Thursday, October 15, 2009

Interview with the 99 Cent Store Bride

A while back, I posted the announcement of the 99 Cents Only store wedding promotion, and then later, I posted some pictures of the big day. One of the 9 lucky brides found this blog and agreed to let me do an interview with her. If you’ve ever wondered about the details of being a contest wedding couple, here’s your chance!

The bride’s name is Emily and her new husband Whillis is a Marine. The two met online and clicked instantly. Within a few weeks, they were spending every minute together; within a few months, they were tiptoeing around marriage. Whillis planned an elaborate proposal, but plans were cut short when the Marines ordered him home from vacation a day early. Soon after that Emily’s mom, Anne, passed away unexpectedly and engagement plans were put on hold again.

Looking cozy on their first trip together in Napa, CA . Photo courtesey of Emily Wiley-Hall.

Emily and Whillis are currently living in San Diego, CA where she first heard about the 99 Cent wedding promotion on a local radio station. They had planned for a yearlong engagement, but Emily entered the contest without telling Whillis! After her initial interview with the 99 Cent store, she realized she had still not told Whillis about it, and sent him a text message “I am NOT proposing but would you marry me?”. He was in pre-deployment training at the time, but texted back “Yes I will marry you” Aw!

Emily said that she had a good feeling about her interview with the company and waited anxiously for them to call her back. The announcement day had come and gone with no notice…until the next day when they told her that she was a winner! Emily and Whillis were married on 9/9/09 in the Hollywood 99 Cents Only store with eight other couples. The contest promised a $2,500 wedding for under a buck.

Emily on her wedding day

Kay: You said that your relationship with Whillis is more important than any fancy wedding. What was it about this contest that made you want to enter?
Emily: I thought it was exciting and unique. I am not a high maintenance girl and would have been ok with a courthouse marriage and a party afterwards. To both Whillis and I the relationship (the marriage) is the important part and having each other, rather than be in debt up to our eyeballs.

Kay: Sometimes parents are a driving factor in wedding planning. What did your families think of your wedding?
Emily: My Mom has always been an Angel on Earth but recently she was invited to the Pearly Gates in Heaven so my Mom was there on my wedding day just as she is with me now with every breath I take. She was happy for us, I know it. My older brother was there with us in the flesh. He walked me down the aisle (#15 if you were wondering) and was very proud. At first everyone (including us) was like WHAT?! The 99 Cent store?! Really?! But after we learned more about their plans to make it a wonderful location and experience everyone liked it.

A beautiful and thrify table setting from the Discount Store Diva

Kay: I posted some of the photos a while back, and I was really impressed with the cost-minded yet fun and elegant refreshment table and d├ęcor. What did you think of the in-store wedding setup?
Emily: Hearing Kathy (the designer) explain her plans for decorating is really what took Whillis and I from the "What the hell are we doing?" thought to the "Wow this is going to be beautiful!"

Kay: Silly question...Who paid for the wedding – you or Whillis? Did you pay cash?
Emily: Well my gown didn’t have pockets and his tux did so that made it easy. :-) He had money on him and I didn’t. (Though if need be my big brother would have paid cash for our wedding.) And we thought it funny that on our receipt it actually DOES say wedding 99 cents. Plus HE paid for all of the other expenses we had, the dress, the tux, our 3 rings, the 2 rooms at The Hotel Angeleno the night before, etc. When he gets back from The Deployment we are having a Welcome Home/Reception Party as well. With all our additional family and friends present and I will put my dress back on and he either a tux or his USMC Blues. [Kay's note: I LOVE boys in uniforms, so you all know my vote!]

Excited Whillis shows off his receipt.

Kay: Were there any wedding planning details that really stressed you out, or were you pretty relaxed about the day?
Emily: Many of the other 8 couples were nervous and or stressed. Whillis and I were relaxed and excited. We were tired because we left our hotel room at 3:45am but other than that everything went smooth. There is nothing I wish we did differently.

Kay: Wedding days always go by so fast. What is your favorite memory of the day?
Emily: Wow, I have too many favorite memories! There was the night before when we bought 2 hotel rooms for the night (so we didn’t see each other) and brought our friends up to Brentwood with us to share the night together and celebrate and have fun. There was the look I got from my Husband as I started to walk down the aisle and he first saw me in my dress as his eyes said "wow". There was the giddiness and pride I could see and feel from him as we held hands in front of the Reverend. There was our first kiss as husband and wife and cutting our cake together and feeding it nicely to each other. My Mom always said it’s not nice to shove it into each others’ face so we didn’t.

Whillis and Emily in Aisle 15

Emily, thanks again for your time! I wish you two the best, and a very safe return for Whillis.


1 comment:

  1. Wow.
    I knew Emily a few years ago and I am glad she has found happiness and a good husband. She deserves it.


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