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A Squeaky Clean 'I Do'

A Squeaky Clean 'I Do'

June 24, 2024

3 minute Read

As they rolled up in their all-electric, silver Volvo C40, they knew the time was right. They had practiced it, done a couple of test runs and were ready. While “Here Comes the Bride” wasn’t playing in the background, you could hear another mesmerizing sound that would serve as the wedding march: car wash brushes.

Bruce Melvin and Ingrid Holmes had chosen to tie the knot while going through the GATE Express Car Wash in Ponte Vedra, Fla. — combining their love for each other and their love of a clean car.

“Hearing the whooshing sounds and the different colors and suds, the light show,” all made for a memorable and out-of-the-box wedding experience, Ingrid said, who also recorded it and posted the video online. 

Bruce and Ingrid decided on this unusual wedding site after considering what was truly important to them with the experience. “We love to think outside of the box and have one-of-a-kind experiences,” Bruce said. They bike a lot so were considering getting married on bicycles. But while talking about it — while at the car wash — boom! 

Ingrid said it just clicked. Not only was she an avid car washer, she and Bruce had a lot of good memories at the car wash. “I would meet up with Bruce there, sometimes. It gives you that 2-3 minutes of chillout, with the suds and the colors and the sounds.”

Ingrid said she first got addicted to car washing when she lived up north. “I couldn’t stand getting the salt or dirt on my clothes if I got out of the car and accidentally rubbed against it,” Ingrid said. “That what got it started.” 

After moving to Florida, she continued her love of clean cars and especially the convenience. “I wash my car every day because it is so convenient. It is only about 5 minutes from my house. I drive past it and it takes just 2-3 minutes to go through,” she said. “Plus, the employees are phenomenal and the cleanliness is incredible. It is spotless. They also have a nice sink for mats, a mat cleaner and a pressurized air blower. That is the coolest new feature,” she said.

wedding mag web graphic

Bonus Publicity

Though unplanned, the media attention both the couple and the car wash received was a pleasant surprise. “We had media reaching out to us every day or every other day, from Kentucky, Nebraska, all over,” Ingrid said a few days after the wedding. She also mentioned hearing from Inside Edition, People.com, and Car and Driver (Road & Track). 

GATE felt similarly, and they decided to capitalize on it. A local news network in Jacksonville aired the story and it was picked up by many national news outlets. “Before we knew it, we were seeing it everywhere,” said Jenny Ordway, the media and marketing coordinator for GATE, which opened its first car wash in 2018 and now owns and operates 16 car washes. So, about two weeks after the official event, they hosted a post-wedding party — and invited media — to bestow some wedding presents to the newly married couple. They presented a wedding cake, two free annual car wash memberships and something special from Hill Peyton, the owner of GATE: a two-night stay at the oceanfront Ponte Vedra Inn and Club for a weekend honeymoon.

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Melvin, and happy washing!

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