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To Win Gold! Writing Mary Lou Retton’s Wedding Invitations

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Oh, what a night!

I sat riveted to the television; to the American Fab 5; to the twists, the turns, and feats of balance and daring-do on the beam; to the trio of performances on the floor that, “just nailed it;” and to the team that brought home the glory and the gold.

As “The Star-Spangled Banner” played, another golden Olympic victory began to unfold, frame-by-frame in my mind’s eye: Mary Lou Retton’s perfect 10 performance at the XXIII Olympics in Los Angeles!

Yet, the best memory of all, came to mind: the afternoon I sat down with Mary Lou and wrote her wedding invitation.

First, watch this interview with Mary Lou Retton’s and commentary of her Olympic achievements.

What is it like to write a wedding invitation for Mary Lou Retton? Read on!

In 1990, Mary Lou is engaged to her Prince Charming, Shannon Kelly, a most handsome quarterback at the University of Texas. She begins to plan her wedding. She has a team approach. She selects the best wedding planner in the country. She asks me to write her wedding invitations.

Mary Lou Retton was my first bride! She was bright, charming. Classic. Classy. She made you feel you were the most important person in the room.

What struck me that Saturday afternoon: she was great fun, the girl next door.

We met in my private office. She first sat at my desk; a rather small English women’s writing desk, a replica of Lady Randolph Churchill’s — mother of the Britain’s legendary statesman, Sir Winston — desk at Blenhein Castle. Then, like a gymnast she admitted she might like to work on the floor, too. We had wedding albums everywhere. I remember how she smiled, chatted and made the final choices for her wedding invitations.

My husband, Jim, and I attended her storybook wedding. Every time she came back to the store, she was just as friendly, interesting, interested.

Through the years, I have worked with a US President, First Lady, Secretary of State, rock stars, sports legends, celebrities, the girls next door, and Mary Lou Retton is a stand-out, a perfect 10!

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