By Jeff Munson
Tribune city editor
September 1, 2003 “15 Minutes”
Name: Rev. Robert McIntyre
Birthday: October 5, 1946
Occupation: I am a wedding minister at Fantasy Inn and I do independent weddings.
Home: Gardnerville, but I lived here for 7 years before moving to the valley.
Family: My wife Annette, who is a hair and makeup artist in town and a golden retriever, Goldie. Why Goldie? I’ve always had a grasp for the obvious. I have a twin brother, JB, who is also a wedding minister here.
How long have you been performing weddings?
I moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. I actually came here for a visit but ended up staying. Before that I was in recreational real estate development outside Chicago, Ill and Buffalo, NY. My brother and I got into the wedding business in 1994. JB got his license first. I got mine shortly after. We are both non-denominational wedding ministers and are both licensed in California and Nevada.
Besides weddings, what else do you do at Fantasy Inn?
I work the office twice a week and perform the weddings that are scheduled. If I have my own wedding outside of Fantasy Inn , there are other ministers in town that will cover for me here. That’s what’s great about being here. I work regularly with seven or eight ministers in town and we cover for each other if one of us gets too booked. It works that way with the other venders here, too. We have a really good group of wedding professionals at Lake Tahoe.
How much is a wedding?
The average wedding in Tahoe is around $300 to $350. It includes some photography or a video. Then there are other packages with flowers, hair and makeup, Video, cake etc; the prices vary.
How many people do you marry a year?
Fantasy Inn probably does 400 to 500 weddings. Most of the chapels in town average 400 to 500 a year.
What do you do to prepare for a wedding?
I meet ahead of time with the couple so I can determine if they want traditional, or spiritual vows or a Christian ceremony. We talk and I ask them about themselves so I can personalize the ceremony. You want to tailor their wishes and their wedding for them and the best way to do that is to know something of them personally before the ceremony.
How long do your weddings last?
The whole process lasts about an hour, with about 15 minutes for the actual ceremony.
What is the typical size wedding in Tahoe and what’s the largest you’ve done?
I would say the typical wedding here is 25 people. The largest I’ve done was at Edgewood Tahoe. There were about 175 people.
What’s been your most memorable wedding?
It was at Edgewood . The ceremony was running about 20 minutes late because we were waiting for the actor, Eddie Murphy, to arrive. He was a friend of the groom.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen happen at a wedding?
I performed a wedding where the bride was pretty inebriated. During the ceremony, as I was talking she looked at her husband-to-be with glazed eyes and literally screamed out “I really love you Randy!”
Have you ever ministered when the bride or groom didn’t Show?
No, but my brother did a ceremony where the groom didn’t show. The wedding party waited for about 25 minutes and then realized that it probably wasn’t going to happen. The staff felt horrible for the bride. She was crying and it was very sad. And then she said something that totally caught the staff off guard. She said “He did this to me one time before.” Well you know the saying, “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”
What’s a good age to get married?
I didn’t get married until I was 50 and it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I would say, though , that looking at marriage overall, the best time is in your early 30s. The reason I say that is because half the weddings I do have been people who have been divorced and are doing it again, or in some cases, are remarrying themselves again.
What’s the oldest couple you’ve married?
The groom was 85 and the bride was 82. It went gingerly. They were the sweetest people. He was on a cane and she was on a walker. They were both widowed and had known each other for eons. It was a wonderful, beautiful thing.
Why do people choose to get married in Tahoe?
It is a one stop place. Couples, their families and friends can do just about everything here because there is so much entertainment here. In the summer you have the lake and in the winter there’s skiing.
What’s the funniest wedding moment you’ve experienced?
it was at Valhalla and there were about 150 guests. When I asked the man who was escorting the bride “ who present this woman in marriage?” the whole left side of Valhalla, the bride’s guest side, all stood up and yelled “We Do!”
How did you come to marry your wife, Annette?
We will be married seven years in October. I met her when I went to get my haircut at the Cho Cho Salon at Caesars Tahoe. I was having my haircut by a young woman, Angel. I said something funny to her and Annette, who was cutting hair next to Angel, started to laugh. When she laughed, that’s when I noticed she had a beautiful smile. Later, as I was about to leave, I asked Angel if Annette was dating anyone. Angel was new there and said she didn’t think so. So I left my card with my telephone number on it and asked Angel to please give it to her.
Obviously, she must have called:
I was completely caught off guard when she called. So off guard that after we had talked for a while, she asked me out. I was shocked, nervous, and thrown off by her question that I told her that I had other plans. The next day I called her and confessed that I didn’t have plans and that I was just nervous.
How did the date go?
It went wonderfully. We went out to dinner, to the Summit at the top of Harrah’s. We married a year and a half later. It was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.