The luck of the Irish may have had something to do with the glorious weather Tara Teschky and Paul Quinn enjoyed Saturday as they exchanged wedding vows atop a float during the Lake Villa St. Patrick's Day parade.
But it was fate that brought the couple together.
"We met at a dive bar," said Teschky Saturday afternoon, not long before saying "I do," to her boyfriend of 4½ years. "Our eyes locked across the room and it was magic.
"We're soul mates," said the spirited, green-eyed, strawberry blonde, who was only half joking when she suggested to Quinn that they marry on St. Patrick's Day, during Lake Villa's parade.
Before moving from Lake Villa to Libertyville last August, both Teschky and Quinn had lived along the parade route, and it was a custom for her house to be the place where friends congregated before the marching bands came rolling by.
"When we were brainstorming the wedding, it really was the last thing we thought of," she said. "But, it turned out to be the perfect idea."
Quinn agreed. Both he and Teschky had been married before and wanted to do things a little differently this time.
"We wanted something that could celebrate who we are. We are Irish, we love our heritage, and we like to have fun," she said. "We went to reception halls and banquet halls, but we never got the feeling that this was it."
Two months later there they were, riding on a charmingly decorated float atop a flatbed from Fox Towing and Recovery, which along with several other vendors, donated their services for the big event.
"This is great. It's so Tara," said father-of-the-bride Tom Fellows. "It's unbelievable what they did in 60 days."
"We had such an outpouring from the community," said Teschky. "Everything has been donated."
Jan Buss of Buss Flower Shop in Libertyville decorated the float, elegantly adorned with Queen Anne's lace, Bells of Ireland, dendrobium orchid garlands and white Casablanca lillies. Designed as a chapel with seating for about two dozen, it was flanked by a vine-covered arch with a kissing pompadour made of hydrangeas, and fern-topped columns. There was not a green carnation in sight.
"Princess Diana had nothing on this," quipped Quinn as the float crowded with family and friends, moved into parade formation.
Teschky, 36, wore a white strapless gown with emerald trim at the bodice and hem. A distinguished looking Quinn, 40, wore a green kilt, as did several of his cousins, including Matthew Meyer, who claims he gave Quinn the idea. Knowing his cousin the way Meyer does, the unusual nuptials didn't surprise him.
"I knew it would be different," he said.
Mother-of-the-bride Cathleen Rodgers Wickman, whose parents got engaged on St. Patrick's Day in their native Ireland, loved the idea of a St. Patrick's Day wedding.
"I though it was perfect," she said.
Quinn's mother, Margaret Van Etten didn't believe her son when she heard the news he was getting married on St. Patrick's Day in a parade.
"I said 'Oh, come on,'" said Van Etten who sported glittery shamrock earrings in honor of the event. "But here we are."
The bridal party included Teschky's daughter, Quinn's daughter and his three sons, including 16-year-old Paul Quinn IV.
"It's a creative idea," he said, "and it's a perfect day."
If Teschky and Quinn had any last minute jitters about the marriage or their method, they weren't evident as the couple posed for pictures and joked with family and friends.
"If you have jitters, you're worried about making the wrong decision," said Quinn. "I know I'm making the right one."
As the float pulled into formation, officiant Dawn Fry addressed guests and parade goers lining the route
"By the time this parade is over, they are going to be husband and wife," she said.
And they were.
Daily Herald staff writer Lee Filas contributed to this report.