We just had to share this sweet and serendipitous elopement story. The couple, Donna and Joe, who were regulars at the Sonoma Horse Park, had been working together for 22 years, dating for 6 years, and engaged for 2 years. As they sat at ringside during the Grand Prix at Sonoma Horse Park, a mutual friend brings up the subject of their ever-pending nuptials. Jokingly, the friend suggested the couple be married at the Horse Park the following week. “Are you kidding??’” the bride asks. Her friend, knowing that there would be a Charity Gala held at the race track earlier in the day the following week, and that the VIP berm would be decorated for the Gala with beautiful white flowers (perfect for a wedding) replied “No, we’ll take care of everything, you should do it!”
As it just so happened, there was a horse named Wedding Day that entered in that afternoon’s grand prix. Everyone joked that if that horse won, it would certainly be the sign that Donna and Joe should get married the following week. Donna agreed, while in the back of her mind thinking that it was a 99/1 long-shot chance that Wedding Day would actually win the grand prix. But wouldn’t you know it, Haley Schwab rode Wedding Day to her very first grand prix victory that day! And a promise is a promise.
So Donna and Joe agreed to set the date the following week on Saturday, August 2nd. On Monday, Donna and Joe went and got their marriage license. On Tuesday, Donna found a dress, and even got it fitted. On Saturday evening after the Gala, as Horse Park staff arranged a podium and flowers, Donna ducked into the Italian Equestrian vendor trailer to change into her wedding dress. With a close friend officiating and in front of a lingering group of gala-goers who had been tipped off that a wedding was taking place, Donna and Joe exchanged their vows.
“I was just touched that everyone pulled it all together,” says Donna. “A ‘Pop Up Wedding’ is what I started calling it. It worked out perfectly and it was just wonderful.”
We love this story because it demonstrates why Pop Up Weddings are so perfect. They don’t have to be anything in particular; just as long as they have special meaning to you!
Source & Photo : Horse & Style Magazine