Atlanta Wed-A-Thon to Benefit Atlanta’s Children Shelter
Volunteers covered shifts so that 40 couples could get married over 40 hours. Rhonda and Allison were there from about 1:30pm to 8pm on Saturday, November 26. There were some volunteers that were there at 6am to set up, and still around when some volunteers called it a night.
For a small fee, couples wanting to get married could sign up ahead of time for a time slot. They were asked to show up 2 hours ahead of time, and they could get ready in one of the meeting rooms at The Loews’ Hotel in Atlanta, set up as the bridal room. The grooms room was down the hallway. When their time had come, their guests showed up and were seated in a beautiful ceremony room. They were provided the ceremony room, and the officiant. They were loaned bridesmaids bouquets (these were re-used with other wedding parties), but the bride got to keep her very own beautiful bouquet. The groom was given a white rose boutonniere. A volunteer coordinator helped to line up their wedding party and file them in when the music started.
After the 12-minute ceremony, guests were ushered into the reception hall and seated at decorated tables. Sometimes there were 10 guests, sometimes 40, sometimes 80.
The bride and groom were announced in as man and wife, and they danced to their first dance together. Cake was provided to the guests and everyone danced the remainder of the hour to a volunteer DJ. Did we mention they were also provided a
photographer for an additional very low additional charge?
Then, the next couple was up!
Channel 11 News showed up and interview some of our couples. One couple was doing a vow renewal for their 25-year anniversary. The couple’s 15-year old son escorted his mom down the aisle.
Another bride had her older brother walk her down the aisle. When he opened the bridal door to see her for the first time, his jaw dropped and he got tears in his eyes: “You. Are. Beautiful.”
One bride’s father was so excited to see his oldest daughter in a gorgeous wedding dress that he started to cry. And then, of course, the bride started to cry. And then we had to reapply makeup… which took an extra few minutes!
It was a whirlwind for many hard-working volunteers. When one couple was getting their ceremony started, another couple was showing up to get ready.
There weren’t too many extraordinary challenges, aside from keeping the bride and groom from seeing each other (that can be a challenge with day-long weddings, of course), and helping guests figure out which wedding they were there for:
“Hi, can I help you?”
“Yes, I’m here for the wedding?”
Sylvia Wayfer-Clark has organized this event for three years now, and there are big plans for 2012’s Wed-A-Thon. She’s got a heart of gold! She and her husband, Herschel, were awesome to work with.
A big “thank you” to Loew’s Hotel who hosted the weddings. Their staff was terrific, and the site was beautiful.
Below are photos from Allison and Rhonda: