The Bride and the Chrome

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TORONTO, Ont.– The bride wore white, the groom wore a black tux, and the Freightliner in the background was decked out in polished chrome.

The Truck World 2000 trade show became the backdrop on Sept. 16 for the surprise marriage of Australian trucker Shawn Rennison and Tina Tyrell. While the pair had planned to be married at Toronto city hall after attending the trade show, Tyrell arranged for the on-site ceremony with help from the Ontario Trucking Association.

“He said you can’t give me what I want,” she said, explaining how Rennison had always dreamed of a truck-driver wedding, such as those that are more common in Australia. “I gave him that. I made his dream come true today,” the Ontario Trucking Association made our dreams come true.”

Indeed, the association played a key role in the ceremonies. Association president David Bradley walked the bride down the aisle (lined by trucks parked for a show and shine competition) while members of the group’s Road Knights team of professional drivers filled in as an honor guard.

When Tyrell stood before Rev. Don Harrison of Open Road Chapels in Milton, Ont., she looked into Rennison’s eyes and said, simply, “surprise”.

And surprised he was. “I’m very surprised. I wasn’t expecting it here. I love her,” Rennison said, after signing the marriage certificate behind the fifth wheel of a 2001 Peterbilt 379. “It’s what I always wanted.”

The association also provided the couple with a honeymoon in Niagara Falls, paying for a limousine ride and the accommodations for the wedding night. When told about the surprise wedding gift, Tyrell beamed and called out to wedding guests and onlookers “we’re going to Niagara Falls!”

Bradley even stood in for the father of the bride, and gave her away. “It was a lovely ceremony,” he said, decked out in a tux of his own. “Wasn’t this just great?”

“This is a first for me. Nothing quite as unconventional as this,” admitted Harrison, who made several trucking references during the course of the wedding. (The early days of a marriage can be much like missing gears when you first drive a truck, he observed.)

The couple met two years ago on the Internet.

Rennison has been in Canada on and off for a year, and is now talking to recruiters about driving jobs here. n

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