A Royal Wedding

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finding the perfect cocoa brown shades of taffeta at Metro Mix. Christina Fenner, whose husband Bill designs Dolly’s costumes, was called upon to craft the whimsically romantic pink and white cake, and each table setting was designed to include a small gift box with a “Big Top” framed photo of Dolly’s famous father, so that […]


finding the perfect cocoa brown shades of taffeta at Metro Mix. Christina Fenner, whose husband Bill designs Dolly’s costumes, was called upon to craft the whimsically romantic pink and white cake, and each table setting was designed to include a small gift box with a “Big Top” framed photo of Dolly’s famous father, so that he could be part of the wedding in spirit.

Meanwhile, Pedro enlisted his two best men, Circus Sarasota clown Chuck Sidlow and longtime friend and tent master Luis Garcia, and chose a striped ascot to accompany his English morning suit attire, complete with gray vest and pinstripe pants. Invitations flew out to circus “family” in Holland, Brazil, Mexico, England, France and throughout the United States. The couple chose a post-wedding reception dinner of beef tenderloin or salmon, catered by Paul Mattison. And as a Who’s Who of guests from the circus world and Sarasota society began to arrive, they kept one nervous eye on the weather forecast.

In the end, the rain did come, and as guests waited in the Rubens Galleries—not a bad place to linger—the wedding arch was hastily moved to the entrance of the museum courtyard from its original position near the statue of David. Then best man Sidlow, hair in a samurai-looking ponytail, steered everyone to the covered entryway before the wedding party began their processional. The bride herself, wearing a simple pearl necklace and a bracelet with a heart charm with edelweiss inside from her father, her raven hair swept up in a jeweled clip, made the long walk down the north loggia to the sounds of Angelico (a duet between Pavarotti and Sting,) kissed her mother, and locked arms with her bridegroom as the vows began, her voice trembling slightly on the word “husband.”

As if on cue, once the vows were spoken the skies began to clear and turn a beautiful shade of deep velvet blue, corks started to pop, and to the strains of Fools Rush In (remember the lyric, “Some things are meant to be”?), Pedro and Dolly danced their first dance together as man and wife. During the toasts, Pedro even found a way to turn the rain to poetic use, saying that “all the beautiful things in nature need rain to be blessed,” describing his lovely new bride as the rain that blesses him—in love, in work, and in life.

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