TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Tess Vigeland: So we've just heard about living in the woods on the cheap. And earlier, staying in a hotel on the ridiculous cheap. Now for the icing on the cheap cake. Weddings in this country cost an average of more than $20,000. But this week, here in Los Angeles, nine couples paid $19,999 less than that.
The 99 Cent store held a promotion on Wednesday, 9-9-09, for nine couples to pay just 99 cents to get married in its store aisles. After all, you cannot put a price on love.
Whillis Hall Jr. and Emily Wiley were one of the happy couples. He's a corporal in the Marines, she works in the pharmaceutical industry. We talked with them right after they took their vows and cut the cake.
I asked Whillis, what his wedding was like.
Whillis Hall Jr.: Well, the image that everyone has -- I mean from something like this -- is totally different. Because what they do is they actually use everything from within the 99 Cent store and they make the decorations and everything. And it looks like totally different, like you wouldn't expect it to be possible for them to do the things that they've done.
Presider, during ceremony: Whillis, do you take Emily to be your wife, to love, honor, comfort and cherish her from this day forth?
Vigeland: Alright, is Emily there with you?
Whillis: Yes she is, hold on.
Emily Hall: Hi.
Vigeland: Hi Emily, congratulations.
Emily: Thank you.
Vigeland: Was this the wedding of your dreams?
Emily: I didn't have one. I had a man of my dreams and I found him and I married him.
Vigeland: So what did you think of it? Describe it for us.
Emily: We are very impressed. We are very happy. Everything's beautiful here and it totally doesn't feel like you're in a 99 Cent store, until you have the backdrop of chicken noodle soup behind you when your pictures taken.
Presider, during ceremony: I, Emily Wiley...
Emily: I, Emily Wiley...
Presider: Take you Whillis Hall Jr.
Emily: Take you Whillis Hall Jr.
Presider: ...to be my husband.
Emily: ...to be my husband.
Presider: To have and to hold...
Emily: To have and to hold...
Presider: In sickness and in health...
Emily: In sickness and in health...
Presider: For richer or for poorer.
Emily: For richer or for richer.
Vigeland: Whillis, I understand that you are heading to Afghanistan.
Whillis: That's correct.
PERSON: So what were your plans if this particular opportunity hadn't worked out for you?
Whillis: Well, we had already planned on -- as soon as I got back from Afghanistan -- to actually have a traditional wedding, you know, save up some money and do it from there. But this opportunity just happened to present itself, so we acted up on it.
Vigeland: Were you nervous at all about doing it this way?
Whillis: I was a bit skeptical at first. But there's a lot of things that make me nervous and this is not one of them.
Vigeland: You know, I think the average cost for a wedding is something like $20,000, maybe more.
Whillis: Oh easily.
Vigeland: But you have done it for less than a buck.
Whillis: Exactly. That's what I was saying. Who would pass something up like that? Everyone has something unique about their wedding, you know, mine was the longest or this happened at that. I can say, "Well yeah, I had mine for 99 cents in a 99 Cents store."
Vigeland: And I guess you're never going to forget the anniversary date either. It's pretty easy for you.
Whillis: Oh, if I forget that, I need to be shut.
Presider, in ceremony: Whillis and Emily, now that you've heard the words about love and marriage, it is with great joy and happiness that I know pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.
Vigeland: Newlyweds Whillis and Emily Hall speaking with us last Wednesday from the 99 Cent store on Sunset Boulevard in -- where else? -- Hollywood.
Want to see what a 99-cent wedding looks like? Check out the photos at our Web site, Marketplace.org.