By Kevin Barlow
WWR Article Summary (Tl;dr) The Wedding industry is ripe for women in business. From owning a wedding planning company to catering to flowers, the wedding business is a $55 billion dollar industry. Two Midwest entrepreneurs are exploring the idea of “mass wedding” to create their fortune.
Two Bloomington entrepreneurs are hoping to fill a niche for couples who don’t want a big wedding, but want more than the city hall experience.
Sandra Zukoski and David Kagel, both State Farm employees, said through their company “Yes, I’ll Marry You,” they intend to organize a series of mass wedding ceremonies for couples who want all of the amenities of a big wedding but at a fraction of the cost.
“The cost of a wedding can be astronomical, but when you split a mass ceremony among 20 couples, it can be affordable,” Zukoski said.
Mass weddings will be held at Lincoln Springs Center in Bloomington, which will be decorated by Let’s Party Rentals in Bloomington. Pitch Perfect Productions will provide the DJ service and photography will be done by Stephanie Woods. Each couple will be able to dance their first dance to a song of their choosing. Participants and their guests will have access to a dessert bar and each couple will take home an anniversary cake, Zukoski said.
The exchange of vows, flowers for the bride and groom, filing of paperwork and a table for 10 are all included in the price of $1,000.
“It has all of the aspects of a traditional wedding,” Zukoski said. “The couple has to have a smaller wedding party, but we can still find a way to make it very unique to each couple and the main thing is that there are no worries because we take care of everything. It’s their day and they can personalize aspects to fit their individual tastes.”
Both secular and non-secular services are available and they can also specialize for couples who want a private ceremony as well, Kagel said. Both Zukoski and Kagel are licensed to perform official ceremonies.
“If the couple would like for us to perform a private ceremony at their venue such as their home, a hall, the place they met, or a place they find beautiful, we’ll provide them with our service,” he said.
Zukoski said they would like to perform four mass ceremonies per year in Bloomington and then expand to Peoria and Champaign.
They had hoped to have their first one on Saturday, prior to Valentine’s Day, but there wasn’t enough interest.
“We had six couples, but we weren’t able to find enough to do it this time because we have to be fair to our vendors,” she said. “But, we are going to keep pushing this idea and we know we can make it work. With Valentine’s Day this week, we have had some more interest. The wedding season is approaching, so we are anxious to see what the spring brings.”
Zukoski said they are now hoping to have their first mass ceremony in June. More information can be found at www.yesillmarryyouandmore.com or by calling 309-533-6445.