Ben and Betsy ready to tie the knot

July 2, 2008 4:35:57 PM PDT
The two people who portray Philadelphia's best known tour guides, Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross, are about to do something their real life counterparts never did, get married! It will be a public and patriotic ceremony on Thursday. But, on the eve of their wedding, Ben and Betsy were on the job.

They were welcoming folks to Philadelphia, posing for pictures, stealing a kiss when possible and extolling the virtues of marriage.

Mayor Nutter toasted the couple last month, and will perform their wedding ceremony.

Ralph Archbold and Linda Wilde met last September on the actual date that Deborah Reed married the real Benjamin Franklin.

Wilde told Action News she has some pre-wedding jitters like most brides, and joked that she hopes she makes it up the stairs without tripping.

Jane Schmuckie, took the train into the city from Swarthmore with her mother and brother. Fascinated with the couple, she picked up on their nervousness, but says she's confident all will go well in the end.

After all, both have done it before. It's not the first wedding for either of them.

Linda is 50, Ralph is 66. After greeting visitors, they managed some snuggling time, before their wedding rehearsal late Wednesday afternoon. Archbold says it's been a whirlwind of excitement to plan their wedding in such a short time. The wedding will take place Thursday night at 8 in front of Independence Hall. Afterwards, the couple will spend their wedding night at the 4 Seasons, and their honeymoon, where else, in Philadelphia!

Look for them in the July 4th Sunoco Welcome America Parade on Friday. They'll be in the "Just Married" carriage.