More than 100 people pay to attend a mock wedding at Glendon

Posters plastered throughout the hallways at York’s Glendon campus asking, "Are you coming to the wedding?", created quite a buzz, drumming up over 100 people to pay $30 each to attend a mock wedding held as part of a fourth-year economics class project.

Initial reaction to the wedding’s publicity was one of curiosity. It elicited a host of questions from intrigued students, such as: Who was getting married? Why at Glendon? Why this public invitation?

Right: Robert Despatie and Glendon student volunteer Aseel El-Baba

The March 1 wedding was a new take on an annual assignment on corporate finance, handed out by Robert Despatie in one of the economics courses he teaches. As part of the project, students were required to write an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the fall term. Just like the real ones in the business world, this IPO included a project proposal and a budget detailing financing and costs. In the second semester, the students implemented the plan within the Glendon community, enabling participants to apply the concepts learned in-class and fostering student initiative.

The wedding idea was the brainchild of a seven-member student team composed of Amy Gowans, Daniel De Dominicis, Tracy Yee, Kristel Ng, Christian Bwarikukiye, Max Zelenine and Thomas Guillot. Their fictional company – Magic Moments Corp. – was designed to specialize in unique, tailored events with the wedding as its first project.

"As part of our marketing strategy, we created a mystery around our event with the tag line ‘Are you coming to the wedding?’," said Guillot. "People were really fascinated by these ads which started a buzz about the event."

The organizers planned for 100 guests at $30 per ticket – with semi-formal attire a must – and sold every ticket with requests for more. The guests, fully aware it was a mock wedding, seemed thrilled to be part of the event. Organizers issued shares to potential investors (anyone could be an investor) to finance the evening and recruited volunteers for various positions – photographer, D.J., actor and leader for party games. After covering expenses, the profits went to student scholarships disbursed by the Friends of Glendon and some went to assist the operations of the Glendon Entrepreneurial Club.

Left: The Magic Moments Corp. team of Max Zelenine (left), Christian Bwarikukiye, Daniel De Dominicis, Thomas Guillot, Amy Gowans, Kristel Ng and Tracy Yee

The wedding, which was held in Glendon’s cafeteria, was a huge success financially and as an educational experience. "We wanted to capture the school spirit of the Glendon community," said De Dominicis. "We chose this theme because weddings consist of an intimate crowd…celebrating with their closest friends and families. This wedding really showcased the kind of positive atmosphere we have at Glendon. It was a lot of fun and it really worked."

The evening had all the paraphernalia of a fancy nuptial, including the ceremony, dinner, music, dancing and a theatrical performance. Playing the part as the father figure at the wedding, Despatie had the honour of giving away the "bride".

"At first I was a bit hesitant about the idea of organizing a mock wedding for a school assignment," said Gowans. "I joined the group halfway through the project and developed a real appreciation for Glendon classes, which are so dynamic. I found this experience to be very enriching, because it incorporated active learning. Glendon has a great sense of community and I am happy to be a part of it."

Submitted to YFile by Thomas Guillot, president of the Glendon Entrepreneurial Club, and Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny