Sunday, April 08, 2001

And the bride wore leather

Do you, Harley, er, Paul, take this biker . . .

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FLORENCE — Forget the tuxedo and flowing white gown. Bring on the black leather pants and vest — the only way to dress for a biker wedding.

        Paul and Kim Nolan of Independence were married Saturday at Fellowship of Believers, said to be home to the region's only “biker church” each Sunday night.

[photo] The bride gives a thumbs up after Paul and Kim Nolan's wedding ceremony at the “Biker Church” in the Fellowship of Believers Church in Florence.
(Jeff Swinger photos)
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        The Nolans were the first couple to marry among the biker congregation. Pastor Bo Weaver, who has married about 80 couples in 20 years, called it “the most interesting wedding that I have ever been asked to officiate.”

        With a pair of shiny burgundy motorcycles as a backdrop, the couple exchanged vows before about 150 witnesses — many clad in leather.

        Behind the biker theme is a story of two people who married as teens 25 years ago, had two children, soon divorced but remained friends. After second marriages for each ended, the couple say they “found the Lord” and rediscovered the love they have for each other.

        “They just seem like they belong together,” said fellow biker Jerry Spegal.

        He said the couple couldn't have picked a better day for their wedding. Saturday's blue, sunny skies provided idyllic motorcycle-riding weather.

[photo] A tattoo on the arm and patch on the jacket reflect Paul Nolan's faith.
        The bride walked down the aisle as the traditional “Wedding March” played, but wore no veil.

        “I guess she couldn't find one in leather,” the Rev. Weaver said.

        Mr. Nolan, 41, wore leathers with the insignia of the Christian Motorcyclists Association. Their children — now adults — were best man and maid of honor.

        After the ceremony, the couple stood at the altar until they heard their recessional cue: the “vroom!” of motorcycle engines launching the song “The Leader of the Pack.” As she left, the bride gave a thumbs-up.

        Mr. Nolan's blue 2000 Harley-Davidson, decorated with a “Just Married” sign and balloons, will take the couple on an eight-day honeymoon in the Nashville area.

        “I'm the one who introduced them,” said Mrs. Nolan's sister, Margie Troxell, 42, of Erlanger. “And I think the Lord really brought 'em back together.”

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