Betty Crocker, Mall of America Help Couples Get Hitched

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com July 31 2013 2:18 PM ET

Minnesota plans to ring in its new marriage equality law at midnight with the help of two of the state's famous institutions: the Mall of America, and Betty Crocker.

Couples across the state will celebrate with ceremonies at midnight, including a ceremony at the Mall of America for Holli Bartelt and Amy Petrich, the Associated Press reports. The couple, who became engaged at a photo booth at the mall, will wed at the mall's Chapel of Love.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota-based Betty Crocker will provide donated cakes, designed and baked by Terri Leckas of Queen of Cakes in Edina, Minn., for gay couples who plan to wed at Minneapolis City Hall and the Como Park Conservatory in St. Paul on Thursday. The three couples headed to the Betty Crocker Test Kitchens at General Mills Headquarters to test the cakes.

According to GLAAD, Margaret Miles and Cathy ten Broeke, as well as Reid Bordson and Paul Nolle, will be the first and second couples married Minneapolis, with ceremonies officiated by Mayor R.T. Rybak. Al Giraud and Jeff Isaacson, will be the first couple to be married in St. Paul.

ZMC Hotels is offering to marry couples at midnight on Thursday at the company’s hotel in Duluth, The New Civil Rights Movement reports. John Goldfine, vice president of the company, said he became a supporter of marriage equality after his daughter came out to him. As a wedding officiant, Goldfine said he would marry any couple who came to them but could not afford a big wedding, or whose family did not approve.

"For that night," he said, "we are your family."