LEWISTON — As the ceremony wound to a close, the teary-eyed bride, the nervous groom and the rest of the wedding party turned their eyes to Paul Potvin, the official administering the wedding oath.
As they raised their drinks, he offered the time honored toast:
“Screw it. Let’s ride.”
The crowd roared its approval, bouquets were tossed and Potvin led the newlyweds, bride Naomi Berry and groom Troy Perkins, down the aisle on the back of their Harley-Davidson 2010 Screaming Eagle Street Glide and out of L-A Harley-Davidson’s Main Street parking lot.
In a roar and a whiff of motorcycle exhaust, they were gone, the entire wedding party riding off into the evening for a 5-mile loop around the city — a ride to cool everyone off and celebrate the day.
It wasn’t the first Harley-themed wedding that notary public Potvin has officiated.
“Some have been bigger, where we had the room, the aisle lined with bikes,” he said. “As they rolled down the aisle, each bike would start up.”
But it was a special day for bride Berry, wearing white leather chaps and a matching halter. Lewiston’s L-A Harley was the only place she’d imagined getting married.
“This place is like home to me,” she said before the ceremony. “L-A Harley, especially the women here, they’re like my sisters. I love every one of them. That’s why I wanted my wedding here.”
The pair met in February 2009, an Internet romance. She didn’t have anything motorcycle-related in her life at that point. Perkins was a longtime rider and owned two bikes.
“But he was ‘HarleyDude’ on the computer,” she said. “So I was thinking, ‘Hmm. Bike. Yessir!'”
A week later, he introduced her to L-A Harley-Davidson. A few months later, the special-edition Screaming Eagle came out. He traded in both bikes and bought it, with room for both. She still doesn’t own a bike.
“I ride with my man, right where I feel comfortable,” she said.
The store became a second home for the Lisbon Falls couple.
“When I came up here, I was greeted like I was family,” she said.
Owner John Story said he was happy to host the event. They timed it to coincide with one of the store’s Bike Nights, featuring live music and food. The ceremony and the celebration afterward were catered by the American Legion. Music was provided by the L-A Harley Band.
“They’re both just good people,” Story said. “We like them a lot, so when they asked if they could have the wedding here, we said, ‘Absolutely.'”
The newlywed couple returned to the store for the wedding reception, followed by a later celebration at Fast Breaks in Lewiston.