Wedding in the park

Glendale News Press

A couple hoped their nuptials Saturday at Montrose Shopping Park on Honolulu Avenue would highlight a local gem in the community and bring business to the strip.

But some business owners in the shopping park said the wedding had the opposite effect on their operations, with the 2300 block of Honolulu Avenue closed to traffic most of Saturday for the private ceremony.

A petition organizer, who owns one of the businesses and declined to give her name, gathered nearly 300 signatures from people who agreed that all events on that block should be public, not private.

The couple, Montrose residents Steve Weatherby and Joycie Dungca, said they just wanted to show the love they had for each other at a place they love.

"What people really don't understand is that we wanted to give back to these people," Weatherby said. "We are promoting everybody. The big thing is bringing attention to this area."

The petition organizer said some businesses weren't notified about the event until Wednesday and had to shut down Saturday because they lost customers.

Merle Norman owners Kris Kline and Kim Kelly said they were happy to do Dungca's and her bridesmaids' makeup, but said they wished they were given more notice of the event.

Parking in front of their makeup shop was blocked for the wedding. And Saturday was a busy day for the shop because they also had to do makeup for teens going to proms, they said.

The couple spent roughly $30,000 on their 200-guest wedding, Dungca said. Of the total wedding costs, about $20,000 was spent on Montrose-area and shopping park vendors, she said.

"I definitely feel a sense of community," Dungca said.

Zeke's Barbecue and Gourmet A-Go-Go provided the meals, while Jane's Cakes created the red velvet and butter cream frosting cake, which was decorated with red hearts, according to the permit. Avignone's Lounge served as the bar. Paradis dished out ice cream.

The wedding reception was at Montrose Bowling Alley.

"We initially wanted to do it here, but we didn't really think it was feasible," Weatherby said.

The couple considered getting hitched in Los Angeles, but throwing a ceremony there was too pricey, he said. They also looked into a Palm Springs wedding, but they didn't feel a connection to the area.

Unhappy with the other wedding locations, the couple sent e-mails to City Hall officials, hoping to get help with securing Montrose Shopping Park as their wedding destination.

Councilman John Drayman responded to the couple and helped them get the support they needed to get married at the shopping park, Weatherby said.

Weatherby said he encouraged his guests to walk the business area and shop.

"I told them to go see people and spend your money," he said. "This is what it is about."

The wedding setup was similar to the park's regular street fairs and block parties, City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian said.

The city made sure a portion of Honolulu was blocked, and traffic was rerouted during the event to prevent accidents, he said.

"All we can say is that we wish them well," Kassakhian said.

The use of local vendors and putting on a wedding on Honolulu had never been done, said Dale Dawson, Montrose Shopping Park Assn. president.

"I think it's a unique event, but I don't think it will become a pattern," he said.

Dawson helped the couple get a permit for the special event.

"It kind of has the feeling of a hometown atmosphere," he said.

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