Couple Adds Caribbean Spice To Their Wedding Day

June 24, 1991|By Angela Gambill | Angela Gambill,Staff writer

It was one wet, wild, wonderful wedding.

At a waterfront estate in Annapolis on Saturday, under a steady drizzle, Teresa Fernandez andDave Kramer joined lives -- and senses of humor -- to throw one heckof a Caribbean-theme party on their big day.

"We just want people to have fun," Teresa said. And 300 guests obliged, swilling rum punches and swaying in the rain in their bare feet to the music of a reggae band.

Even the roast pigs wore broad smiles.

Groomsmen, turned out in white shorts and deck shoes, stopped the ceremony to catch crabs off the pier. Guests whistled as the officiating minister asked Teresa if she would "love, honor and obey --REPEAT, OBEY" her intended.

She declined, as visitors hollered, "Don't do it!" and finally everyone was laughing so hard the minister looked around and inquired wryly, "Did you say 'I do' yet?"

And a minute later, "Is this even legal?"

The event almost seemed an episode from Saturday Night Live.

Or later, as a fireworks display exploded over Long Point, lighting up elegant couples in straw hats andpastel linen, a scene from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.

But, as one guest explained, "It's just Teresa and Dave," determined their wedding day would be marked by laughter.

"We're both 32. This reflects our lifestyle," said Teresa, dressed in a white, beaded tulle gown.

The celebration -- which stretched from noon until 8 p.m. -- certainly wasn't marked by stiff formality or serious faces.

Arrivingguests were greeted by the sounds of a steel band and a steady flow of beer prepared by a local brewery especially for the occasion.

"We figured we'd get them all drunk and they wouldn't notice the rain," Teresa joked a few minutes before she walked outside to get married.

She and her attendants had planned to arrive by boat, as had many of the visitors.

"Raft up to the pier on the point," the invitations advised. Though the weather made that impossible, the downpour didn't seem to dampen any spirits.

Bridesmaids sashayed down the dock to the beat of "Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot." Teen-agers on jet skis roared by in the background.

When the Rev. Anthony Girandola finally pronounced the couple man and wife, Dave bent his bride back for a resounding kiss.

"Oh, my God!" gasped one relative.

Then it was her turn to nearly knock him over with an even bigger smooch.

"Thisgives weddings a good name," said Michelle Castleberry of Richmond, Va., a cousin of the groom.

The 16-year-old dug into a plate of black beans and rice. "Usually I fall asleep at weddings. But this is nice and quick, nothing drawn out. And it's so offbeat."

Mini-skirted waitresses offered treats of plantain, a bananalike fruit served with brown sugar. Children wearing yellow raincoats climbed ropes tiedaround trees.

From the spicy steamed shrimp to the wailing saxophone of Mama Jama, the second band, the wedding played out the island theme. Paper palm trees and parrots dotted the yard. Guests with seashells in their hair jammed their way to cotton-covered tables, past displays of pineapples and tropical flowers.

"It's us: We're very laid-back, very casual," Teresa said. "And David and I both love Caribbean music and the islands."

Even the wedding party's attire, designed by a Baltimore tailor, picked up the idea, with bright flowered cummerbunds and bow ties on the men, and lattice-backed cotton dresses on the women.

The vows, written by the happy couple, were "humorous," as Teresa put it, especially the joke about the "cummerbund contract."

"See, I told her for three months there was no way I was wearing those flowers," explained Dave, pointing to the flower-patterned cummerbund.

"Finally I said I would, if she agreed to do everything I wanted for the rest of my life. I woke her up at 2 a.m. to getit in writing. If she reneged, all the gifts were mine and the marriage was annulled."

However, the cummerbund contract expired when he ripped off the cummerbund during the ceremony.

But all the hoopla was so unlike a traditional wedding that David's 3-year-old cousin,Caitlin Heston, got a bit confused.

"Is Teresa all married yet?" she asked.

Adam Reisig, 8, knew the answer. He sat down contentedly in the rain to devour some children's food -- a hot dog and a bottle of grape drink.

"Watching her getting married was funny," he said.

"The minister said Teresa was gonna marry the crab!"

The tone for the wedding started with invitations that showered bits of glittering paper when opened, and announced that the event would last from noon until "dark-thirty."

Hours after the vows, the guests danced on, and the band was still singing.

"He's a fine, fine boy, . . . she's a fine, fine girl. . . ."

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