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August-September Romance

Photo: The Kiss
A kiss before marrying - Stephen John Smith and Teri Dohmen share a quick kiss before their August 30 ceremony in Fort Ward Civil War Park, Alexandria, Va. (Photo by Jean Marie Ward)

They say three times makes the charm. I certainly hope so. Crescent Blues Assistant Editor Teri Dohmen and British Correspondent Stephen John Smith married each other three times in the past month -- twice at my house. And the neighbors may never recover.

On August 30 in Alexandria's Fort Ward Civil War Park, Teri and SJ committed matrimony in front of Virginia Justice of the Peace Joanne Butt and a motley group of Crescent Blues staffers past, present and possibly future. On September 9, the party moved to my house to marry them again for the benefit of the happy couple's parents.

Theresa (Tree) Miller, ordained minister of the Church of Universal Life and the first person to review Elizabeth Peters for Crescent Blues, performed the honors. Her late afternoon wedding offered everything you could possibly want in a public ceremony: lovely bride, nervous groom, heartfelt vows and not a dry eye in the house.

Photo: Maybe
Suddenly, I'm not so sure about this - Teri Smith-Twice-Over contemplates the humorous vows of her third wedding while her repeated spouse, Stephen, chuffs her on. (Photo by Greg Uchrin)

But once we unloaded -- er, Teri's parents and SJ's mum left for their respective hotels, Crescent Blues staff and friends really got going. Tree pulled out a blue lace robe, a store full of candles and hitched Teri and SJ properly with lots of laughs, comic promises, costumed attendants and a trout for a bouquet.

Tree also made sure she caught the trout afterwards -- instead of marriage, it represented securing a book contract. I won't say Tree pushed me into the patio flowerpots to nab the trout, but somehow that's where I wound up. And my darling spouse, Greg, kept snapping his camera shutter the whole time. I think I trained him a little too well as a news photographer. (Fortunately, as editor I retain final approval on all pictures -- right, Suzanne? RIGHT?)

Photo: Which set of legs belong to our Editor?
Into the flower pots - The editor refuses to comment on this photo on the grounds that it tempts her to break her darling spouse's scanning arm -- not to mention wonder what bribe would tempt her art director to exclude it. (Photo by Greg Uchrin)

Meanwhile, at Bouchercon 2000 in Denver, Senior Gargoyle Donna Andrews continued her winning streak with her matrimonially minded mystery, Murder with Peacocks. The book won both the Anthony and Barry Awards for Best First Mystery of 1999.

Congratulations and best wishes to all!

Jean Marie Ward

Photo: Flowers
Flowers by Suzanne - Crescent Blues Art Director Suzanne Frisbee created the bride's and matron of honor's bouquets for the second Smith ceremony. Although not visible in the photo, the bride's bouquet (right) also boasted streamers of ivy and ribbon. (Photo by Greg Uchrin)
Photo: Art Director
Art Director Extraordinaire - Crescent Blues Art Director Suzanne Frisbee takes a well-earned break following Teri and SJ's second ceremony. Suzanne created the bouquets and flower arrangements for the September 9 events.(Photo by Jean Marie Ward)
Photo: Group shot
Wedding Party Number One (to the tune of "Mambo Number Five") - (Left to right) Jean Marie Ward and Greg Uchrin (long married despite the different names), newlyweds Stephen John and Teri Smith, Maria Y. Lima, Pam Flora (with new baby and future writer Molly), and Heather Firth. (Photo by Joanne Butt)
Photo: Jen
Sunglasses after dark - Movie critic Jennifer Matarese debates whether to use her light saber on the reluctant participants of the Smiths' third wedding. (Photo by Greg Uchrin)
Photo: Art Director and Date
Art director and trout - Crescent Blues Art Director Suzanne Frisbee lights a candle for the third celebration of the Smiths' marriage. The stuffed trout in her arm served as the lucky bride's last bouquet. (Photo by Greg Uchrin)
Photo: Bride and fish
The bride wore black - Amazing the sense of power a woman gets holding a trout. (Photo by Greg Uchrin)
Photo: SJ and Teri
The Smiths get married - Again and again -- almost like the movie Ground Hog Day but without the woodchuck. (Photo by Greg Uchrin))
Photo: Tree
Celebrating in the dark - Theresa (Tree) Miller lights a series of candles, marking the opening of the "Friends Ceremony" for Teri and SJ Smith. (Photo by Greg Uchrin)
Photo: SJ "smoking"
All he really wanted was a good 5-cents cigar - Theresa Miller marries the Smiths for the second time September 9. (Photo by Greg Uchrin)

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