Harrison County

Fountain of queso likely at couple's Gulfport wedding - thanks to Moe's Southwest Grill

 Mary Rhodes and her fiance, David Bley, won the Moe's Rockstar Wedding Contest, scoring free catering from the Southwest grill.
COURTESY DAVID BLEY Mary Rhodes and her fiance, David Bley, won the Moe's Rockstar Wedding Contest, scoring free catering from the Southwest grill.

Beth Rhodes and her fiancé, David Bley, would not describe themselves as a traditional couple, so a "typical" wedding was out of the question for them. And thanks to Moe's Southwest Grill, guests at their nuptials won't be checking beef or chicken on their RSVP cards, and they won't find cocktail sausages or chicken tenders on a buffet.

Instead, there will be burritos. There will be a salsa bar. There might even be a fountain splashing creamy queso dip, said Lisa Wynn Taylor, director of catering at Moe's.

Rhodes and Bley beat 500 other couples who submitted a photo or video as part of the restaurant's first Moe's Rock Star Wedding Contest. There are two Moe's in South Mississippi -- one in D'Iberville and one in Moss Point.

The rules were vague: Tell us why you want Moe's to cater your wedding.

The couple, who met in Birmingham, Ala., nearly three years ago, were driving to their new home in Miami when Rhodes' dad e-mailed them about the contest.

"I guess we're both creative individuals -- and it was a chance for free catering," Rhodes said. "We decided to make a video and kind of go all-out with it and enjoy the process."

The couple doesn't want a traditional wedding. They want their special day, set for May 28 in Gulfport, to feel less like a spectacle and more like a really fun, casual dinner.

"That takes a lot of the 'bride and groom standing on a stage' out of it," Rhodes said. "We wanted it to feel a little more like a party and a celebration. We want people to stay for a long time and hang out and not stay around and stress."

Rhodes said food has always been an important part of all of her family gatherings, so she and Bley decided to make a video about Moe's burritos bringing family and friends together.

The plot revolves around mini-burrito people who get engaged. Their family and friends live around the world, but thanks to Moe's Southwest Grill, the burritos are able to come together for Dave and Beth's special day.

"A lot of our wedding was going to be about celebrating us as a couple but celebrating our friends and family, too, which is really important," Bley said. "One night, we made a storyboard. We spent the next day putting it together. We submitted it at 11:45 at night when the deadline was at midnight."

It took only half a sheet of aluminum foil to make the mini-burritos. There was burrito dancing. There were Christmas-light strings, scenes from Paris and awesome background music.

Taylor said the tunes in the video were perfect, and Bley and Rhodes' video was creative.

A panel of 10 judges narrowed the entries to 20. Then, a new panel of six judges chose the top three. They said Bley and Rhodes' video was the clear winner.

"One of the reasons why we chose David and Beth was because it really did embody how we see ourselves show up for the party," Taylor said.

Bley and Rhodes will have catering for up to 150 people and a DJ as well, courtesy of Moe's in D'Iberville.

Taylor said the wedding contest was kind of unexpected.

"Are people really going to want Moe's to cater their wedding?" was an internal question when planning the promotion, Taylor said.

Then a couple sent the restaurant chain a photo of themselves enjoying a burrito after their wedding. The bride was still in her wedding dress.

"The next thing you know, it's just blowing up," Taylor said. "And people were talking about how much the would love Moe's to cater their wedding." The 500 contestants submitted "incredible" content, Taylor said. The second-place entry was awarded catering for a 50-person rehearsal dinner, and the third-place entry got free burritos for a year.