On a recent sunny day in June, a wedding chapel hit the road. It was just another day for the chapel on wheels, which brings the wedding to your front door — wherever that may be.
“Onetime, a couple saw us coming down the Pennsylvania Turnpike, my phone goes off and they said, “‘We’re driving down the turnpike and saw your chapel and we’d love to have you marry us,’” said Bil Malbon, the owner of Tiny Chapel Weddings, which is based in Ashland, Va.
Since the start of the pandemic, Mr. Malbon said, his services have become even more coveted, as couples have looked for creative ways to downsize.
Couples interested in a mobile wedding, whether it’s a traditional church affair or a Pinterest-worthy bash, have an increasing number of options.
Tiny Chapel Weddings
Inspired by the tiny house movement, Mr. Malbon had always dreamed of opening a tiny wedding chapel after he retired. He was already a Baptist minister, but worked as a Virginia State network technician employee in Ashland to pay the bills. He finally retired early a decade ago and worked with an architect friend for nine months to build the 75-square-foot chapel, complete with two pews. The chapel, which has been on the road since 2015, fits a maximum of 20 people. “The appeal for the small wedding is that I bring the church to you, but the other thing is just being able to go to a small church,” Mr. Malbon said. “The change in intimacy is amazing.”
Prices start at $650 for weddings within an hour’s drive of Ashland, Virginia; out-of-state weddings start at $1,600. The Tiny Chapel will travel anywhere. Tinychapelweddings.com
Designed for pop-up weddings, this 1950s Kenskill teardrop trailer has a vintage neon sign that says, “Sure.” Victoria Hogan, the owner and founder and Universal Life Church minister with Flora Pop, will bring her teardrop trailer anywhere within an eight-hour drive from Las Vegas, where she is based. And she also provides an Elvis impersonator, champagne, flowers and wedding cake doughnuts. In May 2021, she did more than 40 weddings, driving everywhere from the desert to the Las Vegas Strip. “It’s your one-stop wedding shop,” Ms. Hogan said. Most of her couples opt for no guests, though Ms. Hogan can host up to 15 attendees.
Best Wedding Chapel
The wedding chapel on wheels was once a fire truck that was transformed with help from the reality Country Music Television show “Trick My Truck.” It’s decked out with stained-glass windows, a pipe organ, two pews and an altar. The only hint that this was once a fire truck is its speed: The Guinness Book of World Records officially designated the Best Wedding Chapel as the “World’s Fastest Wedding Chapel” when it reached 62 miles per hour, said Darrell Best, an owner of the chapel based in Shelbyville, Ill. Weddings are performed on the back of the truck, which looks like the front steps of a church. Sometimes, however, couples request a wedding on the go, with one person driving the chapel while another performs the moving (actual moving) service. If the chapel is stationary, any number of people can attend the wedding from outside.
Starts at $200 for local weddings; $2 per mile if the chapel leaves Shelbyville. They will travel anywhere. Bestweddingchapel.com
After watching so many people postponing their weddings during the pandemic, Joyce Richard, of Springfield, Ohio, said she got an idea: “I saw people doing mobile bars out of horse trailers, so why not have a wedding in a horse trailer?” She has a white horse trailer that is quaint and festive inside, decorated with stained glass, artificial turf and a rustic décor. Ms. Richard said she’s been performing about one wedding per week, setting up at public parks, lakes, gardens and backyards. She can host up to 15 people, and all the weddings include flowers, champagne, cupcakes and a 30-minute ceremony.
$300, available within five miles of Springfield, Ohio. www.facebook.com/hitchedmobile.
Oregon Teardrop Rentals
Michelle Boyle, of Sherwood, Ore., loves to create Pinterest-worthy masterpieces. First, she constructed an entire village, aptly named My Tiny House Village, a collection of tiny rental homes in Oregon. But shortly after the initial lockdown, while everyone else was at home toying with sourdough, she decided to make a pop-up wedding on wheels. And so Oregon Teardrop Rentals’ Weddings on Wheels was born. Ms. Boyle arrives with the bright red teardrop recreational vehicle and pops open the real galley, which becomes the altar/serving station. Couples do need to bring their own officiant, but the teardrop R.V. can double as a road trip honeymoon suite. (Couples may hitch their own vehicle to the R.V., and Ms. Boyle will offer them a quick driving lesson.)
Starts at $3,000, will travel anywhere. Oregonteardroprentals.com