Carrie Tolzmann says it doesn't bother her that there will be a lot of credit-card-carrying strangers at her wedding Saturday.
"Everyone says: `How can you have all these strangers at your wedding?' I say `Everybody has strangers at their wedding - just not 1,500.'"I'll have more people at my wedding than Marie Osmond did."
Dum, dum, dah-dum. Welcome to the opening of the Wedding Season.
This is the time of year when the number of wedding invitations arriving in Utah mailboxes exceeds the combined number of utility bills, credit card payment notices and bargain coupons. Watch for the spring editions of Modern Bride magazine - of a size guaranteed to build bicep muscles - to start appearing on Salt Lake coffee tables.
It is now open season for diamond engagement ring advertisements picturing starry-eyed couples and for that old marketing standby, the bridal fair.
Carrie Tolzmann, 25, is an opinionated bride, one of the more than 8,000 Utah women who will say "I do" this year. She picked dramatic, formal colors - black and white with touches of red - for her March wedding. She knew she didn't want a typical color scheme, like the pastels she said seem to drape every other Utah wedding. "I've always wanted something a little bit different."
And her fiance, Marc A. Weaver, 28, a narrator, audio engineer and radio disc jockey, said he's used to performing.
It was a radio ad that Tolzmann heard on the way to work that made all the difference in their wedding plans and helped the Ogden couple concoct an offbeat wedding to fit what they call their off-the-wall personalities.
Members of Weaver's family, who live in Indiana, weren't able to afford the trip to Utah for the wedding. Tolzmann said she felt really bad that her in-laws wouldn't be able to attend. And that's when she proposed the idea of getting married in the Ogden City Mall.
"I said: `If we do this mall thing, then we'll be able to fly them out,' " Tolzmann said. "We were able to take care of that because the mall is taking care of our wedding."
The mall was looking for a bridal couple to throw rice upon as a highlight of its annual bridal fair. Ogden merchants offered to plan and pay for a wedding officiated by Odgen Mayor Clifford Goff, if the wedding couple wouldn't mind giving up a little privacy.
Ten couples jumped at the chance, and mall officials selected Tolzmann and Weaver to star in what is thought to be Utah's first mall marriage.
"I was excited," Weaver said. "I thought it sounded like fun. It's sort of a zany way to have a wedding and it sort of matches our personalities."
Mall and city merchants have helped with the nuptials, donating tuxedo and dress rentals, the flowers, the groom's wedding ring, limousine service and decorations. The bride and bridegroom have invited 300 guests to their 3 p.m. wedding at the mall's Center Court, which will be followed by a reception. The mall plans to serve cake and punch to 500 people, including those clutching shopping bags and warm credit cards.
Tolzmann's mother, Lois Poole, admits she was shocked at first at the idea of her daughter tying the knot to the tune of cash registers. But she's getting used to the idea.
"People just laugh. And you know what they say? They say only Carrie would do this, and only Carrie would get away with it."
Tolzmann, an accounts and purchasing coordinator for Stars National in Clinton, sounds like a practical bride. She feels lucky that mall officials have taken over the burden of planning to make her wedding perfect - and she's looking forward to 5:30 p.m. Saturday when all the hoopla will be history.
"You can't beat it. And I don't have to clean it up."