July 21, 2015 - 9:00 PM
THE WHOLE TOWN WAS BASICALLY IN ON IT
ARMSTRONG - Joan Jong was sad to be missing the Saturday farmers market in Armstrong — even if it was because she was getting married.
She’s been selling vegetables at the market, which her family helped establish many years ago, for practically her whole life.
But as it turned out, she didn’t have to worry about missing it at all thanks to a secret plan hatched by the groom, her niece, and various family and community members.
Kalvin Krause, the groom, came up with the idea of surprising Jong with a ceremony at the farmers market a few months ago, and ran it by her niece, Asia, who loved the idea.
“I thought it was the best idea I ever heard,” Asia says. “I was so excited.”
The market, which has a central walkway with vendors on both sides, made the perfect aisle, Krause says. Plus, all the people Jong sees every week, who have become good friends, would already be there.
Friends, family and market vendors all came onboard, and while the whole town was basically in on it, Jong had no idea what was going on. She thought the plan was for a small backyard ceremony with family.
“Nobody said a word,” Jong says.
The day of the wedding, Saturday, July 18, Joan thought she was heading into town dressed in her wedding gown to stop by the market to pick up her bouquet, and then head to Memorial Park for photos. The wedding commissioner was to marry them at 6:30 p.m. that evening, the only time she was available — or so Jong believed.
When she and Asia arrived at the market, music began to play. A beautifully decorated archway stood where she usually had her booth. Krause was there waiting.
“I’m still shocked,” Jong says. “It was just beautiful, just perfect. It was the wedding of a lifetime.”
The surprise went off without a hitch, and Jong was kept in the dark right up until the last second.
“It was a community effort, one of those things that could only have happened in Armstrong,” Asia says.
Jong and Krause met online almost four years ago, and saw each other in person for the first time on Valentines Day. They spent a relaxing weekend at Sparkling Hills for their honeymoon and Jong is already looking forward to going back to work at the farmers market this weekend.
“I loved (the market) in the first place, now I love it even more. It just brings back memories of the wedding day,” Jong says.
Kalvin Krause and Joan Jong got married at the Armstrong Farmers Market July 18, 2015.
Image Credit: Kolton and Lindsay Procter
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015