Talk about a wild ride.
On Sunday morning, Kara Mullins and Osvaldo Jimenez got married on an M14D city bus, exchanging vows in front of some 80 straphanging friends and family members as the vehicle careened through the East Village.
“We met on the bus, I proposed to her on the bus, and right when I did it I said, ‘You know what? When we get married, let’s do it here,’” says the 41-year-old Jimenez, an artist and entrepreneur.
The couple — who now live on the Lower East Side — first locked eyes on the MTA vehicle 13 years ago.
“She was on the phone, kinda being really cute and aggressive, and I kept looking at her and thought, ‘If I ever got with a girl like that, that would be the girl I would spend the rest of my life with,’ ” says Jimenez. The beautiful stranger leapt off before he had a chance to approach her, but faith intervened that same night, at around 3:30 a.m., when Jimenez stumbled into a bar and saw her standing there.
“He told me he had seen me on the bus earlier, and I think I just couldn’t deal,” says Mullins, now 35, adding that she wasn’t too receptive to his overtures.
Still, the Pentecostal pastor’s daughter had just moved from Indiana to Manhattan six months before, only knew one other person in town and did think that Jimenez was “cute.”
“I was still intrigued, and he offered to show me New York, so why not?” says Mullins, a trend forecaster.
Jimenez proposed two years ago, but the pair didn’t start planning their nuptials until a few months ago. When he got a vague reply from the MTA after asking about personalizing working MetroCards for their invites, Jimenez designed lookalikes instead, asking guests to come with their bus fare ready. Then, there was the matter of ensuring that all 80-something attendees could actually get on the same bus.
“We figured out that the drivers had the same schedules every week, so we did a dry run the Sunday before,” says Mullins. The couple told the woman who picked them up about their plans. “She arranged it with the guy after her on the schedule, so that she would go first to pick up any people on the route, so we would be clear,” adds Jimenez. “They were amazing.”
The guests arrived at the beginning of the M14D route, at Columbia and Delancey Streets, at a specific time, with the bus making two later stops, to pick up Jimenez first and then Mullins, who hopped onto the crowded vehicle in a short, fringed vintage Norma Kamali dress, carrying a bodega flower bouquet wrapped in that day’s New York Post.
There were still some stragglers. “Two ladies got on with me who were just going shopping,” says Jimenez. “They were like, ‘This is the most amazing thing I’ve seen in my life!’”
The couple said “I do” as they pulled into the Meatpacking District, where the party commenced at Le Bain at the Standard hotel, with an expanded list of 200 guests.
Jimenez and Mullins — who are currently enjoying their two-week honeymoon in Egypt — agree that it was the ultimate New York wedding. “This is the only time I’m ever getting married in my life,” says Jimenez. “And if it was going to happen, it was going to happen this way.”
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