It’s not uncommon for two people who work at the same place to date each other, or for that love to blossom into marriage. But when the couple gets married, and many of their co-workers who helped bring them together can’t get off work for the wedding, what do you do?
One Pennsylvania couple answered that question by bringing the wedding to their co-workers — at a local Walmart.
On Saturday, Chrissy Slonaker Torres married Leida Torres in the garden center at the Walmart in West Manchester Township, Pa.
The venue choice seems odd on the surface — especially at a time when some weddings take place in ritzy mansions and lavish estates — but dig deeper into their relationship, and the Walmart wedding doesn’t seem as crazy.
‘I found my soulmate’
The couple met in September 2015 when Torres first got a job as a manager at the Walmart. Within the next few months, the pair began mildly flirting with each other — often finding themselves walking past each other just to walk past each other.
Slonaker Torres admits she was scared at first to get into another relationship after her first marriage didn’t go well. But Torres was persistent.
“One day when it was snowing, she asked if I could come pick her up since I have a truck,” Slonaker Torres said. “When she got in the truck, she said, ‘so, are you going to go on a date with me?’ ”
A few days later, the pair did, having their first date at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and things took off from there.
A Walmart wedding
The couple decided to get married in December 2017 and planned a private ceremony at their York, Pa., home. But, they realized many of their Walmart co-workers — dozens of people who have supported the couple whom Torres refers to as “family” — wouldn’t be able to take off. After all, the store is open 24 hours, and someone has to be there.
Slonaker Torres decided to bring the wedding to the Walmart.
“We both have a lot of really close friends that we call family in our Walmart store,” Slonaker Torres said. “We discussed it with the store manager and the home office so that everybody in our store — everybody that we share our lives with — can be a part of the wedding.”
Torres jumped on the bandwagon quickly.
“I just told her, ‘Let’s do it,’ ” she said. “Our Walmart family has been so supportive. Why not?”
Their co-workers were thrilled.
“They felt blessed that we chose to do it at the store just to have our special day with them,” Slonaker Torres said.
Transforming the garden center into a wedding venue was easy.
Co-workers placed an outdoor tent in the middle of the section and rolled out a brown diamond rug. Another friend placed red and white flowers underneath the tent. Robb Green, the former “Marrying Mayor” of Jefferson, Pa., was the officiant.
“It was beautiful,” Torres said. “I just loved it.”
As Slonaker Torres walked up the aisle, she heard the support of family, friends and customers in the store.
“There were some customers that were going around saying “ooooh” and “ahhh,” and that was so sweet,” she said. “You could hear it in the background. I didn’t hear anything negative.”
More than 100 family members, co-workers and customers were in attendance as the two exchanged vows.
“We were nervous for a bit, but we were excited,” Slonaker Torres said. “It sunk in when we were doing the vows that this is forever. This is unconditional.”
‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’
The couple posted some photos to social media and soon after the images were shared thousands of times.
There were some negative comments on the post.
“(They were saying) we can’t afford a wedding (and) that we’re rednecks,” Slonaker Torres said.
But, not long after, the comments began to turn positive.
“The people that we know personally, and the customers that know us, they were resharing it and they were turning it into a positive thing,” Slonaker Torres said.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” Torres said. “Our family is happy. That’s all that matters to us.”
Slonaker Torres added, “You shouldn’t judge something by the way it looks because there could be a beautiful story behind it. We met in Walmart, we fell in love at Walmart. We could’ve gotten married any other place, but we chose to get married at Walmart.”
Source: Anthony J. Machcinski, York (Pa.) Daily Record
Photo Credit: Chrissy Slonaker Torres via York (Pa.) Daily Record
Photo Credit: The Gardens