So intrigued with the idea of 40 weddings in 40 hours at a cost of only $80/couple (40 for the bride and 40 for the groom–hence the name) as a fundraiser for the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, we just had to see it for ourselves.

So, on Saturday afternoon, two of my coworkers and I ventured out to the Atlanta Northwest Marriott to see this thing that seemed too good to be true. For some reason, we just couldn’t figure out how they would handle decorations, keep up the hectic pace and manage to get everyone in and out on time…but they did!

We were blown away!

To our total amazement, it was a jaw-dropping experience from beginning to end. We walked in and were greeted by a mini orchestra playing classical music (you can check them out at and were immediately taken away by the elegance of the pristine white decor. Every detail of a dream wedding was there–chairs covered with white satin and tie backs, glorious floral arrangements on tall columns, sheer backdrop with a hint of twinkling lights and spot lighting from the floor. The white aisle runner led to an elevated stage that was simply breathtaking. We couldn’t believe how well wedding coordinator Sylvia Wayfer-Clark had pulled everything together. Even the tables in the reception area were adorned with fresh flower arrangements and beaded overlays from Any bride would have been proud to get married here. And, to be able to do it for only $40 each in support of a great charity—well, that’s just icing on the wedding cake!

Now that they had passed our design test, we were wondering if things were moving on schedule. After all, they only have one hour to walk down the aisle, perform the ceremony, move to the reception where they would cut the cake, have the first dance, throw the garter, take pictures and serve cake to their guests. Whew! That’s a lot to get done in just 60 minutes. Would they be able to pull it off? Would everything run according to plan? The answer is a resounding YES!

On time and on point

Sylvia and her team made it seem effortless. Having wedding couples and their guests arrive an hour in advance made sure each wedding started on time. When I looked at my watch, it was EXACTLY 1:00 pm, and the minister was walking down the aisle followed by the groom and groomsmen, right on schedule.

Impressed beyond belief, there was actually enough time to get it all done. Some couples even had time to place some cute wedding favors on the tables for their guests. We even got a chance to be the “distant relatives” of a couple who didn’t have any family present. Standing in for the bouquet toss and cheering them as they left the reception made our time there more meaningful–and more special for the couple. I just wonder what they will say when they look at the pictures and people ask, “Who are these people?” Hopefully, they’ll say, “We’re all just family.”

Congratulations on a wonderful event!