A veggie wedding: Couple ties knot at produce stand

PORT HADLOCK — The groom wore a radish boutonniere.

The bride carried a bouquet of cauliflower studded with cherry tomatoes.

The reception table held platters of grapes, raw vegetables and fresh fruits.

Surrounded by bins of ripe watermelon and Yakima corn, Scott Junkin and Rita Spalding of Port Townsend were united in holy matrimony on Thursday at World Peace Produce in what was definitely a theme wedding.

“It was his idea,” Spalding said of the groom. “He planned it all.”

Junkin, a retired automotive finisher, chose the date because it’s his birthday.

He chose the place — the produce stand at the intersection of Rhody Drive and Irondale Road — because it’s one of their favorite spots, Spalding said.

Stuffed animals

Junkin’s hobby is buying stuffed animals at garage sales and thrift stores, cleaning them up and recirculating them, she said. Last year, he stopped by World Peace Produce and dropped some off, including a monkey and a snake.

Proprietor Shannon McTague incorporated the animals into the décor — the monkey hung around the bananas — then gave them away at the end of the season, Spalding said.

Junkin returned with more animals this year, which McTague said she gives out randomly to customers.

“It makes people smile,” McTague said. “That’s what he does.”

Both Junkin and Spalding have been married before and been together for a while, so the wedding ceremony was a confirmation of their commitment.

It was performed by Sean Anthony, a college student who is ordained in the Church of Universal Life.

It was the first wedding that Anthony, who is Buddhist, has ever performed.

The ceremony was short. While bubble machines sent orbs floating over cars passing on the highway, Junkin — in a black tuxedo T-shirt and pants — and Spalding — who wore a long skirt, jacket and blouse — promised to love, comfort and honor each other.

Anthony also told them to remember to cherish each other as special and unique individuals, which, according to the groom’s long-time friends, won’t be difficult for Spalding to achieve.

‘Always been crazy’

“He’s always been crazy,” said Lou Stack, who attended the wedding with his wife, Joan Stack.

A large stuffed penguin, named Pershing after Junkin’s father, served as the best man.

Guests were largely friends and employees of the Bayview Restaurant in Port Townsend, a popular place for the couple.

Lily Lawson, an Irondale resident who works at the Bayview, said she was a little shocked when she first heard where the wedding was going to be.

“I said ‘What?'” Lawson said.

Jenny Steinfort, who also works at the Bayview, caught the bouquet.

Other guests were Rosie Young, whose family owns the restaurant; Steinfort’s friend Clinton Mayo; Sean Anthony’s mother, Kelly Anthony, who works at the Bayview, and his grandmother, Kuei Ma.

“It’s great. It’s wonderful, ” Kelly Anthony said of the offbeat wedding.

“It’s different. It’s warm.”

While informal, the outdoor wedding was a little on the cool side, although the misting rain stopped before the 10:30 a.m. ceremony.

Lawson said that, in China, rain for a wedding is good. It’s a sign of money raining down on the couple.

McTague said this was the first wedding at the produce stand, but considering the source, the request did not surprise her.

“I think he could be starting a trend,” McTague said.

Stuffed toys, Porky Pig and Minnie Mouse, served as attendants, greeting guests as they arrived.

After the reception, the bride, who works at the Bremerton Shipyards, left for work.

________

Port Townsend/Jefferson County reporter-columnist Jennifer Jackson can be reached at jjackson@olypen.com.

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