Monday, August 23, 2004 Posted: 12:28 PM EDT (1628 GMT) CNN
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Somewhere between the junk food aisle and the automotive department, Pat Byrd and Bill Hughes fell in love.
So it was only natural that they should marry where the magic happened -- Wal-Mart.
"It never dawned on me to have it anyplace else," said the 55-year-old bride.
Neither bride nor groom work at the discount store. Still, they spend more time there than many employees do, wandering the aisles and visiting friends for up to six hours a day, nearly every day since the store opened two years ago.
"I talk to people and walk around for exercise, and we always buy a soda or a sandwich or something," 51-year-old Hughes said. "If we're not here, the store people worry about us. They're our family."
Both Pat Byrd and Bill Hughes are disabled. They met nine years ago, when Bill was a patient at a North Idaho hospital and so was Pat's sister.
"He became a good friend, and when my sister died, we kept him in the family," she said. "He doesn't drive, and any time he went to Wal-Mart, I'd take him."
They celebrated their blooming love with a ceremony Friday in Wal-Mart's garden center. The store manager was a groomsman, and a fabric department employee was matron of honor.
A garden center employee, Chuck Foruria, walked alongside Pat as she rode her motorized shopping cart down the makeshift aisle, her oxygen tank in the basket.
"Who gives this woman in marriage?" asked Stacey Garza of the Free Will Church.
"Her friends and family at Wal-Mart," Foruria replied.