Mimi Kirk is a contributing writer to CityLab covering education, youth, and aging. Her writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and Smithsonian.
The company announced a competition for a free ceremony on one of its 80-seaters.
In a world of online dating and elaborate, expensive matchmaking businesses, it’s heartening to learn that people are still meeting the old-fashioned way: on a bus.
Megabus, the intercity discount company that’s been transporting passengers in the U.S. since 2006, is honoring this service it inadvertently provides through a contest for a free wedding, “Marry Me on a Megabus.”
“We have loved hearing about couples that have met on a Megabus or used megabus.com to travel to see their long-distance loves,” Sean Hughes, director of public affairs North America for Megabus, said in a statement. “It's a pleasure to play Cupid.”
Couples getting married this year are invited to submit an essay on how they met—and why they want to wed on a Megabus. The winners will get free nuptials on one of the company’s 80-seaters, complete with an officiant, flowers, and music. Also included are two round-trip Megabus tickets that can be used for a honeymoon destination, and $2,500 in spending money.
Having a simple ceremony on a bus is perhaps a welcome alternative to the trend of spending an inordinate amount on a wedding—a practice that’s been on the rise over the past 10 years. The wedding website The Knot found that the average cost of a wedding in the United States in 2016 was $35,329—an all-time high, and up $2,688 from 2015. Average cost depends on where you are: In New York City, the figure was a whopping $78,464, while in Arkansas, it was (still!) $19,522.
Reactions to the contest on Facebook have ranged from excited to mocking to humorous, but with more than 1,000 shares of the post as of today, it’s clear there’s significant interest. One commenter wrote, “Y’all this is a great deal! Screw the big wedding!!!!” Another noted, “I met my fiancé on a Megabus! We’re definitely applying.” A number of people tagged their significant others and appeared to pop the question. “Baby, is it time?” one asked.