Mass wedding shows love of the Bull City

Posted March 20, 2011
Updated March 22, 2011

— Durham residents in love with the Bull City got to show their community pride at a mass wedding Saturday.

Hundreds of individuals and couples held an outdoor ceremony, called "Marry Durham Day," in the 700 block of Rigsbee Street. They vowed to honor and cherish their beloved Durham.

Marry Durham wedding planner May Alexander called it "a joyous celebration of civic pride."

Laurie Siegel said she fell in love with Durham after moving there from Baltimore.

"This is a marriage between a big city and a small town," Siegel said. "We can't go anywhere without seeing someone we know. It's a wonderful place to raise a family."

After the ceremony, the newlyweds celebrated with a three-hour block party.

Singer and Durham resident Justin Robinson performed. His group, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, won the 2011 Grammy for best traditional folk album.

"I have been all around the world, but I still choose to call Durham home," Robinson said.

About 70 people bought wedding packages ranging from $10 to a couple hundred dollars beforehand, and more just showed up Saturday, event spokeswoman Virginia Hill said.

The event raised money for five nonprofits: the Eno River Association, Genesis Home, Latino Community Development Center, The Scrap Exchange and Walltown Children's Theatre.

Bridges said that $10,000 had been raised earlier this week, and that total was expected to grow with donations at the event.


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  • promethianfire Mar 21, 2011

    I tried to divorce Durham, but the court was made up of Durham County Commissioners. I wanted to divorce it for fiscal infidelity. They spend like there is no tomorrow, wasteing money on boondogle after boondogle and racking up unmanaglable debt. Durham returns nothing to her spouses other than failed promises of good schools, good roads, good management and low crime. Like a spoiled spendthrift Durham feels entitled to more than it deserves, and is not above using questionable legal process to force her wants on John Q. Public.

  • Z Man Mar 21, 2011

    Durham, N.C. — A man wounded early Saturday in a drive-by shooting on the Durham Freeway died early Monday, police said.

    No need to wear a bulletproof vest in Durham... bulletproof glass in your car should suffice.

  • GetRight Mar 21, 2011

    It sounds to me like the event was a "I love durham and am getting married to the city as a fundraiser" rather than a "I love Durham so I want to have my wedding to my spouse with a bunch of other people to show my support for the city".

    There's a big difference.

  • brassy Mar 21, 2011

    Two years ago, I was in an ambulance. I was very out of it, but I knew they were taking me to Durham because the ambulance was crashing up and down like it had gone offroad.

  • issymayake Mar 21, 2011


    Who has to wear a bulletproof vest walking in Durham? Southern hyperbole is alive and well. The problem of course is that many people are starting to believe their own fisherman tales.

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Mar 21, 2011

    No, a "mass" wedding in Durham shows how many truly cheap couples there are out there. Hey honey, let's share our wedding day with 69 other couples we don't know or care about. Or maybe we could just go with one of those redneck type weddings where we get married in the mud hole in front of our trailer park, with our shirts off and 59 cases of cheap beer. Nothing says I love you like getting married in mass.

  • jamzwilkins Mar 21, 2011

    Maybe they were just hoping for a "shotgun" wedding while driving down the highway? I guess you have to do something to

  • ncouterbanks69 Mar 21, 2011

    "Racists are afraid when they see Blacks participating in the arts and living peacefully beside their similarly successful non-black neighbors."

    Aaahhh the well overplayed race card. Is there ever a situation where it can't be used? So because some of us prefer not to have to walk the streets in a bullet proof vest we are racist? WOW....I thought I had heard ever use of that tired excuse. I guess I was wrong.

  • ncouterbanks69 Mar 21, 2011

    "You mean a real town like Creedmoor? Riiiight. I'm sure you have more "productive members of society" there than I do in my neighborhood in Durham. Who wants to raise their kids around doctors, artists, scientists, tech professionals, and academics, after all?"

    I am just glad that instead of seeing stars at nigh you enjoy seeing lights and the flashing of 357's being shot. You enjoy hearing the booming of a $2K speaker system in a $1K car, I enjoy hearing crickets. You enjoy having the arm pit of NC in your backyard, I enjoy having undeveloped woods. To each their own but I suppose I have to be happy that for whatever reason some people enjoy that hole in the ground. But your right durham is great you don't want to move.

  • ambidextrous cat Mar 21, 2011

    Durham hate is similar to the belief that all pit bulls are vicious man-eating monsters. A reputation is not often earned by fact- it's instead perpetuated by scare mongering fallacies designed to make money. Someone is profiting off of racism and classism, but it's not the middle class. I've been to Durham several times and I've never felt unsafe. There are "unsavory" areas in all cities. Durham has actually become a cultural arts center recently. Racists are afraid when they see Blacks participating in the arts and living peacefully beside their similarly successful non-black neighbors.

    When I come to wral I am priviliged to come in contact with the dregs of society; fortunately these attitudes are not representative of North Carolina in general.