Couple Prepares to Say ‘I Do’ in Fiesta Parade

AUGUST 6, SANTA BARBARA, CA – James Reichlen and Lindsay Muse will get married on the Rotary float (float A-11) in the El Desfile Historico (Fiesta) Parade on August 7.
In the spirit of Fiesta Romantica, the local Rotary clubs offered to host a wedding on their parade float.

The float, a replica of the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens, will carry the couple as they exchange their vows and celebrate the first hours of their marriage.

The Rotary organizers, who announced the offer on July 31, weren’t sure they would find a couple willing to plan a wedding with less than a week’s notice. They did.

On Tuesday, August 4, Reichlen purchased a ring from a vending machine in a grocery store. Retail value was less than $1. He used it later that night to propose to Muse.

“I wasn’t sure if it was real, so I said, ‘I love you?’” she said.

It was real, and Muse said yes. And the real ring, Reichlen’s grandmother’s, arrives with Reichlen’s parents from Virginia today.

The couple, who met in college at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, discussed moving to Santa Barbara on their first date five years ago. They moved to the American Riviera just over a year ago, and this will be Muse’s first fiesta.

On Wednesday night, after securing their marriage license, a wedding dress, and an officiant, the couple visited their wedding venue. They watched windows and adornments appear on the float’s miniature courthouse at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum.

“The hardest thing is going to be letting all of our friends and family know before Friday,” Muse said. [Note: Perhaps this story can help them spread the word.] “To us, Old Spanish Days represents a celebration of people coming together with their friends and families, so what better way to celebrate our love than with the whole town?”

In his application to be selected by the Rotary clubs, Reichlen said the couple is no stranger to this kind of spontaneity. “Lindsay and I have made a habit of jumping upon the opportunities that are presented to us seemingly without question and I feel that this is another situation in which we are obligated to at least try our luck at destiny,” he said.

David Velarde, a past president of the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise, has been managing the logistics of throwing a wedding for an estimated 100,000 people. “Usually Rotary is known for eradicating polio, and bringing clean water and literacy to people around the world,” he said. “This weekend, we’re bringing a little extra romance to Fiesta Romántica.”

About Rotary
Rotary is an international leadership organization. It’s made up of local business, professional, and civic leaders. We meet regularly, get to know each other, form friendships, and through that, we’re able to get things done in the community Rotary is a leader in the effort to eradicate polio worldwide, brings clean water and education to people in need, and promotes peace. There are eight Rotary clubs in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Goleta, and Carpinteria.


Contact David Velarde
Rotary Assistant Governor, Group 8
(805) 680-6575

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