VANDALIA — Michael Loos, a 1980 Vandalia-Butler graduate, and Antonella Bussi have been living in Italy where they met while working for a magazine nine years ago. Bussi is currently working for Conde Nast in Italy and Loos is a freelance graphic designer.
The two began dating and, according to Michael’s mother, Mary Ellen Wildern, their romance has been like a fairytale, a “perfect match.” Although their families were expecting a wedding might take place earlier in their relationship, the blessed event took everyone by surprise during their visit to Vandalia this summer.
The Loos family has made a particular effort to get together for milestone occasions during the last nine years. The family gathered in Sicily for Michael’s 50th birthday and on Key West for his sister Karen’s birthday. Upon each occasion, the Loos family thought perhaps the happy couple would get married while the family was all together. Each time, spirits were high in celebration but no wedding took place.
This summer, Michael’s sister Suzanne Tulien turned 50 years of age. His sisters, Patricia Wallach and Karen Loos, and their families converged on Vandalia from their homes in other states to celebrate the occasion together. Suzanne’s birthday party was presumably the sole purpose for Michael and Antonella’s trip during the week of July 4th. However, Michael made additional plans that shocked everyone, including his own mother.
Wildern has a home in Butler Township off Cassel Road where the family came together to celebrate Suzanne’s birthday. “He took me out on my patio in the afternoon on July 3 and said, ‘Mom, I have something to tell you. Antonella and I are going to be married.’”
Wildern was stunned by the news. “I said, ‘Well, when?’ and he said, ‘Today, right here in your back yard,’” Wildern recounted the conversation wistfully. It was only two hours before the marriage ceremony actually took place.
The Loos had already hired a party bus to take everyone to Carillon Brewery for dinner. In addition to his family’s plans, Michael had been in touch with high school classmate, Julie Lewis, to help him arrange the details of the wedding without his family’s knowledge. Lewis hired Justin Spivey of Spivey Photography to take pictures of the event and Claudia Turrell, the Vandalia City Prosecutor, to officiate the wedding.
Upon the arrival of the bus, Michael and Antonella stood in front of everyone and Michael asked Antonella to marry him. “Everyone went crazy,” Wildern said. “We were all in such a state of shock. The county prosecutor had already arrived and performed the ceremony right there.” The couple celebrated their wedding night at the Crown Plaza in downtown Dayton and the following week in Cincinnati.
Although many seek the beauty of exotic destinations such as Milan for a wedding or an exotic honeymoon, Michael and Antonella Loos chose Michael’s hometown and family. Michael, Antonella, and the Loos family celebrated a birthday, a reunion, and a wedding, enjoying the pleasures of home and loved ones, making memories none of them will ever forget.
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