A smitten Co. Cork man believes he has found the perfect way to fund his fiancée’s dream of a lavish Las Vegas wedding -- by inviting random strangers to bid to gate-crash the celebrations.
Patsy O'Connor, from Kanturk, has just launched a novel online bidding war, which he hopes will raise thousands of euros to cover the cost of his unconventional big day next March.
O'Connor, who will marry Bulgarian Radina Hadshieva, 28, admitted funding for his $20,000 wedding party, the day before St. Patrick's Day next issue, was "an issue.”
So he has decided to include a table of six strangers at the reception and opened up bidding at $400 per head.
But the fun-loving 39-year-old, who runs a web development company in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, promised his gate-crashers they could expect the "party of a lifetime in the party capital of the world," followed by further celebrations the following day on St. Patrick's Day.
"Funding for weddings has and always will be an issue and there has been an increasing amount of websites launched, where guests and friends can donate online to a wedding fund or online honeymoon, thus paying for the costly event,” O’Connor said.
"I had a different idea. We decided to invite six random strangers to the wedding. But here is the twist - they have to bid online for this privilege.
"My future wife agreed instantly to this idea. Thankfully, the thoughts of having six random strangers at her wedding did not bother her in the slightest.
"If we like you at the wedding, then you will be invited along for the St. Patrick's Day festivities, which will be on Fremont Street in downtown Vegas with the entire wedding party the following day."
O'Connor said he hopes to attract bids from all around the world from "like-minded extroverts,” adding that the successful bidders will enjoy "our matrimonial ceremony, a full sit-down meal, open bar, character-filled and fun-fueled guest list, DJ, dancing and general all-round shenanigans".
He added, "We think this is a great idea, but it's also a bit of light-hearted fun too. It's a kind of social experiment and it'll be fascinating to see what kind of response we get.
"It'll certainly make our wedding unique, with a table full of six people who don't know each other nor anyone else at the wedding at all."
Audacious O'Connor is also hoping to tempt businesses into funding limo hire, hotel and flight expenses, a honeymoon in Disneyland and even a budget for gambling in Vegas casinos.
For more information, see www.gatecrashmywedding.com.