LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. You've heard of pop-up restaurants, flash mobs, other instantaneous happenings. Well, what about pop-up weddings? Think of it as eloping with flare. Maggie Winters is a cofounder of Pop! Wed Co. here in D.C., and she's in the studio to tell us how that works. Maggie, welcome.
MAGGIE WINTERS: Thank you.
WERTHEIMER: Now, the first question that occurred to me is that people elope because they don't want to go through all of the ceremonious difficulty, arranging things that happen with weddings. So if you're going to elope, why would you want an elopement planner?
WINTERS: (Laughing) Well, I think a lot of people want the stress-free elopement, but they still want to commemorate the day in a really special way. So they might not want to throw a huge party for 200 people, but they might still want photos and they might want to get married somewhere that feels really special. So you can still have that, like, really awesome wedding experience, but dial it back so it's just the two of you really focusing on your love, instead of focusing on a party.
WERTHEIMER: You did a pop wedding at the Smithsonian, standing in front of a giant elephant. Now, why that site?
WINTERS: Jennifer, our bride from that wedding, had just gotten back from a safari in Africa. So she said that would really mean a lot to them to get married there. So it was perfect.
WERTHEIMER: Now, it didn't totally work out though?
WINTERS: They did kick us out about two thirds of the way through. But...
WERTHEIMER: You mean like the guards at the Smithsonian or somebody?
WINTERS: Yeah, so the guards stand right next to the front of the elephant. So to get the right, like, viewing angle, we kind of had to be about 10 feet away from the guards.
WERTHEIMER: So they knew what do you were doing?
WINTERS: We all talked about it ahead of a time with our couple and said, like, we might get kicked out of this location - would that be OK? And they said yeah, we think it would be fun. So...
WINTERS: ...Steven was just finishing the ceremony and they came over and said oh, you can't do this in here. This is not allowed.
WERTHEIMER: So your partner is...
WINTERS: Steven Guadaen - he is the officiate and he does the legal side of the business. And we were kind of like - we're almost done. But they kicked us out. So as we were walking out, Steven pronounced them legally married so that we could still put the Natural History Museum on their wedding certificate.
WINTERS: And then (laughing) - and then we finished it up outside on the steps.
WERTHEIMER: So despite this kind of difficulty, do you really think there are people who want to do this instead of just kind of, like, showing up at a Justice of the Peace and doing it and going out and getting a burger?
WINTERS: I think there are couples who enjoy both. I think what we offer at Pop! Wed Co. is fun - you never quite know what's going to happen - like, it's always kind of interesting and adventurous. And it's for the kind of couples who like that sort of thing. So I definitely think there are couples who will just go to the Justice of the Peace and that's awesome. And any way you get married is great. We just offer it a very specifically wacky way.
WERTHEIMER: Maggie Winters is co-owner of Pop! Wed Co. Thank you for coming in.
WINTERS: Thanks for having me.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HERE COMES THE BRIDE")
SPIN DOCTORS: (Singing) There she comes on down the aisle. Behind her veil she wears a smile. In her hands the bright bouquet, daddy's here to give the bride away.
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