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Facebook friends favor ice cream wedding
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TOPIC: Facebook friends favor ice cream wedding
#13948
Facebook friends favor ice cream wedding 6 Months, 1 Week ago  
Jim Carle and Robin Rowlett met as many people do in the 21st century – via social media. Despite warnings about the method, Jim and Robin’s story ends with happily ever after.

“We met on Facebook, and I wanted to meet her for the first time at a very unintimidating area,” Carle said.

“We chose here,” said Rowlett standing in the parking lot of Graham’s Dairy Freez in Ottumwa Saturday afternoon.

Rowlett, from Ottumwa, and Carle, from Oskaloosa, were both familiar with Graham’s. More than familiar. Carle says the little shop on West Second Street has the best ice cream on the planet.

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When Carle and his Facebook friend decided to meet in person in June of 2014, Carle thought Graham’s was the perfect place.

“It’s a staple,” Rowlett, now Mrs. Carle, said. “I’ve been coming here for decades.” Anytime the two were in Ottumwa, they had to go to Graham’s.

When the relationship reached the wedding planning stage, “We were just going to do a quick Justice of the Peace thing,” said Rowlett. Both had been married before and neither wanted a big wedding.

During a game night with friends Clark and Lynda Young of Ottumwa, conversation turned to the wedding venue. “Why don’t you get married at Grahams?” Clark suggested.

It was a joke, Lynda said Saturday, but Rowlett and Carle liked the idea. “We thought we’d just do something fun,” Rowlett said.

Alice Vandello, one of the owners of Graham’s, said that in February Rowlett contacted Vandello’s sister, Becky, who worked in the same building as Rowland. She asked if the couple could be married at the ice cream shop.

“We thought it was pretty special,” said Vandello. She said her father purchased the shop in 1968, and in all that time, “We’ve never had anything like that.”

The beauty school next door gave the wedding party permission to use the lot for parking, and yellow caution tape marked off the wedding area at Graham’s. The ice cream shop continued to sell ice cream to the public amid questions and smiles.

Graham’s made one other concession to the bride and groom. The flavor of the day was changed to raspberry. That was the special flavor the day Carle and Rowlett met there in 2014. Following the “I dos” and the traditional kissing of the bride, guests lined up for raspberry ice cream, courtesy of the newlyweds.

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