AUSTIN, Texas — More than $33,000.
That was the average cost of a wedding in 2017, according to The Knot. And they say about half of that goes to paying for a venue.
But a group of Austin wedding vendors gave 10 couples a Valentine’s Day present this year — all that celebration for free!
"I understand that sometimes people don't have the opportunity to plan a big wedding or have a lot of budget, so we just wanted to help those kinds of people make their day special as well,” Rhoda Brimberry, one of the co-owners of LOOT Rentals, said.
From sweet treats and fresh flowers to hair, makeup and photos, the 10 Valentine’s Day weddings at their warehouse had it all.
Except one big thing: the price tag.
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"We've been engaged for over a year, and it was like, 'We're never going to do it' unless it was something spontaneous because we have three kids,” Mary O’Sail said.
She and Matthew Rush were one of the lucky couples.
"I think it’s very nice what they're doing here, to be able to give you that feel that your mother would want to have, to have the big wedding, yet it’s still small and easy for people who don't want to do the whole extravagant thing,” O’Sail said.
"It gives Valentine’s Day more of a meaning,” Rush said.
This is the second year Anna Crelia and Rhoda Brimberry with LOOT rentals offered the free weddings.
"We're really just giving back to the community. They've given us so much throughout our eight years of business," Crelia said.
Cory and Heather Duplantis renewed their vows.
"Any chance that we get to celebrate our love and just have fun," Heather said.
“There's no one day that we set aside for our love, it's just all the time,” Cory said.
Even the officiants caught the love bug.
Kye Flannery and Flip Kroner made last year’s event their third date. Now, they’re engaged.
"I get to joke that we agreed to marry on our third date because, you know, she asked if I would come help marry all these couples,” Kroner said.
"It's inspiring and beautiful,” Flannery said.
The vendors plan to do this again next year, but they said it's first come, first served.
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