Was That a Wedding in a Parking Spot?

On PARKing Day, local businesses turn parking places into mock-weddings and more

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Amy Greenberg and Roberto "Tito" Reconco pose for a picture

Leigh McDonald

They say bad weather is good luck for a wedding, but what about a mock wedding in a parking spot? On an overcast day, six Bethesda-area wedding vendors shared a booth in a parking place just outside the Norfolk Avenue Starbucks on Friday for this year’s PARKing Day, a global event that encourages participants to turn ordinary parking spots into something special for the day.

The booth was complete with a wedding-reception-table spread and even a “bride.” “I wanted to show the whole visual concept of a wedding,” says Tracy Schwartz, the owner of Creative Parties in Bethesda and the mastermind behind the collaborative booth.

Schwartz called vendors she’d worked well with before, and asked if they’d be interested in participating. For the “bride,” she phoned a friend and asked if her daughter could help out.

Leigh McDonald
Amy Greenberg

“I thought I was just going to be stuffing envelopes!” said Amy Greenberg, 31, a graduate of Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda. Instead, she wore an off-white, lace gown from Love Couture Bridal Salon in Potomac, and held a sign that read “In search of a groom (must be worthy!)”

“She can’t just meet any guy off the street. He must be worthy!” said Michael Kress, a photographer participating in the booth. “We want to make sure people know that there are local vendors that can put on a great wedding.”

As Norfolk Avenue began to bustle with the lunch crowd, the wedding booth received some quizzical looks.

“That’s weird,” said Harry Moore of Kensington, who spotted the wedding booth on his way to lunch. But after learning about PARKing Day, he warmed up to the idea. “I think it’s a pretty good idea now that I know what it is,” said Moore, who wished the bride luck in finding her groom.

And find her groom she did—or, at least, a nicely dressed young man passing by who proved to be a very a good sport. When asked to take a photo with the bride, Tito Reconco replied, “My day has already been very spontaneous, so why not?”

Reconco “proposed” with a sour cherry Ring Pop, and the bride was thankful the ceremony was quick and cheap. “Now we can spend all the money on the honeymoon,” Reconco joked.

Bethesda Urban Partnership’s Park Pop-Up

Friday’s cloudy weather wasn’t enough to stop 15 other businesses and organizations from participating in Montgomery County’s PARKing Day. Other Bethesda participants included Bach to Rock music school, and The Red Bandana Bakery, which had a giant, inflatable avocado and offered avocado toast samples.

Sinta Spector, a voice and piano teacher, ran the Bach to Rock music school booth. She attracted customers with the sound of her electric guitar playing, and offered several kinds of percussion instruments for people to play along. “It’s nice to get out here and speak to people about the school,” Spector said. “Music always brings people together.”

Even Rowena Hatamosa, a parking enforcement officer for the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), was amused by the parking spot pop-ups. “The decorations are beautiful,” she said.

Bethesda Urban Partnership created a full-blown park pop-up with artificial turf, potted plants and a rubber ducky pond on Norfolk Avenue between Auburn and Del Ray avenues.

Seven Silver Spring businesses, including Joe’s Record Paradise, participated, creating pop-up parks in the downtown area.

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