On October 17, the state of Arizona began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after years of political debate. To celebrate this historic event, the Wrigley Mansion, located in Phoenix, announced that they would be giving away a wedding package to a same-sex couple. Accordingly, over 20 couples gathered at the mansion on Monday, October 27 to tell their unique love stories in hopes of winning the dream wedding ceremony.
The Wrigley Mansion was constructed by chewing gum mogul William Wrigley, Jr. in 1932 as an anniversary gift to his wife, Ada. The sprawling white estate was sold by the family in 1973 and eventually purchased by Geordie Hormel, of Hormel Foods, in 1992. Originally slated for demolition, the Wrigley Mansion is now used to host weddings and other events, and also contains a restaurant and lounge.
For this reason, the Wrigley Mansion is prepared to offer a fantasy wedding package to celebrate marriage equality in Arizona. Valued at around $60,000, the package will include flowers, food, a photographer and cake for 100 guests.
“When you look at the cost of weddings,, it will always hinge on the desired experience,” says Mike Cash, Managing Director at CityView Racquet Club. “A wedding could go from anywhere from reception only being about $10,000, to having the reception as well as the ceremony cost about $40,000. The price really depends on the clients desired experience.”
The winning couple will be selected by a panel of five judges that includes an editor from Echo, an LGBT magazine, and the owners of Honeymoon Sweets, a bakery and dessert bar in Tempe. The roughly 24 couples who applied for the package had two minutes to share their relationship stories with the judges. Some couples reportedly talked about their experiences overcoming cancer or their time in the military, while others talked about their families, political activism, and past civil rights protests. Their ages ranged from early 20s to mid 50s, and each couple was prepared to marry on November 13, the set date for the Wrigley Mansion event.
The judges will announce on five finalists on the Wrigley Mansion’s Facebook page on Wednesday, October 29. The public can then vote for a winner from the selected couples. The winners will be announced Wednesday, November 5.