The Story


Friday night, Scott and I left to fly to Tampa to visit my Daddy (biological) who's cancer seems to be winning. My Mom and Dad (Jim Murray) were driving down so they could all visit him while he could still enjoy their company.

My grandmother, who's 92, lives in Vero Beach so I said to Scott that we should just get married while everyone is there - hahahaha...

I told my mother who then, of course, told my Dad (Jim Murray). Never tell my Dad anything that you don't want him to act on. So by Saturday when they got to Tampa, Dad was pushing and pushing. Well, surprise to me, my Daddy (Arland Gustafson) jumped on the wagon too. And then when his girlfriend, Theresa, heard about it (she's the angel that's taking care of Daddy) she jumped in and was ready to decorate her lake side home for the wedding! So she starts calling David's Bridal and the courthouse and everyone is just insane and I'm just kinda sitting there in shock. That will teach me to open my mouth.....

So OK - Theresa says it can be at her house but I really think I've overstayed my welcome.... a little much, ya know? - so I get yet another idea. My Dad Jimmy's brother Frannie owns a gambling boat called the Palm Beach Princess so I thought - hmmmm - bet they do weddings. My Daddy and Theresa agree that he can make the 3 hour drive and cell phones begin.

How long do you have to legally wait for a marriage license in Florida? Where am I going to find a wedding dress in my size and a tux in size 54 long? What about a ring in size 15 for Scott?! I thought I was only seeing my Daddy, so I don't even have mascara with me....

We called all the siblings and see if any can get on a plane... don't expect much, but I can hope... Scott's relatives are in Jacksonville, FL so they can drive if Terry, his sister, can ditch work for the day (ends up she still has to work until noon - arg - but she makes it)

So on Sunday (Super Bowl Sunday) we head to the mall. Scott searches for a jeweler only to find that no one carries “Big & Tall” rings that for him. He has to buy a size 12 wedding band from one jeweler and go to another to have it cut, gold added, and then expanded to a size 15. Mine was a little easier, but of course he fretted over what to choose – because I was at a PACKED sale day David’s Bridal.

So my Mom, Theresa and her daughter Lucy (the flower girl) go to David’s Bridal, apparently along with 40 other brides-to-be. So as I come out each time in something different – the dress is judged by all the families there with their brides-to-be. One dress got everyone’s cheers and I don’t think anyone would’ve let me out of the store if I didn’t pick that one – so much for the bride’s choice… One woman even took a picture to show me because she was so afraid I was going to pick another dress. And then I find out later that the tiara was $200! Jeez… but remember – it’s a sale! My $900 dress came out to be $600 and that tiara was 30% off too.

And on Super Bowl Sunday, we’re calling my uncle and cousin, who are actually AT the Super Bowl and explaining about all this for TOMORROW night! NO PROBLEM! Yeah, right – but GREAT!

So Monday morning we go to get Scott’s tux because so far no one has 56long in stock – no, really? So I tell him we’ll do the Hawaiian shirt thing… White pants, Hawaiian Shirt – boy is he HAPPY – he’ll be the most comfortable there! So we go try to find 3x flowered-y shirt… And we did! And shoes in size 13! And shoes for Mom and a tie for Daddy and a couple of bathing suits for Dad (huh?.... he can’t handle a sale without buying something.)

So with cloths and rings in hand, we go back and pick up Daddy. Theresa has an appointment in Vero Beach so she goes there first and we race from Tampa to Vero Beach to pick up my 92 year grand mother, who will also be my maid of honor. Once we collected her we rocketed (literally) to the West Palm Beach Court House. Thank goodness for my Mom’s Garmin – we only had to type in the address. Arriving just one hour before closing and only 2 hours before the ship set sail, non-residence don’t have a waiting period, we filled out the obligatory paperwork, forced to read this book about finances and obligations to each other (so 14 years together and 7 years in business together might not be enough), paid our $96 fee and swore we were not felons and ran back to our awaiting ride.

We got to the Palm Beach Princess with 45 minutes to dress for the wedding! Trying to find flowers along the way – had to send Mom while we got on the boat… (Didn’t anyone tell my Daddy not to bring scissors and knife through the metal detectors. A knife? Well, you never know when you’ll need to cut up some fruit or something… OK, Daddy – we’ll just leave it here and Theresa can put it in her car when she arrives – OK? Thanks, Theresa) The guests (and regular gamblers) begin to arrive soon after. Amy from Chicago, Jimmy and John Paul (the ring bearer – position promised to him since he was 3 years old and now he’s 28) from Philadelphia, and Scott’s Mom, Step Dad and sister from Jacksonville. All with less than 48 hours notice!

Filled with exhaustion and excitement and a few glasses of wine in the penthouse, the ceremony took place with all the regalia of a wedding that normal took months to plan. Flower Girl, Ring Bearer, the 2 Mom’s, my Maid of Honor, Grandma, and one father on each side of me. Scott asked Daddy to be the Best Man, too! The captain dressed in his formal whites and there was a flowered arch and a great ceremony. Not a dry eye in the house – including Scott and me!

Carved watermelons, impeccable food, champagne – the Princess out did itself. Thank you Frannie and Uncle Frannie! And Steve who put it all together!

So now we have to have a repeat to invite all the rest of you! Soon come!

The Photos
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