Event: Wildflower Center Wedding
Date: 11 November 05
Location: Austin, Texas

This one-jeep event was the result of a somewhat unusual request by bride-to-be Terri M.  With her wedding set for November 11th, she requested a World War II jeep as the vehicle of choice to whisk away her and her husband-to-be at the end of the wedding reception.  She explained in emails and telephone calls that she and her fiancé Matt H. had met a number of years ago as students in the University of Texas at Austin Normandy Scholars Program (See the cover story of the Winter 2004 issue of The Transfer Case).  They both are known among their friends and family for having a tremendous interest in history and in World War II in particular.  As a surprise, Terri arranged to have Jeff M. bring his painstakingly restored Willys MB to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for a static display adjacent to the walkway to the reception.  Jeff showed up in U.S. Army wools as the driver for the jeep along with Tim W. who was also in World War II wools and served as the footman for this rather different bridal carriage. 

Jeff and Tim went to the reception location early.  They pulled in around sunset and coordinated with the Wildflower Center’s meeting staff and security personnel to set up the jeep along with some infantry gear and period correct weapons – properly secured of course for safety purposes in order to minimize any liability concerns.  The jeep was spotlighted with Jeff and Tim standing by looking as G.I. as possible.  As guests arrived, they stopped to ask questions and have their pictures taken.  The father of the groom was especially friendly and took a fair amount of time to talk about the jeep and swap some “war stories.”  The groom himself was apparently extremely pleased with his wife’s surprise and, like his dad, he made the Lone Star MVPA representatives feel at home and appreciated.  Terri and Matt also made sure that Jeff and Tim were able to enjoy some of the reception and had plenty to eat and drink. 

After some discussion with the bride, it was determined that the jeep would be used for a grand exit and a joy ride through the surrounding area.  Jeff and Tim did a little recon and planned out an occasion-appropriate 25-minute route down some tree-lined avenues lit up by vintage looking lamp posts.  The idea was to get some pictures of the bride and groom in the jeep at the end of the night just before driving off with them in style for a memorable spin through the neighborhood. 

The plan went off perfectly.  The newlyweds looked great with the groom squared away in a sharp black tux and the bride absolutely beautiful in a classic white gown.  They looked classy and could have stepped right out of the 1940s.  The weather was a little cool, but Tim brought along some Army issue blankets for the couple in case they were needed.  There was virtually no wind and the night air was crisp and the sky clear.  The bride and groom had a few quiet minutes together as the jeep sped them down dark winding streets and beautifully lit boulevards.  The stars were incredibly bright and seemed almost frozen in place.  When they rolled back up to the reception area, most of the guests were gone and only a few friends and family members remained behind to help wrap things up.  Jeff and Tim received many thanks from the newly married couple -- Mr. and Mrs. H. They also received a very nice card, a great deal of gas money that they chose to return later as a wedding gift, and brass compasses for each of them with the date and their names inscribed.   This event was not something that club members are typically involved in, but Jeff and Tim reported that it was a great deal of fun and an interesting mission that they felt rather good about. 


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