…home of the bible belt, rednecks, and some seriously crazy people. Check out this article which was in our local paper this past weekend by clicking here or reading below.
The bride was resplendent in her white gown and blue sash as she walked along the red carpet.
The groom was dashing in his in his -length black coat and tuxedo as he stood on the landing of the staircase, waiting for her.
William Studer and Kelly Sisson had elected to tie the knot on a staircase inside the Macon Mall, right in front of the Sears store where they met.
Originally, the ceremony was supposed to be inside the store, but it was moved to the front of the store because of the logistics involved.
Still, as far as anyone knows, it’s the first for Sears.
“The choice was hers,” Studer said. “She wanted to get married where we met; I got to choose the date. (Sunday) is her birthday, so I chose it so I’d never forget.”
Destiny took place about a year and a half ago, when William went to the mall to get his cell phone fixed and spotted Kelly, who had gone to Sears to buy a new miter saw. He lost sight of her in the store and had given up hope that he would see her once more when he opened the outside door in the section of the store where the power tools are and there she was.
“I had never seen him before,” she said. “He tried to open the door for me and I was going to say ‘no’ – I’m kind of an independent woman. Then I looked up and saw him, and said, ‘OK!’ “
“I gave her my number, but she didn’t call me for two days,” he said. “When she finally did, she told me she didn’t want me to think she was desperate.”
It’s William’s fourth marriage and Kelly’s second, but the first department store wedding for either of them. When they decided to get married, Kelly told William of her Sears plan.
“I laughed, but she said she wasn’t kidding,” he said.
The local Sears employees were very enthusiastic when the couple approached them.
“I know (William),” said Reginald Stubbs, the assistant manager for the home improvement section at the store. “He shops here all the time. When they told me, I said, ‘Well, good luck. Whatever was needed, just let us know.’ “
The couple contacted Sears’ offices in Dallas, which loved the idea. But the corporate office in Chicago was less than enamored, William said.
Eventually, they were able to make it work.
“My first thought was you can drive sales by having a big thing like this,” Stubbs said. “We welcomed it. It was taking care of the customer, to me.”
The couple wasn’t going to be able to fit everyone in comfortably within Sears’ confines.
So they went to the mall office, which was happy to help, said Lili Donaldson, the mall’s marketing director.
After pastor Ronnie Campbell of God’s Church of Worship and Praise performed the traditional ceremony – his first in a mall – the Studers made a long procession from the stairs into the store.
They passed the luggage display, the chain saws and patio furniture before they reached the magic doors where they first met.
So, will this start a new trend for Sears and the mall? Will we see anniversaries, bar mitzvahs and graduation parties join the ranks of weddings?
“It seems to be a real fit,” Stubbs said. “We’ll welcome it.”
If nothing else, Sears may have a new marketing campaign – come in for a miter saw, leave with a spouse.
“You never know what you’ll find at Sears!” Stubbs said with a laugh.
Makes me proud. Really.
(Story written by Phillip Ramati for The Macon Telegraph)