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Couple has 'fairy' tale wedding at Kiwanis Ogeechee fair

    Stilson native Ronald E. Douberly Jr. and Xochith Herrera Garcia were  married Thursday morning by Bulloch County Probate Judge Lee Deloach.  The bride wore white, guests threw rice, and they spoke their vows underneath a tent at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair.
    Why? They're both carnival workers employed by Amusements of America, the company that has partnered with the Statesboro Kiwanis Club for 29 years and provides the fair's  midway.
    The bride is learning to speak English, but needed a translator to help her say her vows. The groom is working on his Spanish so he can communicate better with his new wife.  
    Douberly has been employed by Amusements of America for five years. After a brief period of unemployment in 2002 he applied for a temporary stint helping set up the fair, then accepted an offer to work with the company that week. When the offer was extended to permanent status, he said "Why not? I'm not doing anything."
     When he met Xochith, and for both of them it was love at first sight.
    One of Douberly's duties was to take Mexican employees to the store since many did not have driver's licenses. "He was always with the guys," Xochith said through a translator, Lourdes Vivona, daughter-in-law of AMA owner Dominic Vivona.
    There were only two females in the group of Mexican employees, and Douberly "was always looking at me," she said.
    She was looking at him, too.
    She sent him a message in Spanish that he had to translate, she said. As she spoke, Douberly silently pulled a well-worn letter from his wallet.
    "Our first date was at Hampton Coliseum, Virginia," he said. But mostly, the couple dated at the carnival after work.
    "I hid (my relationship) from my Mexican friends," she said, giggling shyly. "Nobody knew I was dating him, an American." But the effort soon became futile and she gave it up, she said.
    The relationship soon turned into love because of Douberly's romantic gestures, she said.
    "I fell in love because of the little things," she said. "Flowers, chocolates, every week he would bring me roses. It was the small details."
    Douberly said he fell in love with Xochith because of her personality.
    "The way she always helps people," he said Thursday, arm around his bride of less than an hour. "She is always there to take care of people, very caring, not real flamboyant, but down to earth.
    "Things kindled," he said, making eye contact with his new wife.
    It is a challenge for each of them since neither is fluent in the other's language, but they're working on it.
    "I can read it and understand it better than I can speak it," he said. Xochith nodded in agreement.
    Minutes before the wedding, people gathered underneath a tent that connected the AMA office trailers. Douberly carried in the groom's cake, decorated in pink, yellow and turquoise accents on white. The  two-tiered wedding cake was trimmed in turquoise, which friend of the bride quickly assembled and adorned with the bride-and-groom  wedding topper.
    The area under the tent was decorated with multiple planters filled with flowers grown and cared for by Helen Vivona, Dominic's wife.
    As Xochith walked up, escorted by friends and family, guests hummed "Da, da, da-da," to the tune of the traditional Wedding March.
    "I'd like to welcome you to Statesboro," Deloach said before beginning the wedding. "It's good to have you in this part of the state. Welcome to this happy occasion."
    When it came Xochith's turn to say "I do," she smiled and said "Si."
    After the ceremony, guests showered the couple in rice, and a group of Hispanic guests chanted in Spanish. One man played a guitar and serenaded the couple.
    "This is one to add to the memory book," Deloach said.
     

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