Many people have had big weddings, but not many people can say thousands of people were there on the day they tied the knot.
Among the joy and excitement of the Mid-Summer Festival, Trenton residents Karen Hornbeck and Mark Giroux are set to stand before Mayor Kyle Stack at the and exchange wedding vows with a potential audience of thousands.
Hornbeck, 55, and Giroux, 53, have each been married once before and they initially said this time they were going to keep it simple, that is, until they heard about an opportunity that couldn't pass up.
For the first time, officials of the at 2 p.m. Saturday during the festival, which is expected to attract about 100,000 people over its three-day run.
"We thought this would be fun," Hornbeck said. "It's just going to be something fun."
A relative of Richard C. Hedke, for which the elementary school was named, Hornbeck said she has deep ties to Trenton's rich history. Her family has lived in Trenton for many years and she moved back to Trenton in 1979 after she lived in South Rockwood for several years and graduated from Airport High School.
Giroux, too, has roots in Trenton. He grew up in the city, went to and graduated from .
Hornbeck's grandmother's wedding dress can be seen on display inside the museum. She said her grandmother, Emily Hedke, wore the green wedding dress in the 1920s.
"My grandmother's wedding dress is hanging in there and I said, 'It's a sign,'" Hornbeck said.
The theme for the wedding is very relaxed, the two said. Giroux will be wearing a Hawaiian shirt and shorts and Hornbeck plans to wear a "little white dress."
"It's not a big flowing wedding dress," Horbeck said laughing. "Some of the museum ladies were hoping for a big dress with a hoop skirt, but it's not happening."
There will be 20 guests attending the wedding and thousands of passers-by from the festival. Guests will enjoy a violin player, cupcakes and punch.
"I don't care if anybody stands there and watches," Hornbeck said.
The ceremony will take place in the backyard of the historical museum near a storied bell that was built in 1903 for the then Presbyterian Church, now the Assembly of God.
Members of the church commissioned the bell, but when it was delivered they realized it was too large for the belfry they'd built and decided to turn the bell upside down and use it as a flower pot, according to Ruth Ann Brewer, a curator for the museum.
The bell was brought to the museum in 2003 and now hangs from a small wooden belfry, of the appropriate size, behind the museum.
Hornbeck and Giroux will exchange their wedding vows in front of the historic bell.
Though a honeymoon is not on the immediate horizon for the couple, they said they would likely spend some time at the festival following the wedding and a pizza dinner at their house.
Though Hornbeck and Giroux will be the first couple to marry at the museum, they won't be the last. At least two other couples have committed to hold their nuptials in the very same place later this year.
The cost for a historic wedding on the museum grounds is $200. For more information contact Ruth Ann Brewer 734-676-4952.