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Clowning aside, pair ties knot

| Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, 12:09 a.m.

A bride and groom from Moon dressed as clowns for their marriage ceremony in Lancaster at what organizers call the only annual Clown Festival in the world.

Billy Tedeski, 51, and Patty Kulwicki, 52, were married Friday at Clown Fest 2013. The wedding ceremony itself was a series of gags the couple wrote during the past year: The maid of honor, dressed in clown makeup and a hotel maid's outfit, produced a license plate for the marriage license. The best man, Kulwicki's 19-year-old son in his first-ever performance in clown makeup, pulled the wedding rings — sterling silver etched with portraits of the couple in their clown personas — out of a Cracker Jack box, Tedeski said.

“But in the middle of all that, there was a serious exchange of vows and rings, and we have an actual marriage license,” Tedeski said on Sunday.

Tedeski, who has performed as a clown for 41 years since starting at a baby shower in Kittanning, wore a fake nose, black lipstick, and full clown regalia. Kulwicki wore a flaming red wig and a red dot on her nose, a lace headband the lone accessory to her embroidered gown. About 80 clowns from the festival and 50 members of the public were in the audience, Tedeski said.

Since meeting six years ago on an online dating site, the couple have meshed Kulwicki's DJ work with Tedeski's clown and magic acts, first performing as a bride reeling in her groom at the festival two years ago, then gradually coming around to the real thing. The couple will renew their vows next month, without the clown makeup, in a reception for their families.

“It was magical,” Kulwicki said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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