What a great privilege to witness the marriage of Marilyn & Carlton, on October 15, 2009 at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes! We knew it would be special but it turned out better than we imagined.
Our groom is 80 years young and his stunning bride is 78. They have been together for 5 years and just a month ago, decided to get married, when his son, Brent mentioned he was going to be in Orlando for a conference. These two, being very much the adventurous type and living life to the absolute fullest decided this was the time, the way and the place to do it! They did not tell any of their friends back home in California … just his son, daughter-in-law and 2 of their dearest friends from Germany that the bride has known for 36 years.
We planned this celebration to be held outside at the exquisite Ritz-Carlton Gazebo, just as the sun would be setting. However, God had different plans and the skies opened and the rain poured down. We moved it to a lovely location inside, set with many candles, flowers and other effects – truly romantic, and still keeping it very intimate. But once again, this was still not the way it was suppose to be…
One of the most important elements for Carlton & Marilyn was that their friend from Germany play the piano for their ceremony. After all, he flew a far distance to be here. We had the instrument set up for him, picked our music, did the sound check – everything good and ready to go. Then ….just as we’re getting ready to process, we lost power! No music!
Time for some quick thinking … the team pulled together and with the superb staff at the Ritz-Carlton, we finally got it right! We got permission to move the ceremony to the lobby lounge area where other hotel guests were congregated, and this was by far, the best! We were able to honor the performance of our guest pianist on the grand piano (he was like silk), we had a gorgeous back drop, the rain stopped and now we even had the sunset in view. But the icing on the cake was having a very attentive audience. Right at the pronouncement, our bride read from scripture, 1 Cor 13 to her husband and then right on cue, our friend played another song for our groom to sing “True Love” to his beautiful wife. This is how they met .. they both sing with a choir and it’s obviously “their” song, as the gift given to them by the friend was a music box which played the same tune.
This is indeed a True Love story and one that was meant to be shared not just with their loved ones, but witnessed by many. I believe all our unexpected guests were touched and had an experience they were not anticipating, when they came to the lobby lounge for a light bite. There were many tears, whistles and loud applause. And our couple realized that their joy was more complete having shared this with a larger group. They were actually grateful and glad it worked out the way it did.
Thank you to Kristal with John Unrue Photography for beautifully capturing this special occasion!