Wedding on ice

JUST MARRIED

Amanda DeMarco and Norman Guido Jr.

February 20, 2000|By Joanne E. Morvay | By Joanne E. Morvay,special to the sun

Amanda DeMarco has been trying to get Norman Guido Jr. on ice skates since the couple began dating nearly four years ago. "Norm," as everyone calls him, declined each time she asked. The whole idea -- trying to move in shoes with sharp metal blades on the bottom -- made no sense to him.

When Amanda pressed the subject, Norm would remind her of his vision: All 5-foot-10-inches of him flailing around on the ice until he falls.

Amanda resigned herself to skating alone. But then she heard a radio ad for an event she thought might change Norm's mind: Baltimore's annual "Valentine's Day Wedding on Ice."

Amanda and Norm, both 28, had planned to marry this summer. It likely would have been the grand affair Amanda's mother had dreamed about. But Norm didn't want to wait. The wedding on ice -- a legally binding, free event sponsored by the city promotions office and a local radio station -- represented a compromise for each of them. And it sounded unique.

Amanda's mother, Susan DeMarco of Baltimore, gave her blessing, and soon the event became a family affair when Amanda's younger sister Bonnie and her fiance T.J. Johnson decided they would get married on ice as well.

And so, on the most romantic day of the year, the two young couples donned formal wedding finery and skated smoothly into matrimony.

Unlike some who participated in the event, Norm and T.J. were prepared: The DeMarco sisters had taken them skating a week earlier to make sure they would be steady on their feet. The foursome then bought new skates just for the wedding -- black for the guys, white for the girls.

Standing beside the rink with 23 other couples before the ceremony, Norm admitted he was nervous, but only about his skating skills. Watching men wobble out onto the ice, some flanked by rink guards who were obviously holding them up, Norm wondered how he would do.

But when it came time for him and Amanda to leave the safety of the rubber mats at rinkside, he glided across like a pro -- no small feat because the unseasonably warm day had turned the rink into a slush puddle.

The couples stood before the Rev. Joel Dan Lehman of Edgewater and then turned toward one another to repeat their vows. Norm and Amanda's 15-month-old son Devin watched with other family members as his parents pledged to love one another for the rest of their lives.

When Lehman pronounced the couples "husband and wife," the crowd of well-wishers let out a loud cheer. Norm and Amanda and Bonnie and T.J. had about 20 people present, including the girls' mom, their father, Charles DeMarco Sr. of Dundalk, and Norm's parents, Kay Deane of Dundalk and Norman Guido Sr. of Catonsville.

As all the couples were invited to share their "first skate" -- to the theme from the movie "Ice Castles" -- Amanda and Norm joined hands. They twirled in place for a moment, then set off around the rink as husband and wife.

Pub Date: 2/20/00

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