Watermelon Days’ Wedding

Watermelon Days’ Wedding

Peg Edwards & Don Deeds: August 1, 2015

Peg and Don were older in life when they met and fell in love. They were happy just being together, until one day Don said they were getting married. And they did, in a parade on a float, at Atkin’s annual Watermelon Days! What a celebration it was, and Edward of Zelaya Photography was happy to capture this special day to share with you and spread the excitement. (Also, Shelley Deeds shared a few photos.) This story proves you are never too old to get married, or have FUN!!!

Bride and her fairy tale dress on her themed wedding day, photographed by Zelaya Photography.Bride, son, and daughter-n-law on her themed wedding day during a parade at Atkins Watermelon Days, photographed by Zelaya Photography.

Don lived in Atkins and Peg lived in Cedar Rapids and had been dating a year. Peg worked at Miguel’s Bar and Grille, in Cedar Rapids. One packed afternoon at Miguel’s, they were having a drawing for prizes, but Peg had the ultimate prize for Don. She made Don stand up in a crowd of 65 people where she got down on one knee and proposed to him with a gold engagement band. When she popped the question He said, with a very red face, stuttering…. “Well YAY,” and everyone cheered! Peg and Don went home after Peg’s shift at the bar. After arriving, Don said, “Well I might as well give this to you since you beat me to the punch!” and he came out of the bedroom with an engagement ring for Peg. He had been planning on popping the question at Christmas, but Peg beat him to the punch by 4 days! That called for a celebration, so they went to Bobby T’s in Atkins. As in most small towns, news had traveled fast that Peg had asked Don to marry her so they were greeted with cheers and she got to show off her engagement ring to the crowd there that night! Everyone wanted to know when they were getting married, and Peg’s answer then and over the years was always the same! On Watermelon Days, on a Float, in the middle of the street during the parade!!!

Fast forward 10 years, and Peg’s son was getting married and Don was tired of the questions of why they hadn’t tied the knot yet! He finally put her feet to the fire and demanded a wedding date. He even rallied her family to help pressure her to set the date. That’s when Peg told him “FINE” they would get married August 1, 2015, during Watermelon Days! And, since the family was so adamant about them getting married they all had to participate in her Fairy Tale wedding! Everyone thought she was crazy but really found out just how crazy she was when she told them her plans, and how they ALL had to participate, even her future in laws!

Bride and Groom on their wedding day on a float during the Watermelon Days Parade, photographed by Zelaya Photography.

Mother of the bride dressed as the Queen of England for her daughter's fairy tale themed wedding in a parade.

Sister of the bride riding in a convertible in a fairy tale themed wedding.

Guests riding in a convertible at a parade wedding.

Bride and Grooms family that joined them riding in a pickup truck during a parade at a themed parade wedding.

When Peg was young, parades were her favorite thing ever! She had participated in many of them from marching in high school to watching as an adult! But, she always loved the excitement of a parade and Peg wanted that same excitement for her wedding, and their guests. They decided to get married at their hometown parade, during Atkin’s Watermelon Days, on a float. “A Watermelon Wedding – A Match in the Patch” was their theme. The float had a life size wedding cake with Bride and Groom balloons on top. It took two days and nights to complete. Brad Schumacher was the mastermind of the design and completed it right before they drove down the street to the parade. Family members and friends were invited to participate in the parade and throw candy but had to wear costumes. The Mother of the Bride (who was turning 89 in a few weeks) was the Queen of England – and yes, they are both the same age! Peg’s sister was her maid of honor, and dressed as Pippa complete with a tiara look-a-like. Other family members and friends were dressed as Colonel Sanders and Aunt Bee, Maxine (Hallmark), a cowgirl from Houston TX, tourists in Hawaiian shirts with cameras, Blues Brothers, Popeye, Bam Bam (Grandson), Mario (son) and Luigi (son’s girlfriend), Brutes (son) and a fairy (pregnant Daughter in Law. Don’s brother was the best man, they were a G-man and a flapper. The officiant even participated in this crazy ordeal and dressed as the beautiful Tinkerbell. Having little time to prepare for the wedding, Peg found her perfect Fairy Tale dress on the clearance rack at David’s Bridal. Not having time to have the dress altered, she used glittery, brightly colored butterfly hair clips to pinch up the tooling of the gown that gave it a princess-like fairytale look!

Wedding Guests dressed as Colonel Sanders and Mrs. Sanders in a fairy tale themed wedding.Bride and Groom with their officiant on their themed wedding day float at the Atkins Watermelon Days Parade.

Bride and Groom's themed ceremony at a parade on a float, photographed by Zelaya Photography.

Groom giving his bride her ring during their ceremony on a float in a parade for Atkin Iowa's Watermelon Days, photographed by Zelaya Photography.Bride and Groom kissing at their ceremony on a float during the Watermelon Days Parade in Atkins Iowa, photographed by Zelaya Photography.

The parade started at 10am and Peg, thinking of the family (they are all older) who couldn’t walk the whole Parade route, lined up convertibles and pickup trucks for the family and wedding party to ride in and throw candy, beach balls, and other fun trinkets to the crowd! To the credit of the young ones in the wedding party they WALKED the complete route and it was every street in the City of Atkins. One very important note to any Bride doing this – if you think you have enough candy and trinkets buy MORE! You can never have enough! The streets were filled with people and they wanted Candy!!! Peg’s two sons were supposed to walk her down the aisle (the street) however, his wife went into labor and they had to leave for the hospital to have a baby, so Peg’s son Brandon, dressed as Mario, walked his mom down the “aisle” before he gave her away to Don. The two boarded the float together with their Best Man, Maid of Honor, and officiant. Peg and Don’s float was the last float of the parade and they stopped on Main Street. The guests and people on the street came in closer to witness as Peg and Don recited their vows. After their vows, Tinkerbell blew fairy dust on them and said, “So remember, Second star to the right and straight on until Morning.” That’s how they became Mr. & Mrs. Deeds!

Bride on her themed wedding day with her sister's and mom dressed as the Queen of England, photographed by Zelaya PHotography.

After the ceremony, Peg invited guests to The Old Chocolate Factory on Main Street for a social hour of cocktails, beer, wine, champagne, and appetizers. Guests enjoyed, then took in the other activities that Watermelon Day’s entails, some went home to get out of the heat, change clothes, and rest up for the reception and dance held later that evening. As the last guests were leaving the Factory, Peg and Don waved goodbye. They were ready to go home, relax, and freshen up before their reception at the Moose Lodge, but they forgot that they had rode to Main Street on a float! They quickly realized they had no vehicle to get home and the last of their guests had left! Not wanting to walk all the way home in their wedding attire, Don quickly flagged down a friend to give him a ride to get his truck. No matter how well you plan for these events, there is always that little detail one forgets!

Bride and Groom just married at the Atkins Watermelon Days Parade photographed by Zelaya Photography.Bride and Groom on their themed wedding day photographed by Zelaya Photography.

A Watermelon Wedding Cake.Bride and Groom cutting their wedding cake at their reception at the Moose Logde in Cedar Rapids Iowa.

Guests finished the day with an evening reception at the Cedar Rapids Moose Lodge where everyone, ate, danced, and partied the night away. Peg made pulled pork and Italian beef sandwiches, her sister’s famous mostaccioli pasta salad, potato salad, and more for guests to indulge. Peg even made all the décor and centerpieces. Being a Bartender she used booze bottles and bright colored flowers to cheer up the room. The entire day was the most fun and amazing time her family and friends had ever had at a wedding. What they thought was craziness with this whole “A Match in the Patch” parade themed wedding, really got them into the excitement of the people, the parade, and the love of two people. They all got to participate in the parade, have fun with it, and feel the magical excitement of the day! The dress code for guests was “parade attire,” which was casual, comfortable, and greatly appreciated on a hot August day. This was truly an unforgettable fairy tale of a wedding day. Peg got her wish of getting married on a float, in a parade on Main Street, during Watermelon Days, and she got her and Don’s family to dress crazy because she could. Bride’s Rule.

PS, Peg and Don became grandparents at 5:56 pm. that evening. A beautiful baby girl was born and the most perfect wedding gift on such a magical day!

Best wedding present ever, a new baby granddaughter.

Vendor Credits:

Officiant – Colleen Koss, As You Wish Weddings, Amana, IA

Photography – Zelaya Photography, Cedar Rapids, IA

(Shelley Deeds also contributed some photos as marked.)

Ceremony – Watermelon Days Parade, On a Float, Atkins, IA

Social Hour – The Old Chocolate Factory Building, Atkins, IA

Reception – Cedar Rapids Moose Lodge, Cedar Rapids, IA

Bride’s Gown – David’s Bridal, Cedar Rapids, IA

Tuxedos – Don’s Tuxedo – Holley’s Shop for Men, Cedar Rapids, IA

Wedding Rings – Ginsberg Jewelers, Cedar Rapids, IA

Cakes – Sam’s Club, Cedar Rapids, IA

Cupcakes – Lisa, a friend and her wedding gift for the couple.

Catering – DIY

Decorations/Centerpieces – DIY

Flowers – Bride’s Bouquet – Flowerama, Cedar Rapids, IA

Music/DJ – Brother of the Bride – Michael Ray, Council Bluffs, IA

Hotel – Hampton Inn South, Cedar Rapids, IA