A surprise wedding? The speculation and rumors started almost before the invitation packages hit the mail. When invited guests opened the mysterious parcel, inside they found a full-sized movie poster for a film they’d never heard of but which seemed to star people they knew. Included with the poster were tickets to the gala world premiere of the film at the historic Crest theater as well as backstage VIP badges on neck lanyards and dark movie star sunglasses. As for what it all meant, the stars of the film simply weren’t talking.
As guests approached the downtown theater on the appointed day, they encountered a scene of complete pandemonium. Police cars were blocking the street with officers barely keeping throngs of screaming fans behind barricades while reporters, paparazzi, bodyguards and TV news camera crews surrounded a roped off red carpet. Making their way down the red carpet, it appeared each guest had suddenly achieved celebrity status as they were stopped for interviews by the media and autograph signing with adoring fans. Some guests were bewildered and hurried through the media gauntlet to the safety of the lobby, while others soon discovered they were born for the spotlight, posing for the paparazzi, hugging delirious fans and answering reporters’ questions about which designer fashions they were wearing.
Upon being ushered into the lobby, the newly minted A-listers were whisked to the VIP lounge by their studio handlers for drinks and refreshments. After mingling, posing for studio photographers and “being seen” with all the right people, guests were escorted into the beautifully restored 1940s movie palace. Once inside the theater, some family and friends were puzzled to see no podium or flowered archway waiting on the stage for nuptials to commence. Instead, the lights dimmed, the curtain opened and a Hollywood movie, filmed in complete secrecy over a period of months, flickered to life on the silver screen.
When the lights came up twenty minutes later, there were few dry eyes in the house as the celebrity audience erupted into a standing ovation for the strangely twisted fairy tale that begins in a nightmare but ends with a Lord of the Rings-inspired fantasy wedding surrounded by mysterious chanting monks and hundreds of candles. The film, produced by the bride and directed by the groom with a talented production team and cast of professionals, serves as both a reflection and a commentary on marriage, weddings and expectations. Ultimately, it stands as a testament to the character of the couple, the strength of their love and the depth of their imagination.
The audience was then invited to the foyer to toast the happy pair, wishing them a long run and many sequels. Some friends were surprised that the couples’ special song wasn’t part of the film’s soundtrack. This song, “I Don’t Want to Wait Anymore” a classic top-ten hit by The Tubes, was the first that Mark and Julia ever danced to and it held special meaning. As the guests finished dessert, the crowd moved back into the theater to find the stage had been converted for live performance and the final surprise of the day was revealed, a concert by The Tubes. There was much dancing, laughing and celebration until the band paused the show to make a very special dedication. As the floor cleared, the couple danced once again to their song as the band played it live.