A fairy-tale wedding

JUST MARRIED

Loretta Metzler And Randy Bruner

November 07, 1999|By Joanne E. Morvay | Joanne E. Morvay,Special to the Sun

Fred Flintstone was there. So were Uncle Sam, the Grim Reaper and Marilyn Monroe. An alien from a far-off planet dropped in. Even Miss America 1994 made an appearance.

It seems nobody wanted to miss Loretta Metzler and Randy Bruner's wedding. Seven years in the planning, the costumed affair was held, appropriately enough, on Halloween. Loretta and Randy chose a Halloween episode of one of their favorite television series, "Beauty and the Beast," as the theme for their wedding, deciding the day would be complete only if they dressed the part.

Now seen only in syndicated reruns, the show focuses on the love relationship between Catherine, a beautiful and gentle woman, and Vincent, a beast with facial and other deformities who lives beneath the streets of New York City. Halloween is the only safe day for Catherine and Vincent to be seen together in public.

The romance of the series appealed to Loretta from the very first episode she saw. "You've got this person that has this deformity, [yet] he's so kind and gentle. But you have to look beyond the surface to see that," she says.

Randy, who became a fan after he and Loretta began dating in 1992, says it is the bond between the characters that attracted him. "Vincent always knows when Catherine is in trouble or when something's wrong," Randy says.

The couple says the TV characters' relationship mirrors the bond they share. "All Randy has to do is look at me and he can see it in my face if I'm upset," says Loretta. "And I can always hear it in his voice [if he is upset]."

Each Halloween, the couple watches their favorite episode of "Beauty and the Beast" at their Rosedale home, "and both of us sit here and cry," says Loretta.

It was Randy who proposed using that particular show as the wedding theme. A new-car receiver at a local automobile dealership, Randy admits that elaborate costumes "and the chance to be someone you're not" have always appealed to him. He was dressed as a Klingon when he and Loretta first met at a local Star Trek convention. Loretta, who cannot work because of a disability, now has her own Klingon costume.

So appropriately, their wedding, attended by about 30 of their family members and friends, was a costume affair. The scene was the Glen-Mar Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 8849 in Middle River.

As the opening theme of the television show played in the background, Randy -- dressed as Vincent -- strode down the aisle in the dimly lighted hall, scattering silk autumn leaves on the runner.

The guests rose as Loretta made her entrance wearing a white, feathered masquerade mask and a peach, white and green satin ball gown -- an exact replica of the dress Catherine wore in the beloved episode.

The Rev. Fred Weimert -- pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Towson -- touched, tongue in cheek, on the frivolity of the occasion. But he quickly reminded all those present of the true nature of what was taking place, saying, "Marriage is a relationship where we take off costumes and let someone see us as we really are."

Surrounded by still and video cameras, Loretta, 44, and Randy, 38, said their vows and exchanged rings. They were pronounced husband and wife to the loud applause and joyful shouts of their guests, and then the costume party began in earnest.

Locked in an embrace, the characters Catherine and Vincent watched over the festivities from a portrait hung behind the head table. One got the feeling they approved.

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