TAMPA — Abbey Dohring and Chris Ahern opted out of a traditional wedding location for a more unusual setting Saturday.
They chose to be trailblazers.
Ahern and Dohring exchanged vows at Dick Greco Plaza, the first couple to exchange vows at the streetcar station since the downtown TECO Line Streetcar System came online in 2003.
“When we started to look at the nexus in our lives, this station is it,” Ahern said. “We live in Tampa. This is the backdrop of our lives.”
It also allowed Dohring, a member of the streetcar system’s board of directors, a chance to showcase the varied uses of the city’s streetcar line that runs through the southern end of downtown, to and from Channelside and Ybor City.
“I’m passionate about the streetcar,” Dohring said. “I love the venue atrium.”
Dohring, 31, vice president of brokerage at the Dohring Group, and Ahern, 37, a civil engineer at Jacobs Engineering, dated a year and a half before the wedding. They met on the online dating service Match.com.
They always planned to get married at Greco Plaza. The couple said the streetcar line is a major venue that draws visitors downtown.
The Tampa Heights couple enjoy boating, bicycling, and riding the streetcars, and they said many of those activities begin and end at Greco Plaza.
The station is at the south end of Franklin Street next to the Tampa Convention Center, the Embassy Suites and Marriott Waterside hotels with a view of the Forum nearby. Church pews and extra chairs lined the patio adjacent to the streetcar station for the 5:30 p.m. nuptials.
Following the wedding, the newlyweds and guests strolled across Franklin Street to the Riverwalk for a reception.
“We were told we are the first reception on the Riverwalk at the convention center,” Dohring said.