Audrey and I had been talking about renewing our vowes for some time. It seemed like a fun thing to do. We'd talked about doing it for our 10th anniversary, but the date came and went and we hadn't made any arrangements.
Opportunities appear when you least expect them. On March 7th, 1997, Audrey and I had been married for 124 months. That day, I spotted an article in Detroit News, which read:
Couples looking to tie the knot in a circuslike atmosphere need look no further. The Shrine Circus and WHYT (96.3-FM) are offering 20 couples an opportunity to marry or renew wedding vows next week at the circus. The catch: They have to register by today. A magistrate will oversee the proceedings at the March 15 performance of the Shrine Circus, which starts today at the Michigan State Fairgrounds, said station spokesman Mark Wuggazer. Chris Zito, executive producer of the Johnny in the Morning show, will serve as best man for all the couples. Zito also will serve as guest ringmaster at the 1:30 p.m. event, which takes place an hour before the start of the show. "The circus is a longtime (advertising) client of ours and we have been wanting to do something with them for a while," Wuggazer said. "This will be a lot of fun." Station officials originally planned a Valentine's Day promotion, but it did not fit into the circus' schedule. In addition to the vows, there will be a reception complete with cake and cocktails for the couples. The couples can then view the circus as a sort of honeymoon, Wuggazer said.
I sent a fax to WHYT and they said they'd be happy to have us participate. Not only that, but they would rent me a tuxedo, buy flowers for Audrey, and give us a dozen tickets to the circus. We couldn't turn down an offer like that.
March 15th, Audrey and I, along with three other couples, stood up before the audience at the Shrine Circus and renewed our vows. We had a pair of elephants as attendants (in wedding attire). We also had animal trainers, aerialists, jugglers, and clowns as attendants. Sitting in the audience were various friends and family.
After the wedding, we retreated to a private reception hosted by the Shrine Potentate.