Henry Spencer/Memories of Bliss Photography
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June 03, 2016 08:30 AM

How many wedding stories do you know that include the phrase “dirty dog off a roach coach?”

And yet, that was the catalyst for a chain of events that led Doug Foster and Iris Hoard to the alter.

Foster, you see, wanted a hot dog from a street cart for lunch in April 2012. But while parking his car, the Washington, D.C., man, now 74, bumped into another man’s car. They dutifully exchanged cards, but given that the damage was so minimal, Foster expected that to be the end of it.

It wasn’t. The man mentioned a “Doug Foster” his friend, Bernadeen “Bernie” Hoard, later that day. Bernie recognized the name as an old boyfriend of her sister, Iris, from 33 years earlier. She encouraged her sister to call him up.

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“He had never left my mind, after all those years,” Iris, 58, told the Washington Post. Foster felt the same way: “I couldn’t believe it. After all of this time, I was talking to Iris. The Iris. My Iris. I was shocked and weak at the knees!”

Iris Hoard and Doug Foster
Henry Spencer/Memories of Bliss Photography

The pair, both D.C. natives, met in 1979 when Foster was managing clubs in the city. They were both raising young children after separating from their own partners, and started dating. Iris’ son Jerome said the suit-clad, Cadillac-driving Foster (who would show up most mornings to drive Iris to work) reminded him of the character Sweet Daddy Williams from Good Times.

The relationship fizzled after about a year, for reasons neither of them can remember, exactly. Foster remarried, getting divorced in 2007. They never ran into each other in the District, despite at one point living less than 10 minutes from each other.

Doug Foster and Iris Hoard
Henry Spencer/Memories of Bliss Photography

After reconciling, the pair took it slow. Phone calls turned into visits, and after a little over a year, Foster moved into Hoard’s home. About a year after that, he proposed, during an episode of Dancing with the Stars.

The pair married April 29 at the D.C. Superior Court building. True to form, Foster wore a white suit and matching feathered hat. “There’s never a good time or a bad time – there’s just time, and you have to grab it,” Doug told the Post. “I let 33 years get away from me. We don’t have another 33.”

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