Monday, December 18, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

From This Day: Groom fights off challengers who covet the bride

ST. PETE BEACH — Adam Bohn linked hands with Michelle Chang as the pastor approached the altar and asked what usually amounts to a throwaway question at other wedding ceremonies.

"Should anyone here present know of any reason that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace," he said.

A knight — wielding a sword and dressed in a suit of armor — sauntered down the aisle and bellowed, "I object." He issued a challenge to Adam for Michelle that elicited laughter and surprise from the ballroom full of guests at the Loews Don CeSar Hotel on Nov. 9.

It was the first of many challenges for the bride in what became a full-on epic battle for the right to call Michelle "Mrs. Bohn." For seven minutes, Adam and Michelle played the roles of a lifetime — a knight in shining armor and his damsel (who could take care of herself, thank you very much). The fun, cheeky event showed those present who this couple was and who they will be going forward as man and wife.

"Michelle's an angel. She's pure. She's kind. She's smart," said Adam, 37, of Lutz. "She's perfect."

Adam is creator of the online game Adventure Quest and CEO of Artix Entertainment, a Pasco County company that develops online games.

Five years ago, Michelle and Adam met. They won't say how, but it's clear their connection was immediate and intense.

"He was very selfless and caring, and he treats everyone as family," said Michelle, 34. "The night we met he was like that. And his humor, the self-deprecating humor let me know he was a special person."

Adam, who is originally from Altoona, Pa., moved to Florida shortly after his parents did, leaving a grueling developer job in California's Silicon Valley. "I was working three jobs and I had no social life," he said with a laugh.

Michelle, a Trinidadian, went to college in Texas and then came to Florida to work for Verizon IT, where she still works as a process engineer.

From the outset, they seemed different. Adam lived in a house that was practically all black with carpeting, drapes and even shampoo bottles to fit his theme. His first visit to Michelle's place was a shocker. "He said, 'It's blinding. Everything is so bright,' " she laughed. Still, there was more common ground than differences. They both loved gaming, anime, technology and taking silly selfies.

"I went over to her house and she showed me her thesis, where she wrote this program to collect all the photos in an area and put them on a map," Adam said. "I thought, 'Wow. I'm in love,' " he said.

He proposed in January, and they planned to get married before the end of the year. Adam's mom took a leading role with the vendors and helped with the big things so Adam and Michelle could focus on the important matters — how to make this wedding unforgettable.

They landed squarely on the scripted sequence in which challengers would vie for Michelle's heart during the ceremony, only to be defeated by Adam, Michelle and the wedding party. Fairytale Productions, which did the videography, brought in six cameras to capture every minute.

Originally, the challengers were supposed to be a knight, Adventure Quest's Chairman Platinum and his ninjas, wrestlers from Micro Championship Wrestling and a team of bellhops. In the runup to the big day, the wrestlers had to drop out for another gig, leaving a hole in the show.

In stepped Jon Fudge of Your Total Entertainment with an idea. "How about we have Batman and Iron Man come into it?" he asked Adam. The couple was skeptical about how the mainstream characters would fit, but after talking to the actors, Adam was sold.

"We didn't even write any script for them," Michelle said. "They did it on their own and it turned out great."

After all challengers were defeated, World Wrestling Entertainment star Jimmy Hart came in with his signature heart-covered jacket and a bullhorn to get the wedding back under way.

"Adam, you are worthy," said the pastor.

The laughter was brief. The smiles lasted longer.

To watch a video of the wedding, which has gone viral with more than 2 million hits, go to Links in today's Times at tampabay.com.

   
Comments

Tell Me About It: Fiance’s abrupt breakup feels like a death

Fiance’s abrupt breakup feels like a deathQ: Arriving from a work trip, I texted my fiance that I had would be home soon. He responded with, "I love you. I’ll bring home pizza for dinner." Thirty minutes later: "Actually, I can’t be in a relationship...
Published: 12/17/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Dec. 18-24.

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Dec. 18-24.

Gasparilla Bowl: The postseason college football game at Tropicana Field on Thursday brings Florida International University from Conference USA to play the Temple Owls from the American Athletic Conference. ($40-$80). gasparillabowl.com. The 8 p.m....
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/17/17

Tell Me About It: Thrown off by sudden, no-gift Christmas

Thrown off by sudden, no-gift ChristmasI am meeting part of my family for an early Christmas celebration. Five days out, my cousin e-mails everyone to say she will only be giving a present to her mom and our grandparents. She is skipping our aunt, my...
Published: 12/14/17
Plan your weekend Dec. 15-17: Katy Perry, boat parades, Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Plan your weekend Dec. 15-17: Katy Perry, boat parades, Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Superstar Katy Perry: In the ever-escalating arms race to be the most eye-popping pop star on the planet, sometimes you have to call in for backup. Even if you’re Katy Perry. When plotting her lavishly spectacular Witness Tour, which arrives i...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17
Top things to do this week: Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Top things to do this week: Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

NEW HOPE: Star Wars partiesWith the opening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the force of fan excitement is strong, so of course there are Star Wars parties this weekend. The giant movie complex Riverview 14 GDX is having celebration with characters from...
Published: 12/13/17
5 things to do under $5: Gasparilla Bowl beach day, Hanukkah on Ice, boat parades

5 things to do under $5: Gasparilla Bowl beach day, Hanukkah on Ice, boat parades

1 Battle at the Beach: The Gasparilla Bowl is coming to Tropicana Field on Dec. 21, but before that the bands, cheerleaders and dance teams from Florida International University and Temple University will have a day of beach-related games and competi...
Published: 12/13/17
6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

A grandparent can be a tough person to buy a Christmas gift for. Likewise, many grandparents are stumped on what to get the kids besides some cash. Why not make your Christmas gift something you both want more of: more time together making memories. ...
Published: 12/13/17

Tell Me About It: Leave gender out of division of housework

Leave gender out of division of houseworkWhy is it that when a woman cares about the division of labor at home — like her home being a decent level of clean — she is considered to be overreacting?OK, I’ll get down from my soap box now. (I’ll also bre...
Published: 12/13/17

Tell Me About It: Overwhelmed parent weighs out options

Overwhelmed parent weighs out optionsQ: Since my kids were born, my job basically covered the cost of day care. The kids came home overtired and overstimulated.As they became preschool age, I restructured my work to freelance so I could drop off and ...
Published: 12/12/17

Tell Me About It: Identity of biological father is revealed

Identity of biological father is revealedQ: When I was 18, my mother revealed that the father I grew up with was not my biological father. She claimed she didn’t even know my bio father, and never contacted him again after their brief weekend fling a...
Published: 12/11/17