All eyes might have been on France this weekend for the rumored wedding of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie that went bust, but a pretty spectacular wedding took place Friday in Mesa, Ariz.
Not one, not two, but five of eight siblings from one Arizona family said their “I Do’s” in what has been dubbed the “Mega Wedding.”
The Waldies (Sydney, 25; Brooke, 20; Bradford, 26; Walker, 24 and Emily, 28) all got engaged within one month of each other: Sydney to Doug, Walker to Jillian, Emily to William, Bradford to Megan and Brooke to Todd. So Doug Waldie, their father, came up with the biggest proposal yet: A quintuple wedding.
“Except for Walker, who had dated his new wife in high school, the rest of the couples had just met each other around October of last year,” Waldie said. “By December or so, I could see the tidal of waves coming. They were all very, very much in love. So even at that point, I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m never going to be able to afford that many weddings.’”
The siblings and their soon-to-be spouses each had their own opinions of the “Mega Wedding” idea:
“I wanted it and then I didn’t want it. I wanted my own day,” Walker’s wife, Jillian, said;
“My biggest sacrifice is not having it in my backyard,” Brooke said;
“We wanted to be together,” Sydney said;
“They all eventually came around,” Bradford concluded.
Doug Waldie joked that if they hadn’t done the combined wedding, the only other option would have been far less appealing, depending on the order of the weddings. “Whoever’s in first place is going to get a really nice reception. Whoever’s fifth gets $32.50 and a bus ticket to wherever you want to go,” he said, laughing.
Eventually, however, all five couples put aside their differences and agreed to the joint effort. The tight-knit family made the decision largely because one son – and groom – was required to report to Air Force pilot training at the end of August, and they wanted to be sure he would be able to attend all the ceremonies, according to East Valley Tribune.
“The kids wanted to put their own interests aside. They didn’t want to miss being at each others’ big days,” Doug said.
And with that, many mega-planning sessions and preparations later, the “Mega Wedding” day had finally arrived. Their joint reception was preceded by five individual, private ceremonies, one right after another.
The entire day went without a hitch.
“There was no significant trauma,” mom Kristen Waldie said. “Everybody was just so excited to have it all happen. People don’t believe me that there really wasn’t any drama.”
And it was quite a big day for little sister Andee, who was a bridesmaid in four of her siblings’ weddings. She proudly donned four different bridesmaids’ outfits in a matter of a few hours.
“She was ever-present,” Doug Waldie said. “She’s the child that loves to be involved with everything. If there’s a conversation, she wants to hear about it. She was thrilled. She did have four different pairs of shoes and four different outfits.”
Kristen said, “For each of the bride’s colors, there was a separate ruffle in her skirt.”
There were five separate wedding cakes for each of the newlyweds. Doug was quick to mention his favorite was the chocolate with Oreo-cream icing.
Kristen said, “They all chose their own flavor. One of the cakes was made by Jillian’s aunt. And I made the rest of the four.”
But all minor details aside, the parents agree it was the love of the family that meant the most that day.
“Really, the thing that made it most important for the event to happen was the love of family,” Doug said. “It wasn’t financially driven, or organizationally driven, it was the fact our family is so close and we’ve had such a great family bond.
“Our story is unique because there’s five kids involved. This is a story about a family that loves each other, and kids that are willing to sacrifice to be there with family.”
All the couples are off enjoying their honeymoons right now, in separate vacation spots.