The beautiful people of Whistler’s financial, literary and Guest Relations communities gathered at the Black Tusk community centre Sunday, April 25 to witness the marriage of Marlene Siemens and George D. Maxwell – to the surprise of many, including the bride.
In a clandestine operation that was months in the planning Mr. Maxwell arranged a small gathering for what most thought was a surprise 50th birthday party for his Perfect Partner. The surprise grew when Mr. Maxwell, in an act of chivalry, went down on one knee to propose to Ms Siemens.
After accepting the marriage proposal in front of 24 guests Ms Siemens was surprised again when marriage commissioner Florence Petersen appeared from a back room. A small arbour was quickly produced on the lawn outside and the ceremony took place in front of the local pond, with Black Tusk in the background.
Mr. Maxwell, naturally, wrote the exchange of vows, which the couple concluded with cries of "You betcha!" and "Absolutely!"
The wedding was the 1,000th performed by Florence Petersen in her duties as marriage commissioner, and the third "surprise" wedding she has done.
Maid of Honour/Poet Laureate was Iris Wagner. J.J. Geddyup was supposed to be the best man but apparently got lost trying to find Black Tusk Village.
The bridegroom was dressed in jeans, sneakers and a casual shirt. The bride wore slacks, a red sweater and a dumbfounded look on her face.
Afterwards the guests – Bobbi and Greg Sandkuhl, Marilyn and Ian Creighton, Leslie and Tim Wake, Bob Penner and Bea Searle, Paul and Cindy Street, Zippy the Dog, among others – enjoyed an exquisite buffet dinner prepared by Richard Auer.
Mr. Maxwell and Ms Siemens met nearly 20 years ago while both held respectable jobs with hallowed financial institutions in the far east. They have been together for the past 18 years.
They relocated to Whistler, and lesser incomes, approximately 10 years ago.
Despite the intimate gathering for the wedding and legal registration of the marriage papers, Mr. Maxwell’s middle name remains a secret.