Remember the last time you had a hot dog? Maybe it was in your backyard on a warm afternoon, in the stands at a baseball game, or on the boardwalk at sunset. Chances are, you were surrounded by friends, family, or people who make you smile; we eat hot dogs at moments of togetherness and joy.
It was just that kind of moment, beneath the stars in a candlelit courtyard, when I myself last had a hot dog. I was seated among wedding guests in breezy cocktail attire, all of whom were laughing, telling jokes and stories, clinking glasses of sparkling wine, and passing around bowls of ketchup, mustard, and relish to spoon over their Oscar Mayer hot dogs. Lively saxophone music filled the air, and the bride and groom glided between tables, bestowing hugs and smiles. In the eaves red and yellow lights were twinkling — each in the shape of a tiny ketchup or mustard bottle.
In that moment, something that had at first sounded a little fanciful, a little absurd — a hot dog wedding! — made complete and utter sense: A celebration of love and family is exactly where hot dogs belong. That’s why Oscar Mayer decided to help one hot dog–loving couple celebrate their love by throwing them a gorgeous, fully hot dog–themed wedding in New York City.
Meet our hot dog couple, Allie and Colin — newly Mr. and Mrs. Parajon! They both grew up in the South, and Allie has always been a major hot dog fan (she used to put Oscar Mayer hot dogs in her mac ‘n’ cheese 😍). She was starstruck when the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile visited her elementary school, and even got matching “My Favorite Meat Is Hot Dog” shirts for her bridesmaids. Colin’s dad is a Cuban American who came to the US as a child and adores everything all-American — like hot dogs at baseball games, of course. Both Allie and Colin are big football fans and loved to tailgate with hot dogs in college — Colin was even the cofounder of his high school’s official Hot Dog Committee (yes, that’s a thing!). Their idea of a “perfect” wedding: having all their nearest and dearest to share the happy day, and showing everyone a darn good time. Throw in a little bit of silliness and a whole lot of hot dogs, and you have the wedding of this couple’s dreams.
They’re the type of folks who are down to let the internet decide some of the quirkiest details of their wedding day, starting with the message on the chalkboard sign that welcomed guests to the Foundry (the stunning venue for the night): “Let’s relish this special day!” As I take you all with me to this wedding, now seems like a good time to warn you — there will be hot dog puns. So many hot dog puns.
Entering the Foundry at the start of the night, my first impression was that I’d wandered into an enchanted urban garden where hot dog–making elves might frolic. The red brick walls were covered in lush greenery, bouquets of fresh flowers tied with satin ribbons decorated the seats, and the ceiling twinkled with red and yellow string lights. Arriving guests were excitedly snapping photos of a dainty white cushion, upon which were nestled a pair of custom-made, hot dog–shaped wedding rings — the first taste of the many hot dog–themed surprises to come. The rings were created specifically for the day by Kerin Rose Gold.
I spotted lots of red and yellow dresses as we all drifted toward our seats — and even a few hot dog–adorned ties. This crowd was clearly on board with the theme and ready for some hot dog fun.
The guests’ babble hushed as the Alex Weill violin trio, ensconced in an upper balcony, began tuning their instruments, and the anticipation in the air heightened. At the top of the aisle the officiant, comedian Casey Jost, took his position, dapper in a hot dog–inspired suit chosen by BuzzFeed readers (a bun-colored jacket, sausage-red waistcoat, and mustard tie!). Silk rustled, leather shoes squeaked, and the last of the guests’ happy whispers fell silent as the strains of string music swelled — “Dog Years” by Maggie Rogers ;) — and the wedding party began their entrance.
The groom: adorable in a forest green suit and snazzy pink sneakers. The bride: completely breathtaking in white. The ring bearer: …a sudden squeak from the bottom of the aisle and all heads turned to see an unbelievably smol hot dog car — about the size of a standard poodle and just as sweet and sassy. It was the Oscar Mayer Wiener Rover in the flesh, and it zoomed down the aisle like a tiny hot dog car with a very important mission — because it was, in fact, a tiny hot dog car with a very important mission. A top-secret compartment in the Wiener Rover was opened, and our officiant retrieved the precious wedding rings. After nipping a bit at the officiant’s ankles, the Wiener Rover zoomed right on out. Farewell and thank you, small friend!
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today for one of the coolest weddings you’ll ever attend in your entire life,” the officiant began, and proceeded to “mustard up” a whole bunch of hot dog puns. Our laughter soon turned to happy tears as he described the couple’s commitment to each other and the love present in the room. An incredible thing about this wedding was how the mood could change from lighthearted and silly to poignant (and back again) in an instant, bringing everyone along for the ride. I may or may not have sobbed through Allie and Colin’s vows...and then the officiant asked, “Do you promise to love each other for better or for wurst?” (Spoiler: They do.)
Allie and Colin were pronounced married, the crowd went wild at their kiss, and the pair dashed off to a private roof garden for a quiet moment alone. Meanwhile everyone else headed into a sunlit atrium for cocktail hour. The lush green space had been transformed into an actual hot dog wonderland.
Hot dogs were growing on the trees, and flowing mustard fountains were surrounded by bucketloads of pigs in a blanket. Waiters served trays of hot dog hush puppies, hot dog sushi, and “weenie crostini” (recipes developed by the Tasty team!). Guests treated themselves to snacks from an enormous grazing table covered in meats, cheeses, and veggies in a beautiful display. In pride of place was a “painting” of the happy couple made entirely of hot dog condiments. Yup, I felt just like a kid in a candy shop.
With glasses of wine in hand, we all spilled out into the leafy courtyard for another surprise. Parked in the corner, in all its enormous red-and-yellow glory, was the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile!
It was fresh from roaming the hot dog highways of America and decked out in a giant velvet top hat and bow tie for the occasion. If guests’ sheer delight at spotting the Wienermobile was anything to go by, I’m convinced any event would be improved by the addition of a huge hot dog–shaped vehicle. I even got to check out the inside and poke my head up out of the “bunroof.”
We soon found our seats at the long trestle tables, which were set with elegant glassware and strewn with glittering hot dog ornaments. Atop every place setting sat a hot dog bun, each one laser-etched with the name of a wedding guest in fancy calligraphy. As guests snapped selfies with their personalized buns, the bride and groom mingled happily, votive candles flickered, and the warm air started to fill with the unmistakable smell of hot dogs cooking. At long last, delicious (and nitrate- and nitrite-free since 2017) Oscar Mayer hot dogs were placed in each bun, and we all tucked into this very special first course.
A buffet dinner followed (I’m still dreaming about that hot dog cassoulet), and as guests chattered and laughed uproariously, a crooning saxophone player wandered the aisles. Moonlight glimmered on the cobblestones, and we chirped along to the music on tiny hot dog–shaped Wienerwhistles. Soon everyone was itching to get out on the dance floor.
What a party! We all danced our buns off in the light of neon hot dog signs, pausing to enjoy dessert treats and slices of wedding cake from Milk Bar (check out the adorable cake topper, selected by BuzzFeed readers!).
Some guests donned full hot dog costumes — and you know what, there’s nothing more hilariously magical than human hot dogs grooving along with you on your wedding night. If you think I’m wrong, I challenge you to watch a hot dog shimmy on the dance floor. Tell me you’re not frankly delighted.
Love and delight were truly the essence of this one-of-a-kind wedding. Oscar Mayer translated their love for hot dogs into a night of true joy and community, with a hint of silliness — perfect for celebrating Allie and Colin’s love for each other. The clock struck midnight, and the wedding guests stood gathered around the Wienermobile as Allie and Colin climbed on board. We all cheered, blew our Wienerwhistles, and waved neon glowsticks — some of us barefoot with heels in hand, some wearing hot dog suits, all pleasantly tired from dancing. Confetti cannons showered the newlyweds in red and yellow. As the Wienermobile drove off into the night, the “JUST LINKED” banner fluttering, I considered that this odd couple — hot dogs and a wedding — might just be a match made in heaven.
Photographs by JJ Reddington / Illustrations By Nicole Ench © BuzzFeed