McDonald's to host "McWeddings" in Hong Kong

Engaged for a Mcwedding ... Kelvin Kwong and Ashley Tse prepare for a McWedding with a McEngagement party, featuring a stacked apple pie "cake" at a McDonald's restaurant in Hong Kong.

The restaurant chain says the concept fills a niche in the region, where its restaurants are popular dating venues and the prices for more traditional Chinese banquet weddings run high.

Since the launch of the service in January two wedding parties have signed up and about 70 other couples are in talks.

"They date here, they grew their love here, so when they have this important day they want to come over here," Shirley Chang, the managing director of Hong Kong's McDonald's outlets, told Reuters.

The package includes pink invitation cards decorated with golden arches, decor featuring the likes of Ronald McDonald, and food worth up to $US385.

Guests will be asked to raise their thickshakes and softdrinks for a toast rather than champagne flutes though, as alcohol is banned in the family friendly restaurants.

Additional items will cost extra, including "white balloon" gown rental ($US165), a balloon wedding cake ($US88), and a large pink McDonald's backdrop ($US321).

Fast food giant McDonald's Corp is finding a new role for itself in Hong Kong -- as a wedding planner. McDonald's, whose Golden Arches emblem is identified as an American cultural symbol, will offer a new "McWedding" service for couples in Hong Kong next year, local media

McDonald's will offer "McWeddings" at three restaurants in Hong Kong, and will also host anniversary events, according to the Chinese-language Oriental Daily.

From next January couples in Hong Kong will able to tie the knot in selected McDonalds restaurants

"Traditional weddings use cherries for the newlyweds to eat together and kiss. We will have French fries for them to kiss," the English-language newspaper South China Morning Post quoted Helen Cheung at McDonald's as saying.

"People said they'd dated here (McDonald's restaurants), or met here, and wanted to get married here ... We see this as a business chance," said Cheung, McDonald's director of corporate communications and relations in Hong Kong.

McDonald's started to accept reservation last week, Oriental Daily reported, adding at least one Hong Kong couple planned to take the chance as they often dated at McDonald's before they were engaged recently.

No price tag is mentioned in local media reports for the new "McWedding" service.

The traditional big Chinese wedding plan has become a growing burden for many young Hong Kongers.

A table for 10 persons at a five-star hotel restaurant in Hong Kong can easily cost more than HK$10,000 ($1,300) and traditional Hong Kong families usually like to host a dozen or more tables.

It’s also a great option for couples on a budget as McDonalds wedding packages are priced at between HK$ 2000-3000 (€185-278). Guests will be able to order off the set menu for the wedding breakfast, and McDonalds will even provide a wedding cake, either of the apple pie or burger variety. On the downside however, all toasts will be alcohol-free, and your wedding party may be looked on by strangers as McDonalds won’t be closing the restaurant down for your nuptials.

Bookings for McWeddings in Hong Kong are already being taken from January 2011 onwards.


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