met the couple for the first time at the Day of the Dead festivities at City Arts factory. The wedding took place at The Springs Gated Community (400 Woodbridge Road Longwood, FL). I arrived early as groomsmen were getting dressed in their tuxedos. Jonathan, still in a T shirt, saw me and explained that the wedding would take place at the gazebo down by the spring.
I walked down to the water's edge. The gazebo was dark. I picked my sketching spot because I liked the way a weather vane stork silhouetted against the sky. A Renaissance trio of musicians set up in the gazebo and Christmas lights flickered on.
The wedding was short, sweet and to the point. When the couple was pronounced man and wife, someone pulled out the plug by mistake and the gazebo wend dark. They must have scrambled fast because soon the lights came back on. The couple then ignited a flame that filled a paper bag hot air balloon. The glowing orb floated up, just missed some tree branches and then floated up to the clouds. Everyone was given sparklers. I decided my sketch was done, so I joined everyone forming a double sided line. All the guests raised their sparklers and the newly wed couple ran under the sparkling canopy.
The reception was held at the top of the hill in a club house. There were perhaps fifty guests but I didn't do a head count. Every puppeteer in Orlando seemed to be there. Jonathan and Anna are both puppeteers. After guests had their meals, Jonathan and Anna put on a puppet show. They had made puppets in their own likeness and they told the story of how they met. They were childhood friends, that used to talk for hours on the phone and play together. For Anna's 16th birthday, Jonathan took her out. She hoped he would kiss her that night, but the moment slipped by. Once Jonathan walked an incredible distance, crossing townships, to see Anna. When she asked him why he had come, he unfortunately replied that he just wanted to go for a walk.
College sent the kids to different states. They each got married starting separate lives and families. Anna had seven children. Those marriages eventually both lead to divorces. Many years later, Jonathan and Anna both moved to Orlando for different reasons. After so many years apart, there was still a spark that remained from their adolescent romance that burned bright. Once again Jonathan and Anna were inseparable. Their respective puppets took a bow and everyone in the room stood and applauded.