BENTONVILLE, Ark. – June 14, 2007 – Lebanon, Ore., couple Michael Lefevers and Rachel Evans are “lucky in love” after learning they are one of only seven couples across the country that will be married at their local Wal-Mart store on one of the most sought-after wedding dates in recent years. Wal-Mart stores and G-Squared, a Wal-Mart exclusive brand from Gartner Studios, announced the names of the seven couples receiving such wedding packages earlier this week as a result of their “Lucky in Love Wedding Search.”
When Wal-Mart Stores discovered many of its betrothed customers were having difficulty finding venues for their July 7 – or 7/7/07 – weddings due to the popularity of a “lucky 7” date, they joined G-Squared to provide a solution. In addition, the cost of the average American wedding can be overwhelming at $22,0001. The answer was the “Lucky in Love Wedding Search” to provide seven couples their local Wal-Mart lawn and garden area as the colorful backdrop for the ceremonies and receptions. After reviewing more than 400 entries from across the country, Michael and Rachel were selected to say “I do” at the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 3290 South Santiam Hwy.
Michael and Rachel have been close – in proximity – for most of their lives. Unbeknownst to either of them, they lived three houses down from each other for many years and were made aware only after Michael’s sister introduced them in 2005. Since then, their relationship has blossomed and they can hardly wait for 7/7/07.
“When we got engaged, we told everyone that we wanted to get married at Wal-Mart,” wrote Rachel in her Lucky in Love Wedding Search registration essay. “We never thought we could. This is like our dream might come true.”
“We understand that a couple’s wedding day is a major celebration and we’re thrilled to be a part of such an important day in their lives,” said Andy Barron, Wal-Mart senior vice president of merchandise. “All of us at Wal-Mart are excited to be hosting these events and wish each couple every good fortune in their futures together.”
Michael and Rachel will receive a wedding package with an estimated value of more than $5,000. The package not only includes the decorated wedding venue in Wal-Mart’s colorful lawn and garden area, but also an adjacent tent for the reception area, wedding cake and reception food. The package also includes the bride and groom 14kt gold and diamond Keepsake wedding bands, wedding invitations, fresh floral bouquets, digital camera and digital photo frame, portable GPS device and a $1,000 Wal-Mart gift card.
“We are predicting that twice the number of brides as other Saturdays in July will marry this July 7, and many facilities were booked well over a year in advance,” said Richard Markel, Director of the Association for Wedding Professionals International (www.afwpi.com). “Wal-Mart has provided a great opportunity—and solution—for Rachel and other brides; without this opportunity, they might have had to settle for another, less memorable date.”
The six other couples receiving weddings include: Jimmie Lee Cottrell and Katessa Burtch of Kokomo, IN; Caleb Anthony Cox and Ella Glass of Charlotte, NC; Matthew Cauthon and Candace Presley of Gore, OK; Billy Guidry and Kymberlie DeRouen of New Iberia, LA; Duwayne Surprise and Liz Donaldson of Janesville, WI; and Oliver Roper and Debra Russell of Oklahoma City, OK.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.
About G Squared/Gartner Studios
Founded in 1998, G Squared/Gartner Studios is a creative design studio and stationery company based out of the river town of Stillwater, Minnesota. The headquarters are located in the historic 100 year old Stillwater Post Office building. G Squared branded products are sold exclusively through Wal-Mart stores nationwide.
Gartner Studios currently provides stationery products, print-your-own products and related categories for all major mass merchants, party suppliers and office super stores. Our products can also be found online at most major online retailers, as well as through our own store, www.gartnerstudios.com/shop.
1National Association of Wedding Ministers