An Australian couple exchanged their vows just feet from the exchange counter at their local Costco wholesale store on Saturday.
Sue Berkeley's dedication to the wholesale store turned her and her groom, Eli Bob, into worldwide celebrities this week — and, appropriately given the venue, saved them money while inviting guests in bulk. So what if they walked down the aisle that happened to double as the all-season tire aisle? (No word yet on if they filled out a Costco wedding registry.)
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“I’d say it was the most romantic thing to happen in the tire center,” Berkeley, a teacher's aide, told TODAY. “We just love Costco, it’s our favorite place to be, we go there all the time."
What started as a bit of a joke about the amount of time Berkeley spent at the Crossroads Costco outside of Sydney escalated quickly. A friend inquired to a staffer about the possibility of holding the nuptials there, and management took the request straight to the Australian corporate office.
The company didn't just agree to the ceremony taking place in the store, the Costco team also set up tables for 90 guests in the middle of the food court, and commissioned a special multi-part cake (vanilla with strawberry icing for him, chocolate with chocolate filling for her) complete with the store logo in icing.
Even shoppers unaffiliated with the wedding politely steered their carts clear of the rose petals arranged in the shape of a heart on the store floor. Most weddings also don't have a local television news crew filming the proceedings instead of a videographer.
"Due to being (our) second marriages, we both had done the formal biggish fancy stuff," Berkeley said. "Anywhere you are you can be surrounded by God — doesn't have to be in church — and being in public is a way to publicly declare our love for each other."
That didn't mean she didn't get some puzzled responses when she shared the wedding plans with her adult sons Josh, 21, and Adam, 24. "They said, 'Mom, you're a bit strange, but we love you."
Most of the family and friends were particularly excited about the food, including the Costco staples — pizza, hot dogs and pie. For one day only, the store even brought back Berkeley's favorite delicacy, the "bulgogi bake," dough pockets stuffed with Korean BBQ meat, which the food court had previously stopped selling. All of that food rang up to the daily special price of just $10 a head.
And there's no truer test of true love than the fact that Bob (a machinist Berkeley met two years ago in a social group that meets to play the card game, Euchre) said yes... to the odd choice of venue.
"He didn’t think that they’d actually allow us to do it," said Berkeley. "But he didn’t put his foot down and say no."