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  1. Arts & Entertainment

Love Notes: First priest makes the match, then he makes it official

Theresa Hartley, 30, and Andy Rose, 31, of Clearwater. Married Dec. 31, 2011.

Not wanting to look pudgy in the pulpit, Father Victor Ulto enrolled at Gold's Gym to buff up. He even signed up for half-hour sessions with a personal trainer named Andy. With time, Father Ulto noticed how his new friend liked the pretty blond chiropractor who also worked at the Port St. Lucie gym. The 62-year-old priest decided to become her patient. Yes, he really did need a chiropractor, but he thought maybe he could help his buddy at the same time.

"You put one hand here, the other there," Father Ulto said about his matchmaking. "Then you put them together and let God take over."

Andy started to send Theresa flowers every week, spending hundreds just to see her smile. When he had a pang, he would stop by the gym to get a smoothie just to see her. He finally scored a first date. They made it official not long after.

Two years later, Theresa moved to Clearwater and opened a practice. The couple spent three months apart until Andy made the move to be with her.

For Thanksgiving 2010, they treated themselves to a small getaway at Hilton Clearwater Beach. Andy woke Theresa up around 6:30 on Thanksgiving morning and proposed with his grandmother's wedding ring.

The couple decided to get married in St. Augustine, one of their favorite places. They love the romantic feel of the city, the little hole-in-the-wall restaurants no one's ever heard of, all the places filled with history. They said their vows at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, the oldest church in the United States, on New Year's Eve.

Father Ulto was invited. In fact, he traveled from Port St. Lucie to marry them.

Sabrina Rocco can be reached at srocco@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8862.

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