Rick and Lisa Rennert were married Thursday, March 31, at Dinosaur World.
Dinosaur World is known for giving people the “Jurassic Park” experience without the danger of being eaten by a T. Rex.
As of Thursday, March 31, it’s also known as a unique wedding venue.
Rick and Lisa Rennert’s marriage was the first in the park’s 18-year history. The couple wed in the Mammoth Garden, flanked by statues of the now-extinct elephant relatives and surrounded by a party of 14 people.
“We’re trendsetters,” Rick Rennert said.
THE END OF AN ICE AGE
This is the second time the Rennerts have married each other.
The couple’s first marriage lasted 18 years, during which time they had a son, Danny. The Rennerts divorced, but then reconnected in 2007.
When the Cleveland natives and 13-year Florida residents became an item once again, they opted not to rush back into a marriage. It took nine years for the recommitment to happen, but both Rennerts felt that it was the right time to try it again.
“We’re getting older, so we definitely had to make it official again, for legal reasons,” Lisa Rennert said.
The only thing that they weren’t sure of, then, was where they wanted to get married.
“We had a couple ideas,” Lisa Rennert said. “We wanted to get married on an island, but it was just too much work. Too difficult.”
Lisa Rennert had made a Facebook event page for their marriage, inviting friends and family to keep them in the loop for everything but the yet-to-be-named venue. When Lisa Rennert made a post about the venue still being up in the air, Danny Rennert made a joke.
“I said I’d let everybody know where the actual venue was,” Lisa Rennert said. “My son jokingly said, ‘Well, duh, Dinosaur World.’”
The suggestion wasn’t totally out of left field, however: the Rennerts said their son loved dinosaurs, especially the velociraptor, growing up. According to the couple, Dinosaur World was chosen partly for him, so they kept it a surprise from him for as long as they could.
“I finally called him and said, ‘I’ve got to finally tell you something, and I’ve been trying to hold back. I wanted it to be a surprise,’” Lisa Rennert said. “His reaction was like, ‘Oh, God, I’m scared.’ I told him, and he was like, ‘That’s the best news ever.’”
Their neighbor, Tresa Short, made a call to the park to see if management would be open to the idea of hosting a wedding for the first time ever.
“I called the lady at the desk,” Short said. “She said, ‘What? Oh, OK.’ We thought it would be a different, interesting story for little Plant City.”
The Rennerts hired Christine Wynne, of Florida Weddings on the Go, to officiate the ceremony, and they paid a visit to the park to scope it out.
“We came out and checked the place out, and they (Dinosaur World management) were really cool about it,” Rick Rennert said. “Very easy people to work with.”
MAMMOTHS AND MARRIAGE
To avoid the late-morning/early-afternoon rush of schoolchildren, the wedding was held around 9:30 a.m. in the Mammoth Garden. It’s the one area of the park that management figured would be best-suited to host a small, private, wedding, as closing off one section of the park for the ceremony wasn’t doable.
The ceremony went exactly the way the Rennerts had hoped it would: short, sweet and to the point. There was no music, no grand entrance, no religious procedure and no extra frills, other than Lisa Rennert reading the E.E. Cummings poem, I Carry Your Heart with Me.
The group of 16 guests — 13 friends and family members, two dogs and one reporter — clapped and cheered as the Rennerts said, ‘I do,’ and hopped on the back of a young wooly mammoth for pictures.
After the ceremony, which lasted around 10 minutes, the guests — all of whom had been given day passes — were free to roam the park as they pleased.
The Rennerts' honeymoon consisted of three days of camping at Shell Key and four days in Asheville, North Carolina.
“We (hung) out with the hippies and artists,” Lisa Rennert said.
Contact Justin Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org.