Andie and William McCain first met in a taxi cab more than a year ago. So, for their wedding day, it seemed appropriate to exchange vows inside a cab.
Recently, three Yellow Cabs lined the gravel parking lot at Onslow Pines Park as the McCains were seated in cab No. J52 - the same number cab Andie was driving when she picked up her the passenger who became her husband.On a hot and sticky August morning, the yellow cab was transformed into a makeshift sanctuary.
An off-white satin sheet covered the back of the cab. A ``Just Married' sign was tacked onto the back. And pink ``carnations' made out of Kleenex filled the back window with two guardian angels that sat on top watching over the couple. Potted plants lined the gravel aisle for the wedding party.
About 9:30 a.m., 30 minutes after the ceremony was supposed to begin, Shania Twain's ``From This Moment' blared from the CD player sitting on a picnic table.
Bridesmaids in blue-flowered dresses marched down the aisle. Groomsmen in black suits lined the outside of the cab.
After everyone was in their places, Andie walked down the aisle arm in arm with her mother, Sherry, wearing an off-white and purple ruffled gown.
Harry Blaine, an ordained minister who also drives for Yellow Cab, officiated the ceremony using a microphone from a karaoke machine plugged into the cab's cigarette lighter.
``Who gives this woman away?' Blaine asked Sherry.
``Her mother, her sister and Yellow Cab,' Sherry replied.
Andie managed to gather all of her flowing dress into the back seat of the cab to join William. ``May the bond that unites you ever strengthen you,' Blaine told the couple.
After exchanging the I-do's, the rings and the kiss, the cabbies led a procession of taxis across Jacksonville hollering and blowing their horns. They returned to the park for a midmorning reception.
The McCains' cab wedding was actually their second. The couple officially tied the knot in Indiana in July but decided to have a local ceremony for their friends in Jacksonville. About a year and half ago, Andie, a driver for Yellow Cab, was dispatched to Camp Lejeune. She picked up William, a Marine lance corporal with 2nd CEB Alpha Company.
Andie took William to a club in town.
During the ride from Lejeune, Andie, like always, tried to make conversation with her passenger.
William didn't want to talk.
``I thought he was really mean. He was being a jerk,' Andie, 25, recalled.
William, who now drives for Yellow Cab, agreed.
``I had had a really bad day,' the 24-year-old said.
When they arrived at the club, he asked her to pick him up in about three hours.
Despite the rough ride, Andie felt a spark between her and William, so she decided to wait for three hours in the parking lot.
``He came out, and he asked me if I would wait for him,' Andie said, still giddy at the thought. ``I told him that I could.'
About 1:30 a.m., Andie took William back to Lejeune.
The ride back was much smoother and more fruitful.
``We talked, and I opened up a little more,' William said.
``He asked me if I had a boyfriend, and I said 'No, do you?' ' Andie said.
The two admit they've been inseparable ever since.
On July 14, Andie and William were in Indiana, squaring away some issues, and they decided they had put off marriage long enough. So, beneath a waterfall, with a few friends and family, the couple was married.
However, once they returned to Jacksonville, all of the cabbies were upset that they had missed the wedding. Some of the McCains' closest cab buddies decided that they needed to have the wedding in the cab, so they all could be a part of it. ``Our wedding in Indiana was really nice, but we wanted to do it right,' Andie said.
``I think it's cool. Nothing like this has ever happened before.'
She said the cab they were married in was actually a replica - the original cab wrecked. But the couple, who've both been married before, isn't reading anything negative into that. In fact, quite the opposite - they both believe their love was meant to be. William said he knew during their first date that Andie was the woman for him.
``I told her that I loved her on our first date,' he said. ``I knew I'd marry her.'