PHILADELPHIA – Wedding bells will ring in Philadelphia July 3 for Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross. Ralph Archbold and Linda Wilde, who are well known for their portrayals of the historical figures, plan a very public ceremony on the steps in front of Independence Hall.
They met Sept. 1 after Wilde hired Archbold for a friend's wedding toast. Archbold had initially declined, saying he doesn't "do weddings," but Wilde begged and he relented. The couple then found a love of history and education that soon evolved into love for one another — and this spring announced their engagement.
Wilde, a pharmacist, is widowed. Archbold's first wife died, and he is long divorced from his second.
Archbold says he and Wilde and the entire wedding party will be in costume. "We're just hoping for good weather," he said.
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops will play at the wedding, which will conclude with a private all American reception at the City Tavern in Old City.