Tying the Knot at SEMA

Passion for Toyota drives couple to marry at their favorite aftermarket show
by Karen Nielsen
Jan/Feb 2018
Tying the Knot at SEMA
Match Made
Chris Bank of Pappas Toyota and Chelsea Darrow of Lou Fusz Toyota, both work at St. Louis-area dealerships. They chose to marry after the SEMA show in Las Vegas.
Chelsea Darrow and Chris Bank wanted a special wedding destination that combined their love for Toyota, their favorite aftermarket auto show and each other.
So, they did what any car-crazy couple would do. They planned their wedding after the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas. For those who might not know, SEMA is a trade show that draws some of the industry’s brightest minds and hottest aftermarket products.
The couple met four years ago while working at Pappas Toyota in Missouri.
Bank, a service advisor there, says he and Darrow, a delivery specialist, attended their first show together in 2015.
“I’ve been going to SEMA since 1997,” he says. “SEMA is where it’s at when it comes to seeing the craziest cars. You see it all there first. Toyota has their own booth and shows some really cool things out there.”
Darrow shared her husband's enthusiasm.
“It was the best experience ever,” she says. “I’ve been tied to the auto industry since I was 16 and I enjoyed going to SEMA and networking with everyone.”
This year they enjoyed three days of festivities — including seeing Toyota’s C-HR R-Tuned, the fastest Compact Utility Vehicle on the planet.
“The C-HR was amazing,” says Darrow, who now works at Lou Fusz Toyota in Kirkwood, Missouri. “I sent pictures back to the guys at work and they’ve never seen anything like it.”

Star of the Show
The couple had a chance to see Toyota’s C-HR R-Tuned, the world’s quickest Compact Utility Vehicle, displayed at SEMA. 

They tied the knot after the show, on Nov. 4, with about 20 guests attending the ceremony at the Chapel of the Flowers on The Strip. It didn’t go completely without a hitch. There were blisters and swollen ankles from all the walking at the show. The hair and makeup guy was 45 minutes late and the photographer went to the wrong hotel. The marriage license was accidentally forgotten at home, and a second service was held outside near the taxi stand at the Venetian hotel.
But, no matter. The Banks are now happily married. And SEMA will always hold a special place in their hearts.
“It was pretty cool being able to combine SEMA, Las Vegas and Toyota all wrapped in one,” he says. “We look forward to going back.”
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