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LA couple's wedding will be next door to arriving space shuttle Endeavour Saturday night

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Onlookers waited two hours to see Endeavour drive by on Manchester Ave. in Westchester on October 12th, 2012.

A Los Angeles couple will be getting married Saturday night at the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park — at the same time the space shuttle Endeavour will be pulling up to the Science Center next door after traversing the streets of L.A.

“I don’t think they understood the full impact of it on them,” said Mariana Carlito, director of special events at the museum. She said the couple’s been pretty easygoing about the whole thing.

“I think they just figured, ‘Oh, OK, so the space shuttle’s going to come in, that’s cool, it’ll be busy.’ I don’t think they realized, and frankly, I don’t think we realized the full impact it would have with the closure of almost the whole Expo Park and street closures all around the museum,” Carlito said.

Like the shuttle’s move through L.A., coordinating the wedding at the Natural History Museum took months of planning.

“When we heard this was happening and we heard that it was going to be on the same night as a wedding, we pretty much gasped while at a Park-wide meeting, and said, ‘Ummm, we have a bride and groom that night,’” Carlito said.

The LAPD told the museum that they’d take care of it. “The LAPD responded really, really amazingly, and said, ‘You know what, don’t worry about it. If anyone is going to make it through, it’s going to be them. They’re going to make it into the museum, we’ve got them covered.’”

The couple plans to arrive by shuttle — no, not that one.

“The bride’s dad basically said, ‘You know what, we’re not going to worry about all of the parking and all of the craziness. I’m getting shuttles, we’re bringing everyone in,’” Carlito said.

They’ll get to use a brand new entrance that no one else gets to use, Carlito said. Another perk: the shuttle’s coming in on the south lawn, and the Natural History Museum is the only place with access to the steps, so the couple — and everyone else at the museum — will be going out to get their pictures with the shuttle.

“They’re young, they’re sweet, they’re excited,” said Carlito. That couple — and their 250-person wedding — have a memorable night in store.

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