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March 24, 2010

The Princess, the Pirate and the Postman


By Elaine Viets

Saturday, our friends Angela Napoleon and Chris Schmidt had a fairytale wedding in Florida. A real fairytale. Angela was Cinderella at Disney World in Orlando. Chris was a Disney pirate.

Because the couple had worked for the Mouse, many of the wedding party and guests were Disney princesses – hired, retired and fired. "Forever" is not a word the Mouse believes in, and wishing won’t make it so.

It was easy to spot the Disney princesses in the wedding. They all have wide eyes, good skin and high cheekbones. You expect cute animated creatures to flutter around them.

Angela is famous for her Florida Lottery commercials – so famous, the priest bragged about them at the wedding Mass. (That’s Angela in this video, looking adorably unprincesslike in pigtails and fishing gear. http://tinyurl.com/ydloct7 )

Chris plays the postman in the new movie, "Letters to God." You’ll see Chris in the first few seconds of the trailer. http://tinyurl.com/y9g5er3 The only bad thing about the movie is you can’t see how funny Chris is. WARNING: This movie is about a little boy who has cancer, so you may find the trailer upsetting.

Many of Chris and Angela’s friends are actors, so nearly everyone at the wedding looked vaguely familiar. The "Letters to God" boy’s father, his red-haired mother, and the black man in the trailer were all at the wedding.

Weddings are supposed to be joyful occasions, but outside of Disney World, that ain’t necessarily so. Some marriages are mismatches. Some are hasty. Some are so doomed, the wedding guests pray that the couple won’t kill each other before their first anniversary.

I’ve known Chris since the 1980s. When I met Angela, she seemed like the perfect woman for him. When they were engaged, we held our breath. There’s many a slip between engagement ring and wedding bells. Last Saturday night, they finally walked down the aisle.

Chris and Angela’s wedding was perfect, the kind of ceremony that makes even stony types tear up. They were married at St. Patrick’s Church in Mount Dora, an enchanted town some 40 miles from Orlando.    

Mount Dora is a laughable 184 feet high. Since Florida’s landscape is flat as a bar top, that’s tall for this state. Mount Dora has gingerbread homes, live oaks draped with Spanish moss – and tons of antique shops to trap tourists.   Downtown Mt. Dora

After the wedding, the guests sent the bride and groom and wedding party off in a cloud of bubbles. They rode the Mount Dora trolley to the reception.

The wedding feast was a sit-down dinner with steak, chicken and wine. All the customs that seem corny, unless you like the couple, followed: The bride and groom danced with each other. The bride danced with her father and the groom with his mother. The flower girl twirled on the dance floor in her ruffled dress until her mother took her home to bed early. Chris and Angela cut a wedding cake topped with Mickey and Minnie.   Wedding reception    

Nearly every table had its own real, live dazzling Disney princess. Our particular princess was a luminous creature who had magical powers: she wore a scarf wrapped in a chic, tricky style. I’ve tried that and look like I have a bad sore throat.

At the head table, surrounded by family and friends, Cinderella looked happy with her pirate/postman.

If fairytales do come true, I think the real Cinderella should have married the pirate instead of the prince. Today’s princes have an ugly, inborn sense of entitlement. And talk about mother-in-law problems. How would you like to deal with your mother-in-law, the queen? As for smiling through those endless banquets and receptions, I’d rather scrub floors.

A pirate, on the other hand, works for his loot. He risks his life. He has no mother to speak of. He earns what he makes. While a pirate may not come by all his treasure honestly, he does have some decency.

At least he isn’t a stockbroker.


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"At least he isn’t a stockbroker."
too funny! Thanks for my bedtime story, Elaine . . . happily ever after . . .

Great story, Elaine! I myself have always preferred the Pirate to the Prince.

And speaking of Pirates, Happy Birthday Steve McQueen and Hel-loh!


Oh, my. (fanning myself) Ole Steve was hot, hot, hot!

What a fun wedding. I know a six-year old girl, if she were made aware of the potential for Disney princesses at receptions, would start planning her own future nuptials right this very minute. The key is picking the right pirate to go with it, I think.

Sounds as though your friends are starting off their lives together on the right foot, too, with humor and friendship. Mazel tov to them!

I'm a Pirate person myself...although I'd stay away from the tattooed ones :o) And I'd like to think I'd pick Shrek (warts and all) over Charming. Who'd want to deal with their husband's cosmetics,tights, and hair mousse cluttering the royal bathroom? Good wishes to your friends Elaine! Sounds like a wonderful beginning to their happily ever after :o)

I teared-up over the Letters to God bit and admired the fine physique of Steve McQueen. I remember some of those Life pictures -- the one where he is kissing his daughter (and speaking of entitled, Candace Bergen wrote in her autobiography that McQ felt entitled to the 'company' of any of the women around at the time) Pirates don't act princely in many ways.

I'd go with a pirate myself since I like men with character to them, such as my sweet hubby.

But what I liked most in the article was the talk about Florida. I remember Mount Dora well, and I miss my old home state.

Oh, my, Kathy. Steve McQueen was a looker.
I'll take the pirate any day, Maryann, and think Shrek is kind of cute. Prince Charming reminds me of those frat boys who thought they should get everything because they were lucky enough to be born in rich families.
Karen, the princess racket is a good one. Your six-year-old friend needs to get a job at Disney World -- and they're expanding, which should mean more princesses.

I found the blurbs with the photos by the photographer a lot of fun. Brought a new perspective to McQ's personality. One of the, if not THE, most underated actor in Hollywood of the time. Love With the Proper Stranger (w/Natalie Wood) is one of my all time favorite movies.

As for the Prince or the Pirate debate, Dear Hubby puts it best. "Chicks dig jerks"

One year Molly and I went to Disneyland. We happened to be there on a staff day at Disneyland. We ended up sitting next to an off duty costumed worker. She had gotten engaged the day before. It seemed like half the parade needed to stop and see the ring.

My little princesses have seen the FoodTV specials on Disney weddings. We try to explain they should not expect Cinderella's coach at their weddings.

When the Galleria Disney Store went out of business I passed on this, http://www.amazon.com/Disney-Ladies-Giselle-Wedding-Costume/dp/B002HJTZBW but, if you know a princess in need of a gown, ebay has a few.

Good news for future princesses!
Disney World is expanding. You may want to buy up those eBay princess dresses while they're still bargains.

I prefer my princesses to kick butt and take names :) Congratulations to your friends, Elaine!

Can you visualize Bobbie Faye from Toni McGee Causey's series dressed as a Disney Princess? Although Trevor and Cam would make two pretty smokin' pirates -- just my imagination ... runnin' away with me.

What a wonderful wedding!
Your friends are a wonderful couple.
Thanks for the "Letters to God" movie link. It looks truly inspirational.
The picture of the table decorations is gorgeous.
Steve McQueen is one of my all time favorite actors and I too loved "Love With A Proper Stranger".
I love the Pirate fantasy but I have to say that sometimes my husband is a Prince among men.

Kerry, butt-kicking beats frog-kissing any day.

Bobby Faye is a queen in those parades; why would she settle for princess?
I like pretend pirates, one of the perks of Ren. Faire, along with men in kilts -- I think the real ones would have been decidedly NOT fun.
BTW, another Ren. Faire lesson -- royalty wears clothes that are heavy and hot. Peasants are far more comfortable (the storyteller is much closer to peasant than nobility), and the fairies are the most free and comfortable of all . . .

Sorry -- I got so lost in the Steve McQueen photos, I almost forgot to come back to the blog.

I'm off to take a cold shower.

Elaine: "Some [weddings] are so doomed, the wedding guests pray that the couple won’t kill each other before their first anniversary." Like mine, where the groom's side was making book on how long it'd last... I myself bet 11 years, and oh, wait, what do you know?--I won. But only because it was over after 3 weeks, and I stuck around to beat out all those groomsmen. So, ha!

You are absolutely right, Storyteller Mary, how could I forget she was the Queen?!

The wedding guests gave Don and me six months, Laurie. We're still married 40 years later. Once we got through the six months, the pressure was off.

My husband and I will be married 46 years next week. We lived in my father's home for a year. Whenever, we had to "discuss" things or argue we would take long long walks. Needless to say we had a lot of exercise.
I was introduced to his huge family a year later. It's been a wild ride and great fun.

Forty-six years -- congratulations, Marie. You do have a prince -- the good kind.

Thanks, Elaine!
I lucked out in the best way!!

What a wonderful wedding story! I love the traditional ones.. except for the princess stuff, which actually IS traditional, when you thnk of it.

And Elaine, they're gonna need more princeses? Hmm. LOVE to see those auditions.

One of my childhood fantasies was that I would marry Prince Charles. I'm just saying. And my mother was very clear about how that would not be a good idea. Again, mom was right. (We did not discuss pirates.)

good wedding story! thanks.

BTW - when you wrote "at least he isn't a stockbroker" and since this is a Florida wedding story...

Did you see the recent BBC news story about German court sentencing 4 elderly German citizens, who kidnapped their financial advisor, because he had them invest millions of dollars in risky Florida real estate, and that they lost all their money?

I saw it on TV last night. The 4 people (ages 70 to 85 or so) lost all their pension money in this Florida deal. They kidnapped the FA, held him hostage for 3 days, and forced him to fax his Swiss bank to wire the money back to them. The FA embedded in the fax 'contact the police' - and the police tracked down their hideout.

The 4 kidnappers were found guilty yesterday and sentenced to jail.
That florida story could be worth a blog, too.
Almost unbelievable. Not a fairy tale ending though.

When I was little I wanted to marry Prince Charles too because I wanted to become the queen of England (as we didn't have our own any more). The problem was that he was older than my mother, so I gave up.

I remember that Prince Charles visited UC Berkeley when I was a student there. A vague thought of "what if" crossed my mind. But that was in the mid-1970's. I didn't even know what he looked like :)

Now, I could definitely go for the Dread Pirate Roberts . . .

. . . and all that talk of kissing frogs? In the months Prince lived here in my eco-home, not once did he look as if he wanted to be kissed.

Actor Robert Culp died today.
He starred with Bill Cosby in the I SPY television series.
He was one of my all time favorite actors.
Too sad.

THIS WORLD (Disneyworld also) IS TOO SMALL!!!

Angela was a performer with my much missed "Adventurers Club!" She was a sweetheart who always seemed to remember me. The last time I saw her, I gave her a big hug. (Well, we know I am big, I may have scared her).

I am thrilled that she is doing well with LSC, she utilizes every second that she is on the screen. Did she sing her rendition of "Grey Squirrel" at her wedding reception?

Yo Ho Ho Ho,
A Pirate's Life
Life for me!

Oh yea, Angela and Chris, if you are reading this, congrats and KUNGALOOSH ! ! !

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