10 Fast Food-Themed "I Do"s


No matter how much you love Big Macs or Java Chip Frappuccinos, there’s someone out there who loves them more—a lot more. Check out these 10 quick-eating establishments that have played a big part in fan weddings.


Not one, but three couples deemed a White Castle their wedding venue of choice on Valentine’s Day in 2008. A flower girl threw salt and pepper packets instead of rose petals, and the grooms all wore employee name tags. The joint ceremony, which was broadcast on a local radio station, was held at a Columbus, Ohio, White Castle (also the home of the restaurant’s headquarters). The Ohio wedding was just one of the many White Castle-based ceremonies across the country that have occurred over the years: In 2013, Carla Parris and Bob Watson of Illinois also tied the knot at their local White Castle, paying homage to the fact that Parris’ parents met there. Others have walked down the aisle at the fast-food chain in Kentucky and New Jersey.


With the last names “Burger” and “King,” this Illinois couple pretty much had to incorporate the burger joint into their nuptials—especially since the chain was footing the bill. When Joel Burger and Ashley King got married in July 2015, they fully embraced the coincidental juxtaposition of their surnames: The wedding party donned Burger King crowns for pictures, the groomsmen wore burger-themed socks and cufflinks, and koozies and mason jars adorned with logos decorated the tables at the reception.


Every good fair has a giant slide, and the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts, is no exception. The Big E’s slide is sponsored by McDonald’s, so when Mary Anne Purdy and John Romani decided to tie the knot at the top of the slide in September, it only made sense that Ronald himself would make an appearance. And more McD’s weddings may be on the horizon—the company now offers wedding packages in Hong Kong.

4. KFC

Dr. Joanne Choo of Sydney, Australia, met her future husband at their church’s youth group. The crew would regularly watch cricket and go out for KFC. As a result, Choo began collecting the brand’s chicken buckets—so when they eventually got engaged, she thought they would make a perfect addition to the photos commemorating the occasion. The couple also ate KFC between the wedding and the reception, and later served the Colonel’s chicken at the baby shower for their first child.


Paul and Caragh Brooks exchanged their vows at a Taco Bell in 2010. The couple from Normal, Illinois, frequented their local establishment so much that they decided it would be the perfect venue to get married. They decorated the restaurant with streamers, balloons, and hot sauce packets that said “Will you marry me?” and sat in a booth while a friend performed the ceremony.


Julie Hansford and Paul Young went to Pizza Hut for their first date, so when they got married 14 years later, they opted to hold their reception at the exact same restaurant in Salisbury in the UK. The happy couple served their 80 guests deep dish pizza and a pizza-shaped cake topped with a pepperoni heart. 


DeAnna Dodson and Jordan Senz of Beloit, Wisconsin, were determined to say "I do" on New Year's Eve, which made locking down a venue for the holiday a challenge—until they decided on a location bound to be open: their local Starbucks. But they're not the only pair to pursue happily ever after at the coffee chain. Holding weddings at the popular cafe is something of a trend, even spawning the hashtag “#StarbucksWedding. Still, Dodson and Senz win the award for punniest vows, with Senz promising his wife “to love you a latte” and “macchiato an honest woman out of you.” They bought the Reverend a caramel Frappuccino after the ceremony and toasted the nuptials with their own morning standards: a Caramel Macciato for the bride and a Grande Caffé Misto for the groom.


If you prefer the coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts to Pike Place Roast, don’t worry—there’s a wedding for you, too. In 2012, Cliff Ranson and Elizabeth Fischer exchanged vows at a Dunkin’ in Sicklerville, New Jersey. They had a bigger ceremony at a later date, where they sprinkled a little Dunkin’ love by having a doughnut tower instead of a traditional cake.


And for the Canadians scoffing at the very idea of Dunkin’ Donuts, of course there’s a Tim Hortons wedding. The bride and groom wore rival hockey jerseys, served Timbits to their guests, and handed out hockey pucks emblazoned with their wedding date and the phrase, “The puck dropped.”


To complete our breakfast-themed nuptials, we have a Waffle House wedding. Floridians Summer Buckles and Ken Foote exchanged vows at a Gainesville eatery in 2014 for no particular reason—Waffle House holds no significance for either one of them. “We wanted to do something fun and just a little different,” Buckles explained. Confused? So were the couple’s friends and family, who wondered what to wear to the ceremony. “I was like, ‘Ya’ll, it’s Waffle House,’” Buckles said.

New Plant-Based Coating Can Keep Your Avocados Fresh for Twice as Long

Thanks to a food technology startup called Apeel Sciences, eating fresh avocados will soon be a lot easier. The Bill Gates–backed company has developed a coating designed to keep avocados fresh for up to twice as long as traditional fruit, Bloomberg reports, and these long-lasting avocados will soon be available at 100 grocery stores across the Midwestern U.S. Thirty or so of the grocery stores involved in the limited rollout of the Apeel avocado will be Costcos, so feel free to buy in bulk.

Getting an avocado to a U.S. grocery store is more complicated than it sounds; the majority of avocados sold in the U.S. come from California or Mexico, making it tricky to get fruit to the Midwest or New England at just the right moment in an avocado’s life cycle.

Apeel’s coating is made of plant material—lipids and glycerolipids derived from peels, seeds, and pulp—that acts as an extra layer of protective peel on the fruit, keeping water in and oxygen out, and thus reducing spoilage. (Oxidation is the reason that your sliced avocados and apples brown after they’ve been exposed to the air for a while.) The tasteless coating comes in a powder that fruit producers mix with water and then dip their fruit into.

A side-by-side comparison of a coated and uncoated avocado after 30 days, with the uncoated avocado looking spoiled and the coated one looking fresh

According to Apeel, coating a piece of produce in this way can keep it fresh for two to three times longer than normal without any sort of refrigeration of preservatives. This not only allows consumers a few more days to make use of their produce before it goes bad, reducing food waste, but can allow producers to ship their goods to farther-away markets without refrigeration.

Avocados are the first of Apeel's fruits to make it to market, but there are plans to debut other Apeel-coated produce varieties in the future. The company has tested its technology on apples, artichokes, mangos, and several other fruits and vegetables.

[h/t Bloomberg]

The Curious Origins of 16 Common Phrases

Our favorite basketball writer is ESPN's Zach Lowe. On his podcast, the conversation often takes detours into the origins of certain phrases. We compiled a list from Zach and added a few of our own, then sent them to language expert Arika Okrent. Where do these expressions come from anyway?


Bus token? Game token? What kind of token is involved here? Token is a very old word, referring to something that’s a symbol or sign of something else. It could be a pat on the back as a token, or sign, of friendship, or a marked piece of lead that could be exchanged for money. It came to mean a fact or piece of evidence that could be used as proof. “By the same token” first meant, basically “those things you used to prove that can also be used to prove this.” It was later weakened into the expression that just says “these two things are somehow associated.”


1944: A woman standing on a soapbox speaking into a mic
Express/Express/Getty Images

The soapbox that people mount when they “get on a soapbox” is actually a soap box, or rather, one of the big crates that used to hold shipments of soap in the late 1800s. Would-be motivators of crowds would use them to stand on as makeshift podiums to make proclamations, speeches, or sales pitches. The soap box then became a metaphor for spontaneous speech making or getting on a roll about a favorite topic.


The notion of Tom fool goes a long way. It was the term for a foolish person as long ago as the Middle Ages (Thomas fatuus in Latin). Much in the way the names in the expression Tom, Dick, and Harry are used to mean “some generic guys,” Tom fool was the generic fool, with the added implication that he was a particularly absurd one. So the word tomfoolery suggested an incidence of foolishness that went a bit beyond mere foolery.


chimp eating banana

The expression “go bananas” is slang, and the origin is a bit harder to pin down. It became popular in the 1950s, around the same time as “go ape,” so there may have been some association between apes, bananas, and crazy behavior. Also, banana is just a funny-sounding word. In the 1920s people said “banana oil!” to mean “nonsense!”


If something is run of the mill, it’s average, ordinary, nothing special. But what does it have to do with milling? It most likely originally referred to a run from a textile mill. It’s the stuff that’s just been manufactured, before it’s been decorated or embellished. There were related phrases like “run of the mine,” for chunks of coal that hadn’t been sorted by size yet, and “run of the kiln,” for bricks as they came out without being sorted for quality yet.


The Law's Delay: Reading The Riot Act 1820
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

When you read someone the riot act you give a stern warning, but what is it that you would you have been reading? The Riot Act was a British law passed in 1714 to prevent riots. It went into effect only when read aloud by an official. If too many people were gathering and looking ready for trouble, an officer would let them know that if they didn’t disperse, they would face punishment.


Hands down comes from horse racing, where, if you’re way ahead of everyone else, you can relax your grip on the reins and let your hands down. When you win hands down, you win easily.


The silver lining is the optimistic part of what might otherwise be gloomy. The expression can be traced back directly to a line from Milton about a dark cloud revealing a silver lining, or halo of bright sun behind the gloom. The idea became part of literature and part of the culture, giving us the proverb “every cloud has a silver lining” in the mid-1800s.


The expression “you’ve got your work cut out for you” comes from tailoring. To do a big sewing job, all the pieces of fabric are cut out before they get sewn together. It seems like if your work has been cut for you, it should make job easier, but we don’t use the expression that way. The image is more that your task is well defined and ready to be tackled, but all the difficult parts are yours to get to. That big pile of cut-outs isn’t going to sew itself together!


A grapevine is a system of twisty tendrils going from cluster to cluster. The communication grapevine was first mentioned in 1850s, the telegraph era. Where the telegraph was a straight line of communication from one person to another, the “grapevine telegraph” was a message passed from person to person, with some likely twists along the way.


The earliest uses of shebang were during the Civil War era, referring to a hut, shed, or cluster of bushes where you’re staying. Some officers wrote home about “running the shebang,” meaning the encampment. The origin of the word is obscure, but because it also applied to a tavern or drinking place, it may go back to the Irish word shebeen for a ramshackle drinking establishment.


Pushing the envelope belongs to the modern era of the airplane. The “flight envelope” is a term from aeronautics meaning the boundary or limit of performance of a flight object. The envelope can be described in terms of mathematical curves based on things like speed, thrust, and atmosphere. You push it as far as you can in order to discover what the limits are. Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff brought the expression into wider use.


We say someone can’t hold a candle to someone else when their skills don’t even come close to being as good. In other words, that person isn’t even good enough to hold up a candle so that a talented person can see what they’re doing in order to work. Holding the candle to light a workspace would have been the job of an assistant, so it’s a way of saying not even fit to be the assistant, much less the artist.


Most acids dissolve other metals much more quickly than gold, so using acid on a metallic substance became a way for gold prospectors to see if it contained gold. If you pass the acid test, you didn’t dissolve—you’re the real thing.


What kind of wire is haywire? Just what it says—a wire for baling hay. In addition to tying up bundles, haywire was used to fix and hold things together in a makeshift way, so a dumpy, patched-up place came to be referred to as “a hay-wire outfit.” It then became a term for any kind of malfunctioning thing. The fact that the wire itself got easily tangled when unspooled contributed to the “messed up” sense of the word.


Carpet used to mean a thick cloth that could be placed in a range of places: on the floor, on the bed, on a table. The floor carpet is the one we use most now, so the image most people associate with this phrase is one where a servant or employee is called from plainer, carpetless room to the fancier, carpeted part of the house. But it actually goes back to the tablecloth meaning. When there was an issue up for discussion by some kind of official council it was “on the carpet.”


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