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Chris Guenzler's Wedding 7/5/2020

by Chris Guenzler

My best man Bill Compton picked me up at the apartment and we drove down to Santa Ana where inside the station we found Greg sitting on the bench. His brother Marty was in the bathroom at this point so I went out to the Metrolink ticket machine and bought tickets for the eleven people who needed them. Marty returned and we all walked via Santa Ana Boulevard to Track 1 and waited for Pacific Surfliner 763 to arrive. We boarded the cab car for a short but quick trip to Fullerton to be in position so the boys could clean Metrolink 660 before it arrived at Santa Ana. While in Fullerton, I shared a piece of cake with the three of them as today is not only my wedding day but also my 9300th day of Sobriety. Marty left to use the bathroom in the Amtrak station when Metrolink 751 came in to Fullerton and Bill and I boarded it for more miles to Norwalk. At Norwalk we took the bridge across to Track 3 where we waited for Metrolink 660. We took the Number 1 track all the way to Fullerton and then Bill was concerned when Marty and Greg were not outside the door. He went downstairs and saw them coming and the conductor held the train for them to arrive at the car. Once aboard, they started their cleaning chores in the same manner they did at the bachelor party, and cleaned the upper level of the car by the time we reached Anaheim. We made our way to Orange and then Bill told me to start looking outside the car to the left. That way, I would not see Elizabeth when she boarded in Santa Ana. The train pulled into Santa Ana with Bill saying "How many cars can you count on that street, how many sheets of siding are there on that building and how many ceiling fans are on the top of that building?"

Meanwhile, while all that was going on, the rest of the guests were arriving in Santa Ana.

My beautiful bride in the breezeway at the Santa Ana station.

Elizabeth and Mr. and Mrs. Butcher.

Two pictures of my beautiful bride Elizabeth in her wedding dress.

Bill Larson, Carl Morrison and Don Roe.

Chris Parker and Steve Grande.

Mrs. Butcher, Chris Parker and Don Roe.

Elizabeth and Metrolink Train 661, one of the trains I would normally be riding on a Sunday if I did not have other important plans.

Elizabeth and Tom Watson.

Elizabeth, her maid of honor Maureen Dougherty and her bridesmaid Gaby Dougherty helping her with her train in preparation for boarding Metrolink Train 660.

My bride being helped to the boarding area.

My bride waiting for the train to arrive with her soon-to-be husband aboard.

Metrolink 660 arrives in Santa Ana and soon the wedding party would be aboard the train.

The wedding party boarding the train.

Elizabeth, her maid of honor and her bridesmaid were restricted to the lower level until it was time to start the ceremony at Laguna Niguel.

Chris and Jon Guenzler who are brothers.

The upper level had the rest of the guests as well as me and my best man.

David Aten.

Elizabeth's former boss and friend, Bill Larson, from Seattle who was giving away the bride for the family.

Steve Grande of

Chris Parker.

Barbra Cepinko, Steve's wife.

Carole Walker.

Marty Smith and his brother Greg.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Butcher.

Bill Compton, my best man.

Me finding out that the Durango and Silverton photo freight excursion was cancelled.

The wedding party.

Me relaxing before the ceremony.

Pastor Don Roe getting ready.

Here is the moment I have been waiting all my life for. My beautiful bride coming up the aisle to me.

Bill Larson follows as he is giving her away for the family.

David Aten played the Wedding March off his cell phone as Elizabeth came down the aisle.

She has almost made it towards me. Isn't that train beautiful, like my bride-to-be?

Photos were taken of the complete wedding party.

Don Roe, the Minister, then started the ceremony.

Bill Larson gives Elizabeth away to Chris for the family.

We both repeated everything Don told us to and soon we were giving each other our rings as a bond of our love for each other.

After we said our "I Do's", it was time to kiss the bride which I did with love and passion.

Then we were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Chris Guenzler. My dreams had all come true. We then walked down the aisle past all our friends and took seats behind the party. Now people could take pictures of us as The Guenzlers.

For the first time as a couple, we had a chance to relax. The train made its way to Oceanside where our party was allowed to stay on board. Cake for my sobriety was given out to a few of my friends and good conversations were had all the way back to Santa Ana. Elizabeth called her mother in Victoria, British Columbia who was unable to attend due to the Canada-United States border being closed because of the virus. I talked to her as well and told her I would always take care of Elizabeth which sounded like a wedding vow to me. We returned to Santa Ana and I counted everyone to make sure the entire party had exited the train. The main party walked to the pedestrian bridge while myself and a few others stopped by Elizabeth's car to put some items away. We then met everybody in the courtyard and Elizabeth and I went up the stairs to wait for our photographers to arrive.

The first view of the married couple in Santa Ana.

The second view of us.

The third view of us.

The last solo view of us.

The main wedding party.

The complete wedding party.

Another view of the complete wedding party.

The wedding party and guests.

Several views of the wedding party and guests on this fabulous day. We then walked to the elevator where Mrs. Wright, my supervising teacher at Heninger, was waiting for us and we went up to the fifth floor of the bell tower for the reception.

We were at the head table.

Two views of the wedding cake made by Poul's Bakery.

The Mount Hood Railroad image on the top of the cake is there because that is the train that I and Elizabeth met on fifteen years ago this day in 2005.

Some of our guests before the others arrived.

Our caterers for the party was Melrose Catering and everyone was extremely pleased by the food and service of this great company.

Our table waiting to be served. Salad, chicken piccata and tri-tip with roll and butter was the meal we chose.

After a delicious lunch, speeches were made, first by Bill Larson who told about Elizabeth in the office and everyone learned several things about her. He talked about John Adams and Abigail Adams and the illuminations that occurred around the signing the Declaration of Independence, as he experienced the previous night in Huntington Beach. Next was Bill Compton who talked about taking trips with Chris and our long friendship centered around trains.

Elizabeth spoke next, mentioning those family members and friends who could not be present and read her vows to Chris. Next I spoke about family members such as my mother and father, my sister Laura and brother Bruce as well as those not with us anymore such as Ken Ruben and Winston Walker. I thanked everyone for coming then thanked Maureen Dougherty for being Elizabeth's maid of honor and told a brief story of how that happened. It was then time to cut the cake.

The wedding cake which is also a special cake for my 9300th Day of Sobriety.

The wonderful design of the top of the cake.

We posed by the cake.

Cutting the cake.

Elizabeth cut and I handed them out to all our guests.

Tom Watson then played two songs on his guitar. His first one was "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen which everybody liked.

Shades of the Orange County Railroad Historical Society meetings when a BNSF freight came by and those who had not yet left ran to the windows to see it.

Roy Wojohn arrived late but was fed and was caught on film. Special thank you to Robin Bowers who used my camera to capture all the photographs of this great day of my life. Everyone then left and Bill Compton put the leftover food into containers for us and I then took the rest of the cake down to the car. Elizabeth said her goodbyes to Bill Larson and then changed out of her wedding dress before we said goodbye to Bill Compton, Maureen and Gaby Dougherty. We then drove back to the apartment and wrote this account of the happiest day of both of our lives when we were finally married. Tonight we are staying at the La Quinta Inn in Irvine before leaving tomorrow on our honeymoon. More stories will be coming.