A Wedding for the Books

A Florida lobbyist goes all out for his little girl's big day

Love is in the air. And so is the pungent smell of cold, hard cash.

We suppose it's comforting to know that some couples' dreams of a lavish, million dollar-plus wedding haven't been effected by the economy. But how do an elementary school teacher and a mediocre pro golfer have the dough to get hitched at the uber-ritzy Fairmont Turnberry resort in Aventura? Daddy and successful Tallahassee lobbyist Ron Book.

According to Florida's website, Book has about 75 clients, ranging from BellSouth to, oh look, the Turnberry Associates. Save an insurance fraud charge in the '80s and an illegal campaign contribution guilty plea in the '90s, though, Books' reputation is pretty upstanding, as far as lobbyists go. But, with such an impressive client roster, there's no denying he collects a nice chunk of change.

But this isn't an investigative political report, this is a story about love, and, though everyone knows money can't by us love, it can buy a spot on the WE (Women's Entertainment) channel's Platinum Weddings, a show that documents jaw-droppingly lavish weddings (think MTV's "My Super Sweet Sixteen" with a groom instead of a performance by T. Pain) from rings the price of Jags to flowers flown in from exotic locales.

The couple was featured on the show earlier this month, here's what a mil gets you - not including the five-carat, $30,000 ring, of course: crystal-draped centerpieces at $56k, linen overlays flown in from India for $9k, and a five-tier red velvet cake (the bride's family recipe, aww) made by the Turnberry's award-winning chef. Hey, when you have 600 guests, your cake needs to be as tall as a full-grown man.

Let's hope Book picks up a few more clients this year.


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