Elizabeth, NJ — A couple who met at an IKEA store nearly a decade ago returned to the store Saturday morning for their wedding.
Shirley Stewart spotted Berkeley “Rashid” Smith at an IKEA store in Elizabeth, New Jersey, eight years ago while she was running errands with her then-14-year-old, Jashirele.
“I told my, ‘Oh, he’s cute,” Jashirele Stewart said.
The two followed Smith through the aisles until the teenager worked up the nerve to ask for Stewart’s number.
“I panicked,” the girl’s mother said.
However, her daughter’s intervention led to the couple dating, and they made an agreement that if they got married, they would have the wedding in the IKEA photo department where they first met.
IKEA spokeswoman Olivia Johnson attended the wedding and said that, while there have been weddings at IKEA store all over the world, this was the first to be held at the Elizabeth location. She said the staff was “so excited” about the request to have their wedding there.
“We were here for you when you met,” Johnson told Stewart and Smith. “So we wanted to be here for you when you exchanged your vows.”
Stewart and Smith, who have seven children between them, were blessed by Stewart’s friend, Audrey Rice of St. Paul’s Calvary Church of God in Union. The couple then finished exchanging their vows at the home of Smith’s grandmother in Newark, who is recovering from surgery and was unable to make it to the IKEA for the blessing. The two then had a masquerade party.
Just last week, a North Carolina couple had their wedding at the Walmart where they first met in 2005. Wayne and Susan Bradenburg met while Susan was a cashier at the store, and Wayne often came in to see her. He finally decided to ask her on a date to a Chinese buffet, and she accepted and brought her two daughters along. Wayne Bradenburg fell for his future bride and began bringing her lunch every day. A year later, he proposed, and the two remained engaged for six years. When they finally picked a date, Wayne Bradenburg jokingly suggested they have the wedding at Walmart, and his fiancée agreed.
“I first said it as a joke,” he said. “But we batted it around and realized that it’s where we met, where we dated and where most of her friends worked, so we asked the store and they gave us their blessing.”
You can watch a video of Shirley Stewart and Berkeley “Rashid” Smith’s IKEA wedding below.
What do you think of IKEA and Walmart weddings?