Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Michael Scranton and Rick Vail

By : Aaron Drake
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The two met by happenstance during Christmastime in 2003. James “Rick” Vail shares the special moment he knew Michael Scranton was the one for him. “For me, it was when I saw him behind the bar at Alibi in Fort Lauderdale at a Christmas party. That was the first time we met. The next week I drove to St. Pete to see him again. He says I stalked him,” Vail jokes. “It worked!”

“For Mike, it was the first day he saw my beautiful face and butt,” Vail adds.

Scranton, a licensed massage therapist, esthetician and real estate investor originally from Fort Wayne, Ind., was the one to pop the question. “Mike proposed first by saying with all the property we have, now we should really think about getting married.”

Vail, a construction director for a nonprofit and also a real estate investor originally from Waller, Texas, laughs. “I said, ‘How romantic—noooooo!’ So I did a year later, but he had no idea I was proposing.”

“We decided to visit Sawmill campground with a group of friends,” Vail tells. “I told our friends that I wanted to propose to Mike while we were there. I asked if they could decorate our cabin before we arrived, and they did. When we walked up to the porch of the cabin, there were wedding decorations hanging from the ceiling. Mike just pushes them aside, opens the door and starts making a few comments about how small the cabin is. There are streamers hanging from the fan and ceiling and taped to the walls. Mike says, ‘Someone must have gotten married and they didn’t clean the room yet.’”

Vail continues. “Finally he starts yanking the stuff down, saying ‘This shit’s got to go.’ Our friend is videoing everything and Mike is confused why she is videoing us. I said, ‘Who wants a shot?’ Everyone walks out and I pour shots and take them out for a toast. Mike still has no idea. I say, ‘Here’s to an idiot that doesn’t know when someone is proposing to him.’ Mike was silent. What? No, what? Really? No, what?”

The two tied the knot on May 5, 2018. Many of the details of the wedding were handled by Scranton’s sister, Shelly, letting the couple focus on their special day.

When recounting the events of the day, Scranton and Vail both said the most special moment for both of them was the first dance. It was not just to their song, but who performed the song that made it even more important for them.

“Mike and I danced our first dance to ‘In Case You Didn’t Know,’ sung to us by my daughter, Kaitlynn,” Vail shares.

“After being together 14.5 years, I didn’t think I could feel any more married than I already did. Apparently I was wrong,” Scranton laughs. “The fact that I was actually marrying the most amazing man I’ve ever met made me happier than I could’ve imagined. I think seeing the pride and joy on his face while his daughter sang our first dance song was probably one of my favorites.”

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