Best Combination Pawnshop and Wedding Chapel - 2001
Kipperman's Pawn Shop
A scratchy tape of "The Wedding March" blasts from a boom box in a room in Kipperman's Pawn Shop, the walls of which are painted pink and gold with a mural of flowers splashed across one wall in hues of Mercurochrome and MD 20-20. Owner Ted Kipperman, dressed in red vestments, has pronounced another couple man and wife. The wedding service, for which Kipperman provides a free Polaroid memento, also comes free if the couple buys their wedding rings (or a gun) at the pawnshop. During the mid-'80s oil bust, people were pawning everything, but they just weren't buying. Kipperman, who likes to stay on top of the times, came up with the idea, in part because rings and guns are the most expensive items in a pawnshop. He obtained a minister's license, and he has married scores of couples since he started. A few years ago the idea man took convenience to the next level, converting a guard shack at the shop into a drive-thru wedding chapel. Couples can use their own cars, or they can rent a limo from one of Kipperman's fleet of three. Roll down the window, say "I do" and roll down the road, either admiring your shiny new ring or packing your new piece. Kipperman likes to give people choices.