Well, I didn't think anything surprised me any more, but I must say, this article did. I read this in The Observer newspaper online (sorry to have missed the "live" event), and just had to share it with you. So in case you missed out, too, I got permission from Chris, the wonderful editor at The Observer newspaper to reprint it just for you! Happy reading ~
June 5, 2009
Couple Surprises Reston Town Center Patrons With Flash Wedding
By Leslie Perales Observer Staff Writer
The wedding of Ashburn couple David Obbie and Lori Chambers included family, friends and anyone who happened to be in Reston Town Center at noon on Sunday.
While planning their wedding the couple decided they wanted to aim for fun. "That was the whole reason," Chambers said. "To do something different, to do something fun." They have both been married before, so this time they wanted to get creative, Obbie said. Last fall Chambers brought up the idea of a "flash mob" wedding to her fiance.
Wikipedia's definition of a flash mob is any large group of people that assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a short amount of time and then quickly disperse. Usually information about a flash mob is spread across online social networks and Web sites, so everyone knows where to meet and what to do. Some events use dancing, singing, pillow fighting, walking like a zombie or other strange activities.
Obbie and Chamber's event was their wedding. The pair put out invitations online so people in the area could learn about the event. Participants were instructed to wear pink or orange, mill about the Town Center and then converge on the fountain at noon. The bride, groom and their family walked down from the stairs and the short ceremony began.
"We have no idea who they are," Obbie said of his wedding guests. "That's the beauty of the whole thing." People signed up to attend from all over the Northern Virginia area and some even signed up from Washington state, Obbie said. "My best guess is they were going to be vacationing in this area at that time and planned to stop by," he said.
Obbie and Chambers said they did not know how many people would attend their wedding, since most were strangers, but expected between 100 to 200 people. The couple planned a reception at the picnic pavilion on Temporary Road, a short walk from Town Center. They purchased enough food for 100 people but requested that people bring anything specific they might want. The only gifts requested of attendees were homemade cards.
Prior to the wedding Obbie and Chambers requested permission for the event from the management of Reston Town Center. Obbie said when he spoke to them they were excited for the event. "They were all for it," he said. "They like flash mobs there because it draws in a lot of people."
The couple's families were excited about their wedding but still unsure of what would be happening the day of the event. "My family thinks it's pretty weird," Obbie said. "I've gotten tired of trying to explain to people what a flash mob is." He said he had to explain it about twice each day up until his wedding.
Chambers said one of the things she was most excited for was their vows, written by their officiate, Reston resident Julie Price. "We have been sworn to secrecy on what they vows are going to be but they're humorous," Obbie said, prior to the event. During the wedding the vows drew hearty laughter. They were modeled to rhyme and sound as if they were straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.
Obbie said part of the point of the wedding was to create some entertainment for those hanging out at Reston Town Center. He said he hoped to leave people scratching their heads when the ceremony was over with. "The whole idea is to confuse the people who don't know what's going on," he said.
After the couple repeated their vows and kissed for the first time as husband and wife the crowd that had gathered during the short, 15-minute ceremony cheered them on. Participants threw coins into the fountain to wish luck to the happy couple as Obbie and Chambers hugged family, friends and strangers who came to be a part of their surprise event and share in the love.
Reprinted with permission ~
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