reporter: the couple took off to canada where they were married on horseback, on a beach, even the vancouver airport . they bought a 25-year-old camper they call peggy. can and headed south. peggy took part in a drive-thru wedding in vegas. and added to the adventure in central america .

    >> so we've broken down again.

    >> reporter: they've tangoed in argentina, waded with dolphins in hawaii, and took the plunge in mexico. lisa often wears the same dress, but they also adopt the local dress and customs. riding a donkey in colombia, or wearing the tattoos of a tribe in africa. megan findlay helped dress them in vampire costumes on halloween in l.a.

    >> they're so incredibly in love and vibrant and fun and you want to participate and help out because you want to be a part of something beautiful.

    >> you must kiss the bride .

    >> reporter: it's the response they've gotten around the world from complete strangers who have donated photography, food, or performed the ceremonies.

    >> the places are brilliant, don't get me wrong, but it's the people that we meet and we've become such close friends .

    >> it has definitely been quite an adventure, but what might surprise you most about lisa and alex is after all these weddings, they're not legally married yet.

    >> the idea is that after all these weddings, we choose our favorite place and go back.

    >> reporter: but that won't happen until 2014 . they have a lot more weddings ahead. and every single one still makes lisa tremble.

    >> still nervous.

    >> we're publicly declaring to each other that we're going to be together forever. just say i do

    >> reporter: the journey of a lifetime just getting started. for "today," nbc news, los angeles .

    >> and lisa and alex join us now. good morning to you.

    >> hi.

    >> i guess everybody's got to have a hobby. so obviously you're well matched, you love to travel, you're adventurers. why is getting married an essential part of that?

    >> we don't need to get married, we wanted to do the trip anyway. and we thought instead of seeing all the churches and all the museums and things like that, we would do something unusual. and basically started off looking somewhere to get married. one night we had too many glasses of wine and out of nowhere came the idea to have a small ceremony in each place we visit in line with the local culture and tradition. it's been a perfect way to meet people, local people, not just of the travelers. but, you know, people that are from the countries we're visiting and it's been an amazing experience so far.

    >> here's a question i don't ask every day. is the 24th wedding as special as the first?

    >> yes. definitely. every time we get nervous and get the sweaty palms. and it's the anticipation of the whole thing, the build-up to the day. we've planned it all, meeting new friends. it definitely is.

    >> always feels new because it's a new place, new people, new tradition.

    >> it's so neat, you had so many wonderful experiences. i know everybody at home is thinking, let's talk logistics. how do you pull this off? first of all, this looks great, weddings are expensive.

    >> it's not about the money. it's about people giving their time. we borrow outfits and we just ask to go to locations for short amounts of time. and it's just about people getting involved, it's not about the money.

    >> no, i think one of our favorite cost $8. it doesn't cost anything, great people coming together and making something special. but the logistics is crazy.

    >> you know, e-mail photographers mainly and say this is what we're doing, do you want to be involved?

    >> do you do the same vows every time? do you switch it up?

    >> we take the information from the, you know, from the local people.

    >> are you ever like, hey, alex , you can work on those vows. there's room for improvement .

    >> it's not so bad. i think we've only written our vows to each other maybe once or twice. other times it's people holding the ceremony and asking us questions and talking.

    >> what do you parents think? aren't they like, when are these crazy kids going to get married. not have a wedding, get married.

    >> when we started off, we accidentally got married before they got there, so we're holding off.

    >> you'll be pros by the time this is all said and done. and we should mention that they're using their story to raise money for unicef. coming up next, a

Explainer: 12 of the world’s wackiest weddings

  • Image: Newlyweds Batman and Wonder Woman, also known as Neil Vaughan and Sharon Wetherell
    Adam Gerrard  /  SWNS

    Your wedding day is supposed to be your day — one of the most pivotal days in your lives.

    Right?

    If that’s really true, then why not join the throngs of couples who are choosing to live out wild, fanciful or downright silly dreams in conjunction with their nuptials? Doing so could have a practical benefit: It could save you big bucks. In these recessionary times, many have been shunning lavish weddings and opting for unique ones instead.

    Here are 12 recent examples of utterly wacky — and utterly memorable — weddings. Click “next” at the left to start your (strange) trip down the aisle.

  • Holy matrimony, Batman!

    Image: Newlyweds Batman and Wonder Woman, also known as Neil Vaughan and Sharon Wetherell
    Adam Gerrard  /  SWNS

    For those of you out there who always sensed that Batman and Wonder Woman would make a great couple: It’s happened!

    On July 31, Sharon Wetherell and Neil Vaughan of Devon, England, tied the knot while all dressed up as their favorite superheroes. As “Wonder Woman” theme music blared, Wetherell, 40, made a grand entrance at the ceremony wearing blue hot pants, a red corset, flashy boots and a tiara and veil that cost her about $160. The groom’s face-obscuring Batman costume set him back about $290.

    The couple’s friends and family also got gussied up as superheroes. Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Robin, Poison Ivy, Lara Croft, the Joker, Bananaman and the Incredibles were all in attendance.

    “Our wedding was absolutely amazing and it cost us less than some couples would spend on just the dress,” Mrs. Vaughan said in the British newspaper The Daily Mail. “We were not allowed to see each other’s costumes before the big day, but when I did see Neil he looked fantastic as Batman. ... It was such a great day.”

  • No cold feet at T.J. Maxx wedding

    Image: Lisa Satayut and Drew Ellis at their T.J. Maxx wedding
    Bill Pugliano  /  AP for TJ Maxx

    Who doesn’t get excited about the prospect of bagging a bargain? Bride Lisa Satayut decided to combine that feeling with her excitement over bagging her beau.

    Explaining that T.J. Maxx is her “happy place,” Satayut married Drew Ellis in July in the size 8 shoe aisle of a T.J. Maxx store in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

    The bride — a self-proclaimed “'Maxxinista” — wore a strapless white chiffon gown, with long black gloves and bright green gladiator-style sandals. A widened aisle, vine-covered arch and white chairs with red bows highlighted the traditional ceremony that included string music, display-dodging cameramen — and curious shoppers who stopped bargain hunting long enough to watch.

    Related video: With this bargain, I thee wed at T.J. Maxx

  • Happy ogre after

    Image: Vivian and Tracey Williams with dressed up wedding guests
    Wales News Service

    Tracey and Vivian Williams, a happy couple from Wales, tied the knot in May by dressing up as two of their favorite movie characters: the green ogres Shrek and Princess Fiona. Tracey Williams, 33, told the British newspaper The Daily Mail that the themed wedding idea suited her and her new husband perfectly.

    “Our friends always used to say we looked like the characters when we went on nights out,” she said. “Even though Shrek and Fiona are both green ogres, we didn’t take it offensively because we like them so much.”

    The couple actually saw a “Shrek” movie on their first date and have been loyal fans ever since. To get ready for the big day, the pair covered themselves in green body paint and affixed fake green ears to the tops of their heads. Tracey donned a bright red wig to complete the Princess Fiona look, and Vivian sported checked trousers.

    The Williams’ wedding guests got in on the fun, with the best man dressing up as Monsieur Hood, the bride’s father going as Lord Farquaad, the bride’s mother playing the Fairy Godmother and the maid of honor playing Snow White.

    Related story: Pair dress as Shrek, Fiona for wedding

  • Kiss the bride – if you can find her

    Image: Marvin Hunter and Kim Silver in a tree stand
    Mike Moynihan
    An Iowa couple whose passion for bowhunting encouraged Cupid's arrow to strike wore camouflage to blend in with the wooded backdrop at their treetop wedding.

    Kim Silver, 42, dressed in a silk gown made by camouflage specialists Mossy Oak, and her 61-year-old groom, Marvin Hunter, was dressed in camo shirt and pants at the June nuptials.

    They said their vows atop a tree stand hunting platform. The bride and groom occasionally punctuated the ceremony by firing arrows at targets. Hunter said the couple had always joked about getting married on a tree stand. Silver said the pair hunt together so much that the camo wedding "just seemed like the right thing to do."

  • A viral dance sensation

    Image: Wedding party dancing down the aisle
    TODAY

    Most couples wait until the reception before breaking out into the Funky Chicken on their wedding day, but Kevin Heinz and Jill Peterson figured, why wait to unleash their unbridled joy?

    The 28-year-olds floored their wedding guests by having their whole bridal party — including seven bridesmaids, five groomsmen and four ushers — boogie down the aisle in a choreographed dance more at home in a Broadway musical than in a somber church.

    Groomsmen split into sides as Heinz did a somersault in front of the wowed crowd — and the gown-clad Peterson quickly followed, shaking her hips to Chris Brown’s “Forever” while pumping her bridal bouquet into the air during the June 20, 2009, ceremony in St. Paul, Minn.

    The wedding party rehearsed the dance for just 90 minutes.

    Of course, some things are too good to keep to yourself. And when Kevin posted the wedding dance routine on YouTube, it quickly became a viral hit, with hundreds of thousands of people sharing in the couple’s novel way of showing their matrimonial joy.

    Related video: Wedding party boogies down the aisle

  • 110 bridesmaids set world record

    Image: Jill Stapleton with 110 bridesmaids
    TODAY

    Some people think five or six bridesmaids are a lot. But how about 110? Jill Stapleton, an Ohio gymnastics teacher, set a world record in June when she invited all of her young students to be her bridesmaids at her wedding.

    “We were actually going to go away for our wedding but this wedding day is more important to a lot of these little girls and boys back here that have made my dreams come true,” Stapleton said. “This is our dream wedding.”

    Stapleton married Chad Greenhill, a Marshall University cheerleader. The previous record was 90 bridesmaids.

  • An aisle of light bulbs, grills

    Image: Carolyn Weatherly and Audwin Mosby
    Courtesy Audwin Joaquin Mosby
    The bride wore white. The guests wore orange smocks.

    A Southern California couple wed in June in front of more than 100 guests at a Home Depot store where they work.

    The wedding party for 56-year-old Carolyn Weatherly and Audwin Mosby, who’s 55, marched down an aisle of light bulbs, grills and paint to the outdoor garden section.

    A wedding arbor and stage had been built from the store’s lumber and supplies.

    The bride said the store in Lake Forest is like a second home and her colleagues are like family.

    "I feel awesome," Mosby told the Orange County Register. "This is the best thing that has happened to me in a long, long time."

  • Sweet, sugary love

    Image: Jared and Jerri Guinther eating doughnuts at wedding
    Sara Terese Heise

    Voodoo Doughnut, a wildly popular indulgence with two locations in Portland, Ore., has an entire menu dedicated to wedding services. That menu includes a variety of matrimonial options, such as this “Legal Voodoo Wedding” package for $200: “Legal wedding ceremony, coffee & doughnuts for 24 people, 700-square-foot chapel, free parking & doughnut centerpiece.”

    The doughnut shops have married off more than 300 couples, sending hearts racing with both romance and sugar intake. Pictured here are Jared and Jerri Guinther enjoying their sweet nuptials.

  • Jaws of love

    Image: April Pignataro and Michael Curry in shark tank
    WNBC
    Talk about taking the plunge. April Pignataro and Michael Curry opted to be lowered in a steel cage into a shark tank to exchange their wedding vows in June.

    The bride wore a white wetsuit; the groom wore a black one. The experienced divers spoke their vows into radio headgear transmitted to a minister outside the tank while about 75 guests watched from behind glass. The 120,000-gallon tank at Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead, N.Y., includes sand tiger sharks, nurse sharks, moray eels and a massive Queensland grouper.

    Both Pignataro and Curry said the concept of a shark tank wedding thrilled them. “We both love the ocean, we love the water ... and yes, the idea of an underwater wedding, not to mention one surrounded by sharks at an aquarium, is different and unique, but that is also exactly who we are,” Pignataro told NBCNewYork.

  • 'I do' in Aisle 2

    Image: Jack Frankel and Fina Nikolos at wedding
    Mike Stocker  /  SunSentinel.com
    One couple decided to tie the knot where they first met: Whole Foods Market.

    Jack Frankel, 75, and 67-year-old Fina Nikolos met in May 2009 at the supermarket in Coral Springs, Fla. It had been raining when Frankel noticed a beautiful woman pass him. Nikolos offered to walk him to his car with an umbrella. He later thanked her by taking her out to lunch.

    In January 2010, the two returned to the place where their love began for a small wedding ceremony in the store's cafe. About 40 people attended the ceremony as store employees and customers watched and smiled. The couple held each other close during the ceremony, shedding a few tears. They also exchanged emotional vows. Nikolos was too overcome to finish hers aloud.

    According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, this was the first time customers wed in a Whole Foods Market in Florida, though employees have gotten married there.

    Frankel told reporters that the most irresistible thing about his bride is her eyes. “She looks at me with those Spanish eyes and I melt,” he said.

  • I now pronounce you bride and ghoul

    Image: Jack Holsinger and Connie Spitznagel
    Alicia Castelli  /  The Chronicle-Telegram

    Why don’t more bridal magazines suggest this as the perfect theme for an October wedding?

    In October 2009, Jack Holsinger, 61, and Connie Spitznagel, 44, dressed as pale-faced vampires for their Halloween-themed ceremony at a haunted house near Cleveland, Ohio. Holsinger arrived in a coffin inside a hearse, and the coffin was carried to the altar by six pallbearers. Minister Greg Kopp was dressed as Jason in the "Friday the 13th" movies. After the vows were exchanged, he ordered Holsinger not to kiss his new bride but instead to bite her on the neck.

    The couple vowed to love each other and haunt and howl at the moon together. Like typical mortal couples, the groom said he just wanted his bride to be happy.

    “This is her first wedding,” Holsinger said. “She had a common-law marriage the first time around, so she never really got a wedding. It’s what she wanted and it’s about her. It’s her time. Whatever she wanted.”

  • Will you Mario me?

    msnbc.com

    Proving that love is a game that two can play — a video game, that is — Bobbi VanZante and Elijah Slagter of Pella, Iowa, decided on a unique theme for their wedding: Super Mario Brothers. Slaget, the groom, will dress as Mario, of course, and VanZante will be costumed as the lovely Princess Peach.

    The father of the bride will be dressed up as Bowser, even though he’s the villain of the Mario universe. “It’s kind of part of the game,” VanZante explained to NBC’s Megan Reuther. “Bowser and all his buddies steal Princess Peach.” So who better to give the bride away to her groom?

    VanZante’s mother, Lori Mullen, was good-natured about the Mario madness, which included such details as making turtle shells out of bicycle helmets. “It fits both of them,” she said. “It’ll be a fun day and good remembrance.”

    Reached for comment inside a Nintendo gaming system, the real Mario commented: “It’s a-me, Mario!”

Photos: Punching bag? Fishing net? New uses for an ex's wedding dress

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  1. All about healing

    When his wife walked out on him after 12 years of marriage, Kevin Cotter of Tucson, Ariz., needed to find a way to cope. On a blog called MyExWifesWeddingDress.com, he began chronicling his search for 101 practical ways for a newly single guy to use an ex-wife's wedding gown. Hilarity ensued – and so did a book deal. Cotter’s new book, “101 Uses for My Ex-Wife’s Wedding Dress,” is set for release on Oct. 25. Read on for Cotter’s eye-popping examples and descriptions of what a used wedding dress can do. (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Dog leash

    “A wedding dress makes a great leash with a loose collar for a larger dog. You’ll need to use a lot of dress to make a strong knot, but it is well worth the effort,” Kevin Cotter writes in his new book. “Lenny seemed incredibly proud to be strolling around the park in a wedding dress leash when I treated both of us to a walk that day.” (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Punching bag

    "A punching bag is a great addition to any post-divorce workout plan," Kevin Cotter said. "Just stuff it with something (I used sleeping bags), hang it, and punch away." (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Sports banner

    Kevin Cotter loves sports, and as a graduate of the University of Arizona, he loves UofA. When he and his brother headed out to the UofA homecoming football game, they brought the wedding dress along with them. "A wedding dress makes an excellent banner to support your favorite team," Cotter explained. "Just be prepared for some questions when you try to bring it into the stadium." (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Snow camouflage

    "Look closely at this picture," Cotter said. "I'm hard to spot in my wedding dress snow camo." (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Shower curtain

    "A wedding dress shower curtain wouldn't perform great for long showers because it isn't waterproof," Cotter said. "But it works great for me because I live in the desert and take short showers." (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. MC Hammer pants

    "All I can say about my MC Hammer pants is: You can't touch this." -- Kevin Cotter (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Fishing net

    "Thanks to my buddy Ellis I caught, I believe, the first trout in the history of the world to be netted by a wedding dress," Cotter said. (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Turban

    "A wedding dress turban is guaranteed to attract odd looks at Starbucks," Cotter said. "But it also scored me free coffee so I would call the outing a success." (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Christmas tree skirt

    It's hard to imagine a finer Christmas tree skirt than a used wedding dress – particularly when Santa has Tecate and Guinness to deliver. (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Surrender flag

    "I actually thought about waving the surrender flag a couple of times during my wedding dress project," Cotter said. "But I am glad I saw the dress complete 101 (plus) uses." (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Moving on

    Kevin Cotter, 38, got married again to Ashley Nowe, 28, on June 18, 2011 -- about two years after his first wife left him and left her wedding dress behind. "Ashley’s dress doesn’t have the potential that my ex-wife’s dress does in terms of its capability," Cotter said. "It has no tulle, which I think rules out straining pasta, straining juice – all the net-related activities are ruled out." (Courtesy of Kevin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Laughing again

    Kevin Cotter met his new wife, Ashley Nowe, on Match.com. "I could tell from our early emails that we had similar senses of humor," Cotter said. “She said earlier in our relationship that if it worked out and one day we were to be married, it would have to be a beach wedding and she would wear a thong bikini. She said she would not risk leaving me with any amount of material for a sequel. ... But in the end, she was brave. She wore a dress.” (Courtesy of Kevin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
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