Imagine what exhilarating, over-the-top chaos it must be when one is the bride at four weddings in one year — and then, before the honeymoon is even over, looking ahead to planning three more.
Such is the case for Middleburg residents and co-founders of Forever Gourmet, Roberta Marcenaro Lyon and Atticus Lyon, whose fifth marriage will take place on January 7, 2018.
The couple became engaged in New Orleans in April of 2014. By happenstance, their trip to New Orleans coincided with the annual French Quarter Festival, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors. “It was crazy,” Roberta recalled. “At first, we didn’t know why it was so difficult to find a place to stay.”
Crazy, but magical. “When Atticus went down on his knees and asked me to marry him, I said yes — I will marry you. But I want to marry you seven times!” Roberta says that her life is “full of sevens.” While still in New Orleans, the couple picked the seven places in which they would exchange their wedding vows.
Atticus was game. “The beauty of having multiple weddings,” he said, “is that not only do you get to share your love with good friends in different places the world over, but you also create multiple anniversaries that give rise to yet more occasions to celebrate.”
The first wedding took place in Las Vegas just weeks after the New Orleans engagement. “We couldn’t wait,” said Roberta, “we were so much in love.”
Las Vegas was the couple’s simplest wedding. Four months later, on September 7, 2014, came the first of the “big” weddings: Italy. The Lyons needed to be in Italy for three months to hammer out all the details.
“On top of everything else, there was so much paperwork,” said Roberta. It was apparently de rigueur to produce a number of records in preparation for a wedding — including the all-important baptism, communion and confirmation documents. “So I asked Atticus for his confirmation papers,” Roberta recalled, “and he said, ‘Oh, but there are no confirmation papers. I was never confirmed!’”
With the wedding a week away and 150 guests traveling from all over the world to witness the nuptials, more than a bit of panic ensued. “Our guests were all coming to the village where I had grown up, and to the church I had gone to as a child,” said Roberta. In addition, members of a jazz trio the couple had met in New Orleans were flying to Italy to be part of the entertainment.
The bride’s mother lost no time, and averted what could have been a major disaster. “My mother was the bishop’s personal chef,” said Roberta. “When I saw the bishop driving up in his limousine, I was so happy.” Atticus was confirmed, and a confirmation party followed.
Most brides would have been in major recovery after that wedding, if not the one preceding it. But wedding number three was scheduled to take place just two and one-half months later — in Houston, where Atticus’s family resides.
“For that wedding, I arrived on a blue truck and our friends were wrapped in Mexican ponchos holding candles,” said Roberta. The wedding repast was “Tex/Mex” but for the wedding cake. “We brought a pastry chef from Italy to prepare a traditional Italian wedding cake in front of the guests. They are still asking where they can buy the cake!”
Ten days later, on November 25, 2014, it was wedding number four — in Botega Bay, California. “This one was pure Mother Nature,” said Roberta. “The ocean was the background, and there were seagulls flying around everywhere.”
The couple then took an understandable hiatus from their wedding plans in order to welcome daughter, Amoret, to the family. The January wedding in Jaipur will be a traditional Indian wedding — and the first with now-two-year-old Amoret in attendance.
“We have two weddings to go,” said Roberta. “The next will be in Japan — my choice. It will probably be in 2019. And then there is our last — Mexico. Atticus loves Mexico.” The couple say that Mexico will be the biggest of all the weddings.
“I figured if I could repeat the best decision I ever made in life,” said Atticus, “then it would serve to make life just that much sweeter.”
“And did I mention,” Roberta said, “there will be seven wedding rings?” ML