The online personal ad caught Patty Kulwicki's eye.
"Professional by day, clown by night," it said.
She wasn't a clown herself, but she thought Bill Tedeski sounded cool. She decided to give him a try.
Turned out, it was a match made in clown heaven.
On Friday, Mr. Tedeski and Ms. Kulwicki, both dressed as clowns, were married in a ceremony at an annual Clownfest convention in Lancaster, Pa. The bride wore white, a red clown nose and a reddish clown wig, and carried a fishing pole to reel in her groom. The groom wore a dark suit, and dark lipstick, a bowler hat and a fake nose.
The now-Mrs. Tedeski said today that she never imagined such an outcome when she responded to Mr. Tedeski's ad more than six years ago. "No way," she said.
"Honestly, I never thought I'd find someone like him, either. So I guess it goes hand in hand," she said.
For Mr. Tedeski, 51, a networking engineer who lives in Moon, clowning has been a nearly lifelong passion, started in sixth grade when he performed a magic show. The hobby eventually turned professional, and now Billy the Clown does a few shows a year.
For the first few years they dated, Mrs. Tedeski, 52, who works for a pregnancy care center and also as a DJ, just watched the clown shows. But she gradually grew more interested in clowning, and a few years ago, she and Mr. Tedeski marched in a parade at Clownfest, dressed in costumes as a bride trying to reel her groom in.
"I jokingly said, 'We should do that for the real wedding,'" Mr. Tedeski said.
At first, Mrs. Tedeski said no, but the more she thought about it, she decided to say yes.
On Friday, the clown couple stood in a ballroom in a hotel in Lancaster, in front of an audience attending the clown convention.
The maid of honor was a clown dressed as a maid. The best man was Mrs. Tedeski's 20-year-old son, dressed as a hobo clown. The minister was another clown friend, but she was dressed as a minister -- "the straight man for the routine," Mr. Tedeski said.
And it was a routine: Mrs. Tedeski reeled her husband in with the fishing rod. The rings -- matching bands inscribed with their clown faces and clown names, Billy and LaLa -- were taken out of a Cracker Jack box. The couple read their vows off a roll of toilet paper. And when it came time to say "I do," music from the television show "Jeopardy" played and Mrs. Tedeski elbowed her partner as he pretended to hesitate.
"It was," Mrs. Tedeski said, "wonderful."
"It was more than I ever could have imagined," she said. "And it meant so much to him."
The couple plan to soon renew their vows in the Pittsburgh area in front of family, wearing normal clothes, and sometime early next year, the newlyweds will take a honeymoon.
But not to the circus. They said the honeymoon will not be clown-related.
"I think we'll try to be serious," Mrs. Tedeski said. "And I mean try."
Kaitlynn Riely: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1707.
This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To log in or subscribe, go to: http://press.post-gazette.com/