A newlywed couple who fell in love on a date at McDonald’s recalled their passion for the fast food giant with a wedding anniversary photo shoot in the drive-through – however, a “honeymoon special” did not become available.
History teacher Sara Youssif, 25, and Abz Salama, 27, of Greenwich, London, had always joked that McDonald’s was something they had in common and had long planned to run away to enjoy fast food after their wedding.
Snapshots show the couple in love grinning in their wedding outfits as they roll through the driveway in a white vintage Rolls Royce and food is served through the kiosk window.
The fun shots were taken by wedding photographer Jake Owens at the Finchley Lido branch of McDonald’s in Barnet, London, after the ceremony on May 31st.
Despite comments from friends that McDonald’s wasn’t “elegant,” Sara said she was more than happy with how the day went as she and specialist mental health pharmacist Abz enjoyed their second date on the chain.
While the staff were quick to congratulate them, when the couple asked if there was a special honeymoon special or something special to do for them, the couple claimed they were told “no” while the staff said it was the first Bride in which they had.
Sara said: “It all went well, we were very relaxed that day and did what we wanted. And we felt like going to McDonald’s.
“The transit staff were surprised to see us – they smiled but surprised. I asked if they could do something for us, but they said no.
“So we asked if there was a honeymoon special. They said I was the first bride and we got lots of congratulations from passers-by.
“We always talked about the McDonald’s thing, even on our second date I thought, ‘Just take me to McDonald’s.’
“I didn’t eat anything on the wedding day – just a Coke and I took a few chips with me. But in normal times I got a quarter pounder, Coke with ice cream and twenty nuggets to share – and double cheeseburgers on the side.”
Abz said: “Before we even got married, we always said on the date, ‘You know what would be good? After our wedding, after all our nerves have calmed down, we just do a McDonald’s drive through.’
“We both love McDonald’s, as funny as that sounds. After the wedding, we just said, ‘Let’s do it. Why not?”
“We always joked about it, but when the day actually came we thought we’d make it. It was good though – I was really hungry. Got a sweet chilli chicken wrap, can’t go wrong.
“Our family laughed a lot. I remember when we got out of the wedding car at the reception, my uncle saw me carrying the empty bag and said ‘You’re kidding’.”
The couple have been together for over eight years and the wedding itself came with a long delay.
Abz said, “We originally wanted to get married in August last year, but then it was postponed. Long story short, when we got married we had planned it for the fourth time.
“But until that day we weren’t sure if it actually happened. Boris Johnson could have appeared on TV and announced that there would be no more weddings.
“The wedding was such a surreal experience and the day itself felt like a blur.”
Sara said, “It focused more on the essentials, which is the fact that we were getting married and that we had our families with us.
“And we had McDonald’s with us. What more could you want? We had everything we needed.”
Jake Owens, 27, the wedding photographer, said the photos were something he loved to take.
Jake said, “We had just taken the couple’s official portraits in Hampstead when the idea came up of stopping on a drive through.
“It was a hot day and we were all hoping to get a cold drink, I think. As we sat in line behind them I thought I’d better jump out and grab some pictures here.
“I don’t remember ever doing a wedding shoot in a restaurant, but I’ve always wanted to take some wedding photos in an American diner. Something about this Americana, cool atmosphere really appeals to me. “
The wedding photographer from Balham, Wandsworth said he appreciated the unique style of the shots.
Jake said, “As a company, me and my business partner Tim are always looking for wedding photos that stand out and are not traditionally ‘wedding-like’ where we can.
“The idea of taking a few photos while we were walking down the driveway at McDonald’s seemed like a good, if somewhat silly, idea.
“I tweeted the pictures to McDonald’s. As with most things I tweet, I usually try to be funny.
“Though the subtext was that I was kind of hoping that McDonald’s could offer us a voucher for a happy meal or something. You have to be there to win it.”
McDonald’s was asked for a comment.