VOW hosts massive wedding at Maude Cobb - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

VOW hosts massive wedding at Maude Cobb

Hundreds of tables and chairs are being set up in Maude Cobb Activity Center. It looks like a convention, but no, it's a wedding; a big wedding.

"28 couples are getting married and they all get to invite 25 guests. Why not? I mean, China does 1,500 people at the same time so we thought Texas can at least to twenty-eight," says Tonya Waite, VOW director.

900 people will jam Maude Cobb Saturday for this huge wedding.

Jack Barkley, organizer, says "It's a herculean effort because you want each couple to feel like they're having their own individual wedding with their friends."

"This wedding is not costing them anything; average in East Texas, a wedding costs $18,000," adds Waite.

Organized through the VOW program, everything is donated: food, wedding cakes, photographers, dresses, tuxes, and, of course, flowers.

Angela Hamill, who donated flowers, says, "It's going to take a lot of our time, our labor, but it's really a neat thing we could do for the community."

One mistake can turn holy matrimony into holy monotony.

Basically, they show up at the door with their wedding rings so they can start in life without having a $20,000 bill for their wedding.

Mark Bailey is a photographer who prides himself on capturing that special moment for couples; he'll have six to make special at the same time.

Says Bailey, "The challenge on this is to be very concise on what I'm doing.  I think it's going to be one of those things where you're just going to have to be very sensitive and understand who they are."

And they hope it will be a memorable "happily ever after."


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