DES MOINES — The bridal bouquets contained an ear of corn.
The preacher talked about love so hot it could melt the Butter Cow.
And the honeymoon package included tickets for a ride on the Sky Glider and a couple of beers.
“Why? Why not?” Cory Dawson said as he pulled his wife, Nancy, to his chest. “It just felt right.”
The Dawsons were one of 26 Des Moines-area couples to get married Friday morning on the Riley Stage at the Iowa State Fair “Fair-y Tale Wedding,” a mass ceremony put on by Des Moines radio station KSTZ-FM (“Star” 102.5).
“We’re unconventional and unusual, so this really fits us,” Chris Friest said as he examined the silver wedding band just placed on his finger by partner Steve Ramos.
Kurt Van Auken, a producer for KSTZ, presided over the event in a polo shirt with the company logo and khaki pants. He’s a self-described “online officiate” who picked up his certification to legally marry folks from a website about six months ago.
He led the couples to the stage shortly before 7:30 a.m. By 8:15, they were all married, had shared wedding funnel cake and danced their first dance as newlyweds before heading to the fairgrounds Administration Building for a group photo.
“I always liked the fair,” Miles DeGroote said by way of explaining why he and his wife Julie chose to get married Friday morning.
His nephew, Luke Lehmann, had made a sign for the occasion that had Miles’ name in sliver glitter letters with blue streamers running off the sides.
“It’s the second marriage for both of us,” Julie said. “It just seemed like something fun to do. Otherwise we were just going to go to the courthouse. This is much better.”