By Jasmine Kazlauskas
This bride and groom made a very unusual pit stop in the middle of their extravagant $95,000 AUD wedding – stopping at McDonald’s to fill their rumbling stomachs.
While Zeina Chaya had always dreamed of the flowing white gown and fairytale wedding, she never imagined her ‘happily ever after’ would include a Happy Meal.
When 29-year-old Zeina and her ‘prince charming’ Gabriel Chaya, also 29, booked their lavish big day they had joked around about stopping at the golden arches for a snack.
But when hunger struck in the middle of their photo shoot, the lovebirds’ long-standing joke became a reality.
Wearing her stunning Pronovias wedding gown and Christian Louboutin heels, Zeina and her hubby pulled up at the fast-food outlet and tucked into a burger and fries – making for some hilarious snaps.
Zeina, of Melbourne, Australia, said: “I’d always dreamt of having a big, beautiful wedding as a little girl. I wanted the sparkling white dress and magical flowing veils worn by my favourite princesses.
“But I never thought we’d be stopping at Maccas. It wasn’t planned at all.
“Gabriel and I had always made little jokes here and there like, if we get hungry let’s stop at Maccas but it wasn’t part of the program that day or anything. It was totally random.
“But I’d been up since 4am getting ready and I was so nervous and excited all day I’d barely eaten anything.
“It got to about 4:30pm and we were in the middle of the photo shoot but I was starving so we decided to head to the closest Maccas.”
The couple actually met when they were only 12 years old but were just good mates through high school.
After keeping up their friendship over the years, Zeina and Gabriel started dating in 2012 and got engaged two years later.
The sweethearts, whose big day had a luxurious enchanted forest theme, finally tied the knot in March this year.
The traditional ceremony was held at Melbourne’s Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church followed by an extravagant reception at The Luxor Function Centre attended by 400 guests.
And it was between the ceremony and the reception that the Zeina and Gabriel’s rumbling tummies got the better of them sending them to McDonald’s – the bride’s favourite fast-food chain.
After stepping into the St Kilda Maccas decked out in their wedding gear, Zeina chowed down on a McChicken meal and a cheeseburger while her husband had a Big Mac and fries.
And the dapper groom had stars in his eyes as he lovingly fed his radiant bride her favourite burger to commemorate the occasion.
Despite McDonald’s having such a big part in their wedding day, Zeina said Gabriel is still more of a KFC man.
Zeina said: “We stayed in touch after high school but we didn’t start properly dating until we were 24.
“My husband and I are both the eldest and first to get married in our families, so it was inevitable we were going to have a big wedding, especially as we are both from Lebanese backgrounds.
“The wedding was the most incredible and mesmerising experience we have ever had. It really was the best day of our lives, especially the Maccas.
“We both always eat there because it’s my favourite but Gabriel is more of a KFC lover. Even now after the wedding – he will never convert.”
The overjoyed newlyweds continued their lavish celebrations on a romantic honeymoon to New York, the Bahamas and Mexico.
While the bride did indulge in McDonalds while overseas, she admitted that nothing could beat her beloved Aussie Maccas.
Seven months on Zeina and Gabriel are as ‘McHappy’ as ever.