CRYSTAL LAKE – Somewhere between the bachelor and bachelorette parties and the rehearsal dinner, a Woodstock couple added a new prenuptial outing – the pre-wedding car wash.
Alex Wimmer and Amy Oakes will exchange vows Sunday, but Monday afternoon they were exchanging Turtle Wax and elbow grease for a few dollars to help cover the cost of their wedding.
“We were just desperate for money,” said Oakes, who along with her fiancé and most of their wedding party washed cars in the parking lot of Galloway’s Chicago Subs on Randall Road at McHenry Avenue. “There are a million little wedding expenses that you don’t think about at all that add up really quickly.”
The couple met about two years ago and became engaged Dec. 23, 2008.
Three weeks ago, Wimmer graduated from Loyola University. He will attend law school at the University of Illinois in the fall, but for now is unemployed. Oakes works as a waitress and photographer.
Although they are getting some financial help from their parents, the cost of a wedding in this economic climate followed by more school in the fall is putting the young couple in the “for poorer” category for now.
Oakes said they were doing their best to keep costs down and were taking a short honeymoon to Door County instead of a trip to the tropics.
Wimmer said the couple initially used Craigslist to try to find companies to sponsor their wedding to help defray costs and set up a Web site asking for donations, but they only got $1 from that.
“We had heard that that had worked before,” he said.
And while sponsorship did not pan out, the car wash did, bringing in more than $300.
“We did better than I expected to,” Wimmer said.
Oakes said she was surprised by how generous people were when it came time to pay.
“Some people gave us $40, $50,” she said. “I was impressed by that.”
Oakes said she wasn’t worried that paying for last-minute wedding expenses by washing cars was what married life would be like.
“I’m excited,” she said. “I think things will be good.”