Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

Sunken Gardens wedding continues family tradition

ST. PETERSBURG

More than 60 years ago, Greg Lee's grandparents married on the wedding lawn of Sunken Gardens.

On Friday night, Lee, 26, married Alysa Gibes in the same garden, sliding his grandmother's vintage ring on her finger.

Gibes, 26, walked down the aisle to Christina Perri's A Thousand Years, wearing an empire-waisted gown with lace overlaying the palest of pink underneath.

Her soon-to-be husband stood in a creamy white suit jacket and teared up at the sight of her.

The couple laughed and cried through their vows, promising to cook gourmet meals, sing and save cookies for each other in their marriage.

• • •

Sunken Gardens has been the backdrop to much of Lee's family history.

He was born and raised across the street. His parents, Kathy and Jack Lee, both 59, live in the house Kathy Lee's father built.

Kathy Lee grew up in the gardens. Her grandfather, George Turner Sr., founded the attraction in 1935 and her father, George Turner Jr., took over in 1962.

"Sunken Gardens was my playground," she said. "It was a great way to grow up."

Before that, George Turner Jr. married Joyce Houseman there in 1955.

"I've always wanted family history like that," Gibes said.

Rights to the attraction were sold to the city of St. Petersburg in 1999, but it remains a special place for the Lee family.

Upstairs in the garden room during Friday's ceremony, vintage postcards served as table markers and as replacements for a guest book.

Gold frames showcased old wedding photos of both Greg Lee's and Gibes' grandparents, including one taken at Sunken Gardens decades earlier.

"The ring is getting married twice in the same location years later," Kathy Lee said.

The icing on top of their "vintage St. Pete" wedding was two flamingo cake toppers, the groom wearing a black hat and the bride sporting fluffy pink feathers.

• • •

Greg Lee met Gibes, who is from Coral Springs, at a mutual friend's party while attending the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

She's a student finance adviser at Ultimate Medical Academy in Clearwater. He's a drainage engineer for a company in Tampa.

"We are both geeks," Gibes said. "I kind of just like watching him think."

Both are shy when talking about themselves, but light up when it comes to talking about each other.

Gibes loves when Greg Lee cooks for her, specifically steak with roasted asparagus and Parmesan cheese.

"Her favorite hobby is having me cook. I love it," he said.

Gibes' other love is Disney, specifically The Little Mermaid.

A trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando ended with Greg Lee down on one knee proposing with his grandmother's customized ring.

"They all tricked me," Gibes said. "I thought we were just taking a picture."

The couple's decision to marry at Sunken Gardens came easy.

"We looked at two other places, but they didn't really matter as much," Greg Lee said.

After the tropical wedding, the couple plan to honeymoon in the chilly Baltic Sea. Their 11-day cruise will take them through Norway, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Sweden and Denmark.

Gibes is giddy when she talks about visiting Denmark, the birthplace of the father of fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen.

"I can't wait to see The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen," Gibes said.

Contact Chelsea Tatham at [email protected]

Comments
Live blog: 2018 Gasparilla Distance Classic

Live blog: 2018 Gasparilla Distance Classic

The Tampa Bay Times will be there for every step of this year's Gasparilla Distance Classic. Whether you'll be walking, skipping, jogging or sprinting across the 5K, 8K, 15K or half-marathon finish, join us by using #gasparillarun.(function(d, s, id)...
Published: 02/24/18

High school scoreboard for Feb. 23

Friday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 2, Crystal River 0BaseballCalvary Christian 9, Countryside 2Northeast 15, Tarpon Springs 1
Updated: 7 hours ago
Florida Capitol Republicans promise ‘complete investigation’ of what went wrong

Florida Capitol Republicans promise ‘complete investigation’ of what went wrong

TALLAHASSEE — A bombshell that South Florida police ignored tips that a teenager was planning an assault on a school and then failed to stop him when he attacked seems destined to complicate the election-year discussion around mass shootings.Even in ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Top Justice official alerted White House 2 weeks ago to ongoing issues in Kushner’s security clearance

Top Justice official alerted White House 2 weeks ago to ongoing issues in Kushner’s security clearance

WASHINGTON — A top Justice Department official alerted the White House two weeks ago that significant information requiring additional investigation would further delay the security clearance process of senior adviser Jared Kushner, three people fami...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Indiana man killed, two hurt as boats collide on Little Manatee River

Indiana man killed, two hurt as boats collide on Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — Arthur D. Showley, 75, went fishing early Friday morning, something he did two or three times a week, friends said. When they saw his car and trailer still parked near a community boat ramp at 2 p.m., they thought that was strange."He never ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Here are the GOP’s responses to the Parkland massacre. Would any have worked?

Here are the GOP’s responses to the Parkland massacre. Would any have worked?

Gov. Rick Scott and Republican leadership in the Florida Legislature have rolled out their ideas for change in response to the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But would these measures have made a difference in the worst mass...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Former Florida congressmen say gun control measures need to go much further

Former Florida congressmen say gun control measures need to go much further

TAMPA — A bipartisan pair of former congressmen spoke Friday about gun safety measures that are more drastic than those being considered following the Parkland school shootings, and about hopes for a national youth movement comparable to the 1960s an...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Restricting bullets rather than guns might cut toll of school shootings, some experts say

Restricting bullets rather than guns might cut toll of school shootings, some experts say

This is the sad new math in the age of school slaughter.If one student comes to school with a firearm and 10 ammunition magazines filled with 30 bullets each, and another comes with a firearm and 30 magazines filled with 10 bullets each, who can crea...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

TAMPA — Friends and family have a saying about Lee Thornton Davis Jr. Once you met him, even for just a moment, you knew him forever."He was the most outgoing person I’d ever met," Dick Greco said, which is something coming from Tampa’s gregarious, 8...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

The head of the Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations into the way they report job placement figures says he has no intention of stepping down.That’s unless he is paid five months severance.In a letter from his attorn...
Published: 02/23/18