Couple exchanges vows as parade approaches |

Couple exchanges vows as parade approaches

Teri Vance
Shannon Litz / Nevada Appeal

The bride wore denim – blue jeans and a veil.

She paused during her vows as the helicopters flew overhead, signaling the start of the annual Nevada Day parade.

“It was everything we hoped it would be,” said Jacque Cotroneo, formerly Friesell, who married Kelly Cotroneo on Carson Street moments before the first float approached.

“It’s both of our favorite holiday,” Kelly said.

The two, who have been dating for about a year and a half had planned to marry in the spring. But when Jacque was diagnosed with breast cancer six weeks ago, they decided to move up the date. Nevada Day seemed like the perfect fit.

“What better way to celebrate our love than to have our closest friends and family with us,” Jacque said. “Everybody’s already coming here anyway.”

Jacque’s brother Maurice Ramirez gave away the bride. He said he was not surprised to hear of the couple’s plans.

“That fits them to a T,” he said. “They’re very spontaneous. They’re both very responsible, but they love to enjoy life. It’s just the way my sister and Kelly are. I love them both to death.”

Despite the hullabaloo, including a last-minute shift in location because of an unpleasant deposit by a horse en route to the parade, Ramirez said it still was a solemn occasion.

“It’s sentimental and emotional as well,” he said. “They love each other very much.”

Lori Martin served as the maid of honor.

“I thought it was perfect,” Martin said. “They’re perfect together. Two peas in a pod.”

The groom’s best man was his brother Kirk, who died four years ago in a motorcycle accident in Reno. A photo of him marked his place in the ceremony.

“We felt like he was here,” Kelly said.

Following in the tradition of him and his brother, Kelly cooked up chili and tri-tip to serve to passers by.

Despite the lack of fanfare, Jacque said it was exactly the wedding she wanted.

“It was everything,” she said. “He knows how much I love him.”

Kelly felt the same.

“She’s the girl of my dreams,” he said.