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A drive-thru wedding at Dunkin’ Donuts this Valentine’s? A sign of the times.

Published Saturday, Feb. 6th, 2021

Vintage yellow cab driving away with a sign that reads 'Just Married' beside the illustration of a donut, attached to the back bumper.

Is the trend here to stay, and can modern officiants embrace the drive-thru?

The latest indication of a wedding industry forever changed by the pandemic? The popular fast food chain Dunkin’ Donuts has announced that this Valentine’s Day, they’ll be presenting one happy, donut-lovin’ couple with a drive-thru wedding prize. It’s a marketing strategy, certainly, but it’s also a sign of the times. 
It also makes us wonder: Are drive-thru weddings mainstream now? Will the trend stay strong in a post-pandemic world? And will independent wedding officiants (like you) embrace the rise of the drive-thru ceremony in creative ways? 


Dunkin’s donut-themed drive-thru wedding is being offered as a prize to couples who participate in the company’s latest social media campaign. Not only that, but the treat-slingin empire announced a new pop-up shop for wedding merchandise. How did we get here?


Drive-thru weddings have been a ‘thing’ for a long time. Although mostly seen in places like Las Vegas, known for nontraditional quickie ceremonies, they’ve caught on in other places too. We’d even suggest that mass weddings (which have been happening since at least the roaring 20s) are just a walk-up variety of these fast lane nuptials.



image of a woman holding flowers in a wedding dress in a car for a drive thru ceremony with city buildings behind


But it’s no secret that this alternative option has increased in popularity over the last year -- and increased dramatically. 


Drive-thru weddings have been featured in abundance on wedding blogs and news sites, with couples choosing them as a safe way to tie the knot during Covid. And similar themes -- such as drive-in weddings and drive-by weddings -- are wildly popular now, too! 


(For the ease of a drive-thru ceremony but with the option to invite guests, read Love on Wheels: How to Plan a Drive-In Wedding.)


Will drive-thru weddings remain popular in a post-pandemic world? It seems likely. Cars allow for natural social distancing, and they’re a big part of the American aesthetic. 



There’s something undeniably romantic about hopping in the car, rolling the windows down, and riding off together into the sunset. 


Adding to the appeal, thousands of couples have realized they don’t need or want the ritz, expense, and stress of big weddings. The minimony and microwedding are definitely here to stay, along with elopements, virtual, and hybrid weddings. Like these other trends, we’d bet the drive-thru wedding isn’t going anywhere fast.


Should independent wedding officiants embrace the drive-thru in their own creative ways? Maybe even setting up a small station in their own home town? It’s an interesting thought, and a simple car-powered twist on a classic elopement. 


We’d love to see it - especially if there are donuts!  

Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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