You’d have to be irrational not to celebrate Pi Day .... by getting married at &pizza! Ok, now that we have gotten that cornball moment our of our system, we can just move right along. Shall we?
On Tuesday, March 14 (3.14=Pi Day... get it??), &pizza is transforming their Chinatown store into a Vegas-style, pop-up wedding chapel where pizza-loving couples can host their nuptials for free. The tradition began in 2015 when Katie, a math teacher, and Michael, a pizza fanatic, agreed to let Pop! Wed Co and &pizza plan their wedding at the U Street location.
"Pi Day is a really fun day in pizza world, and you'll often see promotional specials like $3.14 pizzas," says Sam Blum, &pizza's guest experience manager and the mastermind behind the Pi Day weddings. "We've never been know to fit the mold , though and we do things a little unconventionally here. A core value at &pizza is to celebrate oneness and unity, and what stronger connection is there than marriage? Pi Day is a great opportunity to celebrate that."
Five weddings, six vow renewals and two commitment ceremonies later, Pi Day weddings have become an iconic brand story for &pizza that will also expand to the Baltimore and Philadelphia market this year. With more than 60 submissions for this year's Pi Day weddings, &pizza had to narrow it down to eight weddings in D.C. and at least 10 ceremonies across the three markets in order to ensure they had time and space to accommodate all couples properly. Besides acquiring the marriage license -- which is the responsibility of the couple -- &pizza takes care of everything, providing an officiant, a photographer, beer, wine and champagne, pizza (duh!), dessert and flowers.
"The ceremony itself is fairly simple," says Sam. "We keep it short, a couple of minutes tops, and then each couple gets 45-60 minutes to celebrate in the store with their family and friends. That said, we do work individually with every couple to make sure this day is everything they dreamed of."
Lizzy McErlean and Tyler Orton, who were married on Pi Day at &pizza's Columbia Heights location last year, said the highlight of the day was the genuineness of the whole experience.
"I guess in a way I was expecting the whole thing to be a big joke and pretty goofy," says Tyler. " I was impressed at how sincere everyone was, and it really made the day memorable."
Lizzy says they "even incorporated a pizza pun into the vows for Tyler," whose favorite food is pizza.
"They wouldn't have sold us on it had it been in like an ice cream store, but I love pizza, and I love Lizzy so it worked," joked Tyler.
Lizzy and Tyler met at Tour de Fat -- a signature D.C. event celebrating bikes, beer and bemusement -- in 2012 and got engaged at the same event three years later.
"We met and kindled our relationship in D.C., so we were really into how quirky and D.C. the idea of a wedding at &pizza was," says Lizzy.
The newlyweds even stayed to watch the wedding following theirs as they wanted to share in the joy.
"It just felt like a big celebration of love," says Lizzy. "They had weddings scheduled all day from ours at 9 a.m. until close, which I think is at like 9 p.m."
Lizzy and Tyler even have friends participating in this year's Pi Day weddings, and Tyler hopes to swing by to celebrate with them. DC Refined will be on hand this Tuesday to capture all the joyous moments of this year's weddings, so stay tuned for pics!