The It’ll Do Bar, the Chapel of Love and Elvis

Cindy ArpFeature

The bride had porcelain skin, long dark hair and chocolate brown eyes. The groom was muscled, with a small shy/sly grin that would unexpectedly flash, reminding one he was more than he seemed. They were each six feet of amazement.

The guests expressed their vision of dignified wedding attire; variations including one lady in an extremely short dress with 4-inch chunky heels and frilly white socks, while another dressed in a 1940s style evening gown.

The pastor made an analogy between the skills it takes to hike (the couple’s passion) and the skills required for a good marriage. English is not the pastor’s first language and while his pronunciation was perfect, it was charming to hear the differences in cadence and word completions, making his words sound new while catching the attention of all.

Kind and funny toasts were given to the bride and groom. The father/bride dance was elegant, the mother/groom dance was joyful and exuberant, and then it was time for the bride and groom to dance.

Elvis impersonator Harold Schulz

Everyone melted as the disc jockey began Elvis Presley’s version of the 1961 song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” While the couple danced, an Elvis impersonator walked onto the dance floor, at which point we realized he had been singing the entire time. Gold lamé jacket and impressive Elvis dance moves, the impersonator was the epitome of The King. It was a delightful surprise from the couple to the wedding party. We all sighed contentedly.

Weddings and courtships; are they not beautiful? We all have our stories. The groom’s parents, Mike Hill and T.K. Sciota, relate their love story as an introduction at the It’ll Do Bar in Martinsville, Virginia, with a three-years-later marriage at The Chapel of Love in Las Vegas. Mike wanted an Elvis impersonator to marry them, but T.K. nixed that. They spent their money on a beautiful honeymoon at Lake Tahoe, California. Their son Alex remembered that story and honored it by hiring this wedding’s Elvis.

Weddings remind us that the babies may have cried, the teenage years may have given us gray hairs and the college years may have bankrupted us, but in the end, when your child launches into life, working in their chosen field and at some point meets their one and only, it was worth it all.

Two tables of amazing Ukrainian desserts, made by the cooks on the bride’s side

The wedding began at 4:30 p.m. and ended around 1 a.m. After a wonderful meal, after the multitude of Ukrainian desserts made by the bride’s American/Ukraine family, after the Who Has Been Married the Longest dance competition ended and the young began a semi-mosh pit, Dan and I retired from the field. The joyful celebration of life will continue for this new couple and someday, when they attend another couple’s wedding, they will remember their wedding day and share, as everyone does, the laughter and love of their special day.

Cindy Arp, teacher/librarian, retired from Knox County Schools. She and husband Dan live in Heiskell.


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