Fairy tale come to life

JUST MARRIED

Julie Kohr And Rich Martin

February 06, 2000|By Joanne E. Morvay | Joanne E. Morvay,Special to the Sun

Last Sunday, while Mother Nature held Baltimore in an icy grip, Julie Kohr was the star attraction in her dream wedding in balmy Florida. Julie married her own Prince Charming, Rich Martin, in a Cinderella-themed ceremony held at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

The wedding was the culmination of a childhood fantasy for Julie, a woman so enamored with Cinderella that friends teasingly call her Cindy.

The wedding also provided the storybook ending to Julie and Rich's story, which began in 1994 when the couple worked at the same insurance firm. Rich was a salesman and Julie was a customer-service representative for his territory. The two became friends, but never considered any other relationship.

"I never thought he was my type," says Julie, who, on occasion, had sought dating advice from Rich.

For his part, Rich thought "Julie was too glamorous for me," especially because she was rumored to be a Victoria's Secret model when she started at the insurance company. (In fact, Julie had been in management at one of the lingerie chain's retail stores.)

The couple continued working together. They also house-sat for each other when they went out of town and even car-pooled to the office.

It wasn't until 1998 that they decided there might be something more to their friendship. After a "horrible" week at work, Rich asked Julie and a friend to join him for a drink. The friend couldn't make it, so it was just Rich and Julie that Friday night.

Looking back, both say they had wondered what it would be like if they were to date. When the topic came up that evening, neither was surprised. What did surprise them was how quickly their bond grew from friendship to love.

The following Sunday, Rich cooked dinner for Julie at his house. Though they swore they'd take things slow, he wanted to come by after work Monday night. And when he got there, Julie didn't think twice about letting Rich see her at her most casual -- in sweats and without makeup.

"By Monday night we had decided our fate and it was great," she says. Since then, they have been inseparable.

During the New Year's holiday last year, Rich and Julie went to Ocala, Fla., to visit his parents, Al and Arlene Martin. In February 1999, Julie moved into Rich's townhouse in Owings Mills. They were both working at new jobs by then. (Rich, 43, is a regional sales representative for First Insurance Funding Corp., based in Deerfield, Ill. Julie, 31, is with the Immune Deficiency Foundation, a national nonprofit health organization whose headquarters are in Towson.)

Last May, the couple announced their engagement. When Julie mentioned having a Cinderella wedding in Disney World, Rich, who has made it his quest to find unusual items for Julie's extensive collection of Cinderella memorabilia, was happy to oblige.

On her wedding day, Julie was delivered to a lakeside pavilion by horse-drawn carriage. She wore a white gown, and her accessories included "glass" slippers and a sparkling tiara. The slippers and tiara came from an adult-size Cinderella Halloween costume she's made good use of over the years.

Julie's brother Skip Kohr escorted her down the aisle. Seated among the 38 guests, most of whom came from out of town, were Julie's mother, Pat Kohr of Sykesville, as well as Rich's parents and his brother Ron Martin of Moline, Ill.

After the ceremony, Julie and Rich went for a romantic carriage ride around the lake. A limousine then brought the newlyweds to their reception at the Contemporary Resort.

There, at the highest point in the Magic Kingdom, Julie and Rich toasted one another and their new life together as fireworks sparkled in the sky behind one of Disney World's most recognizable landmarks -- Cinderella's castle.

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