Allie & Mike’s Wedding
Mr. & Mrs. Michael J. Francis
By Allan R. Ellenberger
On Friday, January 16, 2009, I had the immense pleasure to attend the wedding of two of my dearest friends, Allison Berntsen and Michael Francis. The site of their nuptials was the legendary R.M.S. Queen Mary which is docked at Long Beach, California.
I first met Mike and Allie almost ten years ago (wow where did the years go) at the Paramount Ranch where I spoke and had a book signing for my biography on Ramon Novarro. The event was the “Silents Under the Stars” where they showed the 1922 silent classic, The Prisoner of Zenda starring Novarro and the tragic and “too beautiful” Barbara La Marr. Allie is a huge La Marr fan and they were there to see the actress on the big screen. I was a bonus (at least I hope so).
Let’s see if I can remember who was there that night – our good friend Jimmy Bangley, the talented playwright, Kevin McCauley; the Irish legend, Deborah Fullam and another person I no longer remember. Jimmy was being quite boisterous about his love of La Marr (imagine that) and I believe Allie overheard him – from that point we were drawn to one another like a magnet and became very good friends. The rest is glorious and loving history.
The service was held in the Royal Wedding Chapel on the Promenade Deck, which at one time was the first-class smoking room for the Queen Mary. Afterward, the reception was held in an adjoining room. A good time was had by all.
Mike and Allie are a great couple and both have great families. I’ve had some good times with them over the last decade (almost) and I hope for a couple more. I wish them the best of luck and much happiness – if anyone deserves it, they do. Shalom guys!
Here are a few photos from the event…
Wedding invitation photo
R.M.S. Queen Mary
Royal Wedding Chapel
The Happy Couple
The Wedding Party: Eric Berntsen, Allie, Mike, Brandon Francis
The Berntsen and Francis families
Cutting the cake