Bride gambles on surprise wedding at Spirit Mountain Casino

08.31.2015 Brent Merrill People, Spirit Mountain Casino, Tribal Employees

Tribal member Clint “Tony” Folden thought it was strange that his soon-to-be wife wanted to meet him outside in the courtyard between Spirit Mountain Casino and the lodge during his lunch break from being the casino’s maintenance supervisor.

Since it was his birthday on Wednesday, Aug. 19, and knowing her personality, he may have thought a birthday surprise was about to happen, but he had no idea what he was about to walk into when he entered the courtyard.

His fiancée, Olyvia Perez, had planned a surprise wedding.

“Oh my goodness,” Clint said as he walked into the courtyard with his hand covering his mouth.

Family and friends who had gathered for the occasion greeted Clint by singing “Happy Birthday” as he scanned the scene and gathered himself.

Tribal Elder Lew Younger officiated the wedding in front of about 35 family members as Clint and Olyvia exchanged their vows to the song “Unchained Melody” played on a cell phone.

Younger had the couple hold their right hands throughout the ceremony. When he pronounced them husband and wife, they shared a kiss to the applause of those assembled.

According to Younger, Clint and Olyvia’s wedding was the first ever held in the casino’s courtyard.

“I’m over the top,” said Clint. “I’m shocked. I’m absolutely shocked. It didn’t register until I saw everybody.”

The bride wore a floor-length white dress with platform red shoes and she carried a red bouquet. She wore a white lace veil.

Olyvia’s sister, Monica, and her daughter Bailey were maids of honor and each wore a mid-length red dress with brown cowboy boots and white bouquets.

Bailey’s daughter Samora was the flower girl and wore a full-length white dress with brown cowboy boots and a red sash. Samora dropped red rose petals from a basket she carried.

Brandy, the best Labrador retriever in the wedding party, wore a pearl necklace and a white ribbon over a black coat.

Clint’s best man, Pedro Gonzalez, wore a gray shirt with a black tie and a red rose corsage.

Clint wore his khaki work shirt and black Spirit Mountain baseball cap before changing into a black dress shirt and red tie for family photos.

The wedding party included Clint’s mother, Tribal Elder Violet Folden, and Olyvia’s parents, Maria and Antonio Perez, who made the trip from California.

“I knew he would take it in stride,” Violet said. “She is very good to him.”

“They were planning to do this for a long time so my daughter just decided to surprise him,” said Maria. “I was very happy for her and for both of them because I know they have a lot in common and they are going to make a good life. She (Olyvia) is a very good person. She has been preparing things for a long time.”

The wedding was originally scheduled for three days later on Saturday, Aug. 22, but Olyvia had other thoughts.

“I’ve been planning this for about two months now and he had no clue,” said Olyvia.

“I had no clue,” echoed Clint. “She was giving me all this stuff to do. I told Gladdy (Tribal Elder and Clint’s aunt Gladys Hobbs) ‘That’s why she was giving me all this weird stuff to do. She was keeping me busy.’ ”

“It was hard to keep it a secret,” said Gonzalez. “He thoroughly enjoyed it and he is happy. Everybody that knows Tony knows he is pretty down to Earth.”

Asked if she had confidence in him to pull off this type of wedding, Olyvia said she did.

“As far as he was concerned we were going to get married on Saturday,” said Olyvia. “I would not have married him if I wasn’t. I love him. He’s a keeper forever.”

Clint’s new wife then took the reins quickly.

“He’s going to go back to work now,” said Olyvia.

Albeit just a little late from his normal 30-minute lunch break.