An Oakland couple was determined to make their wedding a meaningful one. Though their venue of choice may seem a little off to some, it was everything that the Duhrkoop’s had wanted.
To pay tribute to their “how we met” story, their jobs, and their lives as a couple, Chris and Megan held the ceremony at Gate 20 in Terminal 2 of the Oakland International Airport. It was precisely two years prior that these two lovebirds met at a group interview for jobs with Southwest Airlines. They both ended up getting hired and have worked together ever since.
When asked about the choice of venue, Megan Duhrkoop said, “This is where we met, this is where we work; it’s us.”
Although the arrangements for the ceremony were made throughout five months of discussion with the airport, Southwest Airlines, and TSA security, there were still rules and regulations that had to be followed. This meant that every guest had to go through the standard TSA screening process.
Additionally, Southwest Airlines’ pilot and flight attendant staff were required to be on board the aircraft along with the wedding guests. This was all due to federal regulations that could not be bypassed by the occasion. Luckily, since the couple is employed by Southwest, a lot of the staff members on board were friends who had volunteered for the position.
As loved ones entered the terminal they were handed invitations made to look like boarding passes which read “From 8 p.m. to Forever & Ever” and concluded with “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a wild ride.” They then boarded a 137-seat airplane through a white garment covered arch covered in roses. Once on board, relatives filled the three-wide rows of airplane seats.
The dialogue throughout the ceremony was spoken through the call phone. This includes a beautiful symbolic statement made by Judge Keller, “Just as a plane can’t fly without two engines, this marriage will need the same power for a smooth takeoff – and to sustain it through both clear and stormy skies.”
The ceremony was beautiful and fun, just as the Duhrkoop’s had hoped. With over 100 of their closest friends and family members, there was plenty of energy and an uplifting mood. The party was complete with dancing to a local marimba band.
To bring the ceremony to a close, the bride and groom stood at the front of the plane thanking their guests as they exited, much like the flight attendants normally would on a traditional flight.
The theme was dropped with the end of the ceremony and the reception was held at a nearby restaurant. Although the aviation theme could not last forever, the newlyweds were very pleased with their special day and expressed that they could not see their wedding going any other way.