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Mom was 'incredibly fun to be around' for wedding


The bride worried her mother might disapprove of the Pearl Jam song she selected for her walk down the aisle.

"And I definitely did not want to wear her veil," said Tricia Ketchey Shuler, stretching to come up with any other issues arising when she and her mother, Brenda Ketchey, designed her March 30 wedding to Kevin Shuler.

Right off the bat, Ketchey proposed hiring a professional wedding consultant.

"I'd heard the Bridezilla horror stories and I was afraid I would get an attitude," said Ketchey, a South Tampa native and frequent charity event organizer.

"When I got married, my mother did everything. I thought I might drive Trish crazy."

No such thing, said Shuler, 30, a construction engineer who left Tampa for 10 years during college, careers in New York and San Francisco and graduate school in Gainesville. Planning the wedding added to their bond, and helped Shuler develop a deeper appreciation for her mother's community connections.

"She's incredibly fun to be around and a rockin' party planner," said Shuler, who has settled into married life two miles from the Palma Ceia home where she grew up.

Ketchey echoed the sentiments about having a positive experience. She misses their brainstorming lunches and decision-making over a late afternoon glass of wine.

"Living on her own made her much more independent, more self confident," Ketchey said. "I've gotten used to calling her two and three times a day."

The young couple met on Halloween 2010 and were engaged in March 2012. Planning began immediately. Who had time for drama?

"We got engaged on a Saturday and set a date and location on Monday," Shuler said.

The Tampa Museum of Art was their first and only venue visited.

With the groom being a Duke graduate and die-hard basketball fan, Easter weekend was perfect because it came at the end of the NCAA March Madness tournament. Shuler said that date also meant, "out-of-town family were likely to come home."

Mother-daughter conflicts were rare.

"Any contention was with other people, not us," Shuler said.

The veil dilemma? Solved by cutting off some lace and attaching it to a headpiece.

"We're both very visual," Shuler said. "We like the same things about 90 percent of the time. She knows me so well."

Ketchey credits her husband Charles for their daughter's flexibility.

"She has her father's easy temperament," Ketchey said. "I can get feisty. I know when to push the envelope if I thought something was really important. Other things I took a back seat on."

Maybe the most important message gleaned from her mother — and a mooner — "is not to take yourself too seriously," Shuler said.

Just as the bride and groom were exchanging vows, a boat floated behind the museum. One passenger dropped his shorts and exposed his backside, the other shouted, "Don't do it, don't do it."

"It was hilarious," Shuler said.

"All your best-laid plans," said Ketchey, laughing, "and things (happen) you can't control. You'd be better off saving your money and hiring a streaker."

Mom was 'incredibly fun to be around' for wedding 05/11/13 [Last modified: Sunday, May 12, 2013 11:30am]
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