Last Friday, Jan. 31, a student at Southern Utah University hosted an unusual event — a fake wedding. An already-married couple walked down the aisle, ate cake and danced the night away in a mock marriage ceremony and reception that was attended by numerous SUU students.
Damaris Kaiser, a general studies major with a minor in event planning, planned and hosted the event for her honors Capstone project. She wants to be an event planner after graduating and decided that creating a fake wedding was the perfect project to add to her portfolio and help her gain experience.
“I’m really proud of the way it turned out,” Kaiser said. “I was able to market this as a fun time to come dance and eat and a lot of people came.”
Kaiser’s project was made even more impressive by the fact that she had no budget for the event. She managed to gather enough donations from the community for an entire spread of food, a roomful of decor and enough volunteers to help put the event together.
“There’s no way I could have done this by myself,” Kaiser said. “I had so many people donate their time and energy and for me, that’s the biggest takeaway that I can make something like this happen because I have people in my life I can rely on for support.”
All the decorations and linens were donated by KJ Event Solutions, an event company whose owners Kaiser met in her event planning courses.
Kaelei and Brookelle Corbridge have been running the company for seven years now. Kaelei studied entrepreneurship and hospitality management at SUU, taking some of the same classes as Kaiser.
“When I first started to plan this, I reached out and asked if they would be willing to help,” Kaiser said. “I knew they would be nice enough to donate their time and resources and I’m so grateful for that.”
KJ Event Solutions offers silk floral arrangements, a photo booth, linen and decor rentals and event management — all of which were on display at the mock wedding.
The wedding was a huge success with students packing the Starlight Room of the Sharwan Smith Student Center to dance and eat. No food was left by the end of the night, an impressive feat given how much Kaiser had available.
“I’m so glad people came,” Kaiser said. “This was so much work but it really paid off.”
Story and photos by McKayla Olsen