BETHEL – Transfer Station Manager Dave Hart stood at the bottom of the dump Monday in gloves, top hat and tux, awaiting Rockie Graham, his bride.

The much-celebrated dump wedding at the Bethel Transfer Station was about to begin.

“What a contrast. The tux and the trash,” he said.

It was nearly three years ago at the transfer station that Dave met Rockie, a committed recycler who now works part-time there. When they decided to marry, it was Dave’s idea to hold the ceremony where they first met, and where everyone knows them.

It seemed natural enough. But when a newspaper article ran about their plans, the story went national, attracting the interest of the TV show “Inside Edition.”

Both Rockie and David were wired with microphones dressed in wedding attire provided for them in a trip to New York City by the show. A film crew from Freeport hired by “Inside Edition” had cameras trained on them, and recorded their every word.

Up near the dump entrance, Bethel police directed guests to park along Route 2. Soon, a crowd of 250 had arrived, standing on either side of a red carpet that led to an awning in front of a cardboard recycling container.

Next to a handmade sign that read “Tires – $2 paid at town,” guitarist Sam Chapman sang a tune he composed Monday morning for the couple:

“I hope you won’t dump me when we marry, or toss me out like a bag of trash, I wouldn’t want your burning love to turn to ash.”

Dave and his three best men came and took their place, and anticipation filled the air.

Town Manager Scott Cole’s new green Cadillac had arrived, carrying the bride, her two flower girls, and her five maids of honor.

Out stepped Rockie, wearing a stunning $7,000 designer wedding dress with sparkling sequins and white roses.

She had a grin on as big as all outdoors and she walked to meet her bridegroom.

The crowd pressed in close as local lawyer Mike O’Donnell led the exchange of vows.

Dave choked back tears as Rockie told him he was the love of her life. Dave said from the first day he saw her, her smile captured his heart.

They exchanged rings, and Dave stomped on the ceremonial champagne glass.

Whoops and laughter and clapping filled the air.

Then Chapman repeated his song, as the couple faced the crowd:

“The day I met you down at the transfer station, all the rubbish of my past just disappeared. I knew then that I wanted you forever, at the time of your disposal could you make just one thing clear. Will you promise me that you will always love me, that we will never part, promise that you’ll save me for redemption, somewhere in the trash bin of your heart.”

One of the couple’s friends, who helped organize the unique wedding, said if any couple could pull off a dump wedding, it would be Rockie and Dave.

“They’re sweet people. They’re unique. And they’ve both got hearts of gold,” she said. “It wouldn’t have worked for anyone but them.”

Afterward, at the reception held under a tent at the Sunday River Inn, Dave said the wedding was everything he had hoped for, and more.

“I am so grateful to have everyone here,” he said.

Rockie said, “It’s been really unbelievable. But it’s over, and that’s good too.”

The coverage on “Inside Edition” will air at 7 p.m. Sept. 2 on Boston channel WCVB and 12:30 p.m. Sept. 3 on WMTW Channel 8.



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