A few weeks ago we told you about the latest imaginative project from the guys at "Grand Opening" on Norfolk Street. In the past, they've turned their storefront (at 139 Norfolk) into a drive-in movie theater complete with a sky blue 1965 convertible, a ping pong parlor and an art gallery. Starting July 10th, it will be a Vegas style wedding chapel. We stopped by the soon-to-be chapel recently to get the scoop from the "wedding planners."
Ben Smyth and his brother moved their business to the Lower East Side a couple of years ago, opening the storefront as an offshoot of their design firm. Ben says they wanted to do something to engage the community, tapping into the diversity and artistic spirit the neighborhood is known for. The concept behind "Grand Opening" is to unveil a new "business" every few months. So far there have been about 10 projects, some more popular than others.
The wedding chapel concept seems destined to be a big hit. One of their employees, Kevin Fey (pictured), has gone through an exhaustive (about one hour) correspondence course to become a minister in the Universal Life Church. You get to choose the cheesy backdrop: beach, forest, whatever you want. Ben says there's already been quite a lot of interest. Some people are having real weddings in the 250 square foot space – others are renewing their vows or having a commitment ceremony. You can even rent a bride or groom. There is room for around 20 guests. They'll stream a live feed of your big day on the internet.
"Grand Opening" is raising money for the project on Kickstarter. They only have one more day to reach their fundraising goal of $3,000. There's still about 500 bucks to go. You can see more information about the Wedding Chapel and watch a video here.