In December 1996, Myrtle Bond married her long-lost love Owen “Jack” Tate at the 7-Eleven on the corner of Patterson Avenue and Shepherd Street in the Museum District.
The bride wore a traditional white satin gown with sequin details and a pearl necklace with matching earrings. The groom wore a blue suit and tie with a red pack of Marlboros stuffed into his breast pocket.
Bond, a cashier at the 7-Eleven store was walked down the aisle of cereal, crackers and candy by her manager Pat Stutz. The groom and the Rev. Paul Richardson waited for them by the Big Gulp and Slurpee fountains.
The bride and groom, both in their 40s, had been friends since childhood and dated for a short time in the 1980s but lost touch for almost a decade. It was not until Tate wandered into the 7-Eleven one morning at 3 a.m. for a cup of coffee during Bond’s shift that the two rekindled their romance.
“I have always loved Myrtle since the time we split up. I always had a thing for her,” Tate told the Richmond Times-Dispatch on his wedding day.
After a couple months of dating, Tate suggested they get married — inside the lucky 7-Eleven where they found each other again.
“Have you lost your mind?” he recalled Bond saying to him. But after a few minutes, Bond caved and she said to Tate, “Sure, 7-Eleven is my family.”
The company officials at the store were happy to oblige. The store stayed open during the 10-minute ceremony because Tate and Bond insisted that they wanted things to be “natural.” During the occasion, one customer pumped gas and another bought lottery tickets and cigarettes.
Charles Hubbard, one of the said customers, was taken by surprise when he walked in during the marriage ceremony. “It was kind of freaky, man,” he told The Times-Dispatch.
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed champagne in the store. A reception followed across the street at Café 21.