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Taking That Leap, Every Four Years

For their 2012 vows, Bandera EC couple connected via face-to-face video call

Most husbands would be in the doghouse if they forgot that all-important date: the wedding anniversary. That holds true for Bandera Electric Cooperative IT Supervisor Richard McDonald, even though he only has to remember every four years.

“I asked her to marry me one week after I met her, and she said no. I told her I would never ask her again,” Richard said of Lory Ann, his wife of 24 years. “She asked me eight years later on Sadie Hawkins Day (which always falls on leap day), and I said yes.”

As part of Lory Ann’s proposal, she told him: “If you marry me on leap day, you only have to remember your wedding anniversary once every four years.” His reply: Every four years then, the couple would renew their vows in a different way.

At high noon, February 29, 1988, the couple—high school sweethearts who met while cruising Walzem Road in San Antonio—were wed beneath an oak tree across from the Bandera County courthouse.

Since then, the couple has renewed their vows in a limo at a drive-thru chapel in Las Vegas. On another anniversary, Richard’s brother married them again at his place in Chico, California. Then they were married at a friend’s ranch in Tarpley. But 2012 posed a problem.

“We were going to come up with something last minute, and that’s when the co-op called me out of town,” Richard said. It was an important meeting in Dallas—one he couldn’t miss. Just when the McDonalds thought this might be the year they had to break tradition, technology came to the rescue.

The eldest of their four children, 23-year-old Jonathan, became an ordained officiant online. Then, with Lory Ann using her iPad in Tarpley and Richard using his in Dallas—and connected with FaceTime, a face-to-face video call application—Jonathan presided over their “virtual” wedding.

“The only thing missing was the kiss at the end,” Lory Ann said.

Ashley Clary-Carpenter, field editor
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