Getting married on a Tuesday started out as a joke.
Jordan Ochoa-Stevens and Ron Stevens Jr. got engaged on a Sunday. When asked by their people when they planned to get married following the proposal, they used "Tuesday" as a witty answer.
After all, they were both off on Tuesdays, so why not?
"There wasn't really anybody in Tucson to help us, and we didn't have a lot of money because we had a newborn at the time," Ochoa-Stevens, 27, says.
Suddenly, Tuesday didn't sound so bad.
Forty-eight hours later, they were at the courthouse downtown. They bought her husband's dress shirt, jeans and vest at Dillard's, and Ochoa-Stevens found her dress off-the-rack at Windsor.
A photo shoot by Ochoa-Stevens' photographer cousin downtown was followed by a small reception in the Hub Restaurant and Ice Creamery. About 27 people came to the wedding, she says.
And just like that, they were married, for just $1,000.
"A week after I got married, I started Pop Weds," she says.
That was about a year ago. Pop Weds specializes in planning weddings with short timelines and tight budgets.
In The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study, the average cost of a wedding in Arizona was just over $25,000. 😲 Ochoa-Stevens' website says that the average cost of a Pop Weds wedding is around $8,750 — but there are cheaper options, too.
A one-hour elopement costs $600 and includes an arbor, officiant and real bouquet and boutonnière. Ochoa-Stevens can turn that wedding around with just 24 hours of notice.
A Pop Weddings package — modeled after her own downtown wedding — starts at $2,000 for three to six hours and includes an arbor, officiant if not at the courthouse, photo shoot, real bouquet and boutonnière and food for the reception. She can plan that with just two weeks notice — although she adds that she has done a Pop Wedding for a military couple in just five days.
In January, she launched all-inclusive packages, which require at least two months notice.
To pull this off, Ochoa-Stevens negotiated with a select number of local wedding vendors that her clients can choose among. Clients get a choice of several local venues, decoration themes and photographers. The package also includes catering, a DJ, flowers, cake, a guest book and favors. There are also honeymoon options.
Each all-inclusive package has a flat rate, depending on how many add-ons you opt for and how many people you invite. For 25 guests, you pay $5,750. For 150 people, you pay $10,000.
She also offers more traditional wedding planning and day-of coordinating. Two other planners help Ochoa-Stevens run things, although she oversees everything.
Jennifer Wilkins, now an employee with Pop Weds, actually met Ochoa-Stevens when she needed some help with her own wedding in December. Although she already had vendors set up, she wanted someone to make the wedding go as "smoothly as possible."
"She was definitely really attentive and never missed a phone call," Wilkins says. "She had answers to everything."
Ochoa-Stevens' previous design business, a job as a crisis responder for a fire department and eight years in behavioral health have prepared her to ensure weddings run without any snags.
"I've always been an entrepreneur," she says. "I remember taking taquitos out of the freezer when I was 8 and selling them to people. I love seeing an issue and making sure people are being treated fairly in this world, and I saw people being taken advantage of on their happiest day."
To learn more about Pop Weds, visit popweds.com.