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To Our Relatives and Friends,
By now, most of you know that Linda MacKenzie and Robert Van Deren eloped and were married in Elk, California.. They have this letter, photos, a video, and memories as ways to share their ceremony with you.
Linda and Rob met in 1997 at Becky and Chris Murphys wedding, where one of Lindas friends from college (Becky) was marrying one of Robs friends from college (Chris). After the wedding, Linda found herself unable to fly back to Florida because the Florida Marlins were playing in the World Series, so called Rob and asked him out to dinner. Rob thought it was curious that the airlines were still full a week after the Series were over.
Linda flew out in September and Rob took her camping in the mountains north of Dillon. It is another story, but the camping trip was cut short when a grizzly was reported in the area.
Rob flew to meet Lindas family and spend Thanksgiving with them. They also did the tourist thing and saw Cape Canaveral and Epcot Center, went to Little Havana in Miami, scuba diving in Key Largo, and rounded out the two weeks with a nice sunburn.
Linda flew out to spend Christmas with Robs family. After trips to Bozeman, Butte and Missoula, she was properly outfitted to enjoy the cold and snow. Her new wardrobe included a Carhart blizzard parka, a WoolRich goose down coat, Sorel insulated and waterproof shoes, a neck scarf, and an assortment of gloves, mittens and hats.
In January 1999 Rob called Linda up to talk and see how her weekend was going. They talked about the trip to Tulare, California to the Ag Equipment show and to Arizona to visit friends and relatives in February.
About half an hour later, the phone rang and the delivery person asked if Linda would be around, as he had some flowers to deliver. So when a dozen long stem roses appeared at her door, Linda was very surprised when she read the note proposing marriage.
Linda called back and happily said yes.
The wedding plans were made in about a week. Rob had been on the internet and calling around California and he knew the minister, photographer, and the bed and breakfast for the wedding and honeymoon were available and also had learned the requirements of getting a California marriage license.
The rest of the wedding planning went quickly, arrangements were made to pickup a rented tuxedo and a wedding license in California. Linda found a dress and crystal champagne flutes in Florida, and someone to do Lindas hair and flowers in Mendicino, CA.
Linda and Rob stayed in the Greenwood Pier Inns Cliff House, a whimsical little cottage which is perched on the 150 foot cliffs overlooking the rugged and beautiful coastline. Inside is a wall of windows overlooking the deck in front and out to the ocean. Along with the usual chairs, bathroom, etc, is a king bed, a fireplace and a spiral staircase leading upstairs to a large bath tub, surrounded on three sides by windows overlooking the ocean.
The following is the photo and newspaper article:
Linda Jane MacKenzie and Robert Earl Van Deren eloped and were married at sunset in Elk, California. The outdoor ceremony was held on the deck of the Greenwood Pier Inn, overlooking Californias rugged northern coast. The Reverend James Sibbet officiated the double ring ceremony.
Linda is the daughter of Jean and Warren MacKenzie of Pembroke Pines, Florida. Robert is the son of Patricia Van Deren and Walter Van Deren of Dillon, Montana.
The couple spent their honeymoon touring Californias redwood coast and Sonoma and Napa valleys wine region.
A February 1999 reception was held at Marthas in Hollywood, Florida. A second reception at Barrett Park, Dillon, Montana is planned for July 1999.
The bride attended University of Tour, France and is a graduate of American College in Paris, France and recently attended Montana State University-Bozeman. She is employed by the Five Rivers Fly-Fishing Lodge.
The groom is a graduate of Montana State University-Bozeman and is employed by the Open A Ranch as manager. The couple resides in Dillon, Montana.
After two nights in the Cliffhouse, the newlyweds drove down the coast and through the redwoods to the luxuriously decadent Petaluma Motel 6. While in the Petaluma area, Martin and Sally Pozzi took Linda and Rob through the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa valleys. The best meal of the trip, by far, was at the Union Hotel in Occidental, run by Martins sister Barbara and her husband.
Being the incurable romantic, Rob felt the worlds largest farm equipment show, held in Tulare, was an ideal honeymoon activity. Unfortunately, freezing rain and high winds cut short the planned marathon of walking through the 100 acres of exhibits in a day.
Linda and Rob spent a couple of days in Phoenix looking at cars for Linda and visiting friends and relatives before driving to Sedona. This was Lindas first time in Sedona, and Rob enjoyed showing Linda the beautiful red sandstone formations and his Grandparents homestead cabin up Dry Creek. They also visited relatives in Sedona before heading north to Page and Glenn Canyon Dam.
The view from the dams visitor center, with the contrast of the dam, with the blue water of the lake and the red sandstone formations above the dam, and the green of the Colorado River being released far below in the depth of the gorge with the steel arch bridge towering above is incredible. They also saw Lake Mead, Antelope Canyon, Navajo Mountain and Glenn Canyon Dam by boat. Rob took some fascinating pictures in a separate Antelope Canyon excursion.
After that, the couple drove back to Dillon for a couple of days, before flying to Florida for a wedding reception and to move Linda to Dillon.
The Florida wedding reception was held near Lindas home at Marthas restaurant overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway. Lindas parents, Jean and Warren MacKenzie and sister, Diane, graciously hosted the beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon brunch enjoyed by 40 relatives and close friends.
After the reception, they rented out Lindas apartment, looked for a 4 wheel drive Jeep for Linda, did a little snorkeling and got an incredible sunburn sitting out on the beach one afternoon.
Since then, Linda has been busy getting moved in, meeting people, looking for a job and learning the subtleties of the Dillon community. She recently took a position with Five Rivers Fly Fishing Lodge near Dillon.
Rob has been working on machinery and a few fence projects. He has also been working on some woodworking projects and assembling new furniture.
Together, they have been busy preparing for the wedding reception at 1:00PM on July 3, 1999 at the Barretts Park, south of Dillon.
Barretts Park is a beautiful park located across a suspension foot bridge over the Beaverhead River in a grove of cotton wood trees. It is also the take out for fishermen floating the Beaverhead. It is a long day trip from the dam or a half day trip from the Pipe Organ.
There is a large cement patio full of picnic tables covered by an open pavilion set among the cottonwood trees. The site also has a hand pumped water well and his & hers outhouses. Plenty of parking for cars and self contained campers is available in the gravel parking lot.
A roast pig, complimented with salads, chips, cake and beverages round out the menu..
No dogs are allowed. The neighbors have sheep and have had trouble with dogs getting in their sheep.
The alternative location in case of rain is the 4-H Building at the Beaverhead County Fairgrounds.
Linda and Rob are looking forward to celebrating their wedding with you.
See you in July!
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