Iowa couple gets presidential surprise at wedding
URBANDALE, Iowa (NBC) -- Jon and Sayli Gibbs had a perfect plan for their wedding day, until campaign 2012 landed in their laps on their wedding day.
"I started kind of planning even before I was engaged what I liked," said Sayli Gibbs.
Sayli said she knew a barn was the perfect setting.
"I really liked the one at Living History Farms the best," said Sayli Gibbs.
Days after Jon proposed, six months from the wedding, Sayli made the arrangements with Living History Farms.
"I called and said I wanted September 1 and that was open," said Sayli.
But one week before the wedding, they got some unexpected news.
"She said a special guest was going to come and she can't tell me who. And I guessed the president," said Sayli.
Barack Obama wasn't just coming to town, he was inviting thousands of people to a rally at the barn at Living History Farms, scheduled for hours before their wedding.
"I'm thinking all the worst possible scenarios, thinking we may not even be able to get in there, everybody's going to have to go through Secret Service," said Jon Gibbs.
As Obama arrived for the event, the bride was parking across Hickman Road and hauling in wedding dresses.
"All the girls' dresses and stuff to get ready for hair and my wedding dress," said Sayli.
Would the president's speech end on time?
"I didn't even look out the window. I didn't even want to know," said Sayli.
The event did end on time, the huge crowd left and the bride and groom walked down the aisle on time.
"Yep, everything went as planned, on time," said Sayli.
As the reception started, the couple started dancing and forgot the presidential problem until the wedding planner got their attention.
"So she hands us this bag with the Presidential seal on it and we're both kind of wide eyed. We don't know what to expect," said Jon.
"We open up the gift and there's two boxes," said Sayli.
"There's a silver tray with the Presidential seal and his signature engraved and then a mint julep cup as well," said Jon.
There was a handwritten card with congratulations on the wedding saying, "Michelle and I wish you a great life together. Barack Obama."
"I think I was in shock for a while," said Sayli.
"I used the cup the first night to make a mint julep, just because that's what it's for," said Jon.
Jon and Sayli admit they're still ready for the campaign to be over, but at least this chapter comes with a story to tell their grandchildren someday.