Meet cute: A look inside White Star Market’s speed dating events

For those in a rush to find love, your options might be limited here in the Capital City. Or they were, until one of White Star Market‘s managers, Taylor Floyd, introduced a speed dating series last Valentine’s Day. Now, she’s planning the third installment for singles under 40 this Thursday, July 11, with another on the horizon in August for singles 40 and over.

Before White Star Market, local spots didn’t have anything like speed dating on the books. Floyd says she noticed this and decided to make it happen. “We were trying to think of something we could do for Valentine’s Day at the beginning of the year,” Floyd says. “And I don’t know, I just thought that it would be cool.”

And she was right—the first Valentine’s Day edition sold out. So Floyd planned another event: an LGBT edition to celebrate Pride Month. With a smaller pool of potential participants, the attendance wasn’t as high as the first, but the next two speed dating events are already starting to sell out.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the speed dating scene for yourself, Floyd gave us a sneak peak inside.

Attendees can purchase the $20 ticket online via White Star Market’s Facebook page. The ticket comes with two drink tickets for a little liquid courage to kick off the night. Floyd says not to be discouraged if the tickets are already sold out: Several participants usually “chicken out,” so you can still purchase standby tickets to take the place of a no-show.

The evening starts at 6 p.m., when guests arrive to complete their sign up, grab a drink and mingle before the speed dating rounds. Each participant will get a “Rate Your Date” card where they can take notes. And at 6:30 p.m., the speed daters will grab a spot to begin their quest for a match.

The event consists of 11 rounds, if all the spots are filled. Each round is seven minutes long, with about a minute in between for guests to record their notes. After the fifth or sixth round, the participants will take a break from all the chatting, refill their drinks and get ready for the second half of the evening. Participants can also earn more drink tickets throughout the night by answering trivia questions posed to the group.

At the end of the night, participants will turn in their “rate your date” cards to Floyd, who will sort through them the following week. If you’re lucky enough to make a match, she’ll email you with your match’s email address. From there, it’s up to you to make the next move.

And a bit of advice from Floyd—come in with an open mind and be content to just meet new people. “You’re probably not going to meet the love of your life,” she says. “But you’re going to have a good couple of hours meeting new people, and that’s really all it’s for—just to have fun with new people.”

Keep an eye out for more speed dating events in the fall. Floyd says she’s hoping to host LGBT, Over 40 and Under 40 speed dating events in October, November and December.

White Star Market is at 4624 Government St.