The Ultimate Wedding-Movie Montage
Mary Beth and I were thinking outside the traditional box from the very beginning on what would comprise our ceremony. One of our earliest ideas was to begin the ceremony with an "appetizer" that could psyche up the audience for what would follow. Specifically, we wanted a montage of wedding-related film clips to start things off. At this point, I enlisted the help of none other than Pajiba contributor Harry Hanrahan, who has given us so many quality montages over the last few years. Unfortunately, Harry Hanrahan offered his regrets, as his professional obligations afforded him no time to accept the assignment, so I applied my own rudimentary editing skills to the job.
Thus, for your entertainment I humbly offer you the result: Matrimonial Fiction. At the ceremony this was introduced by one of my nieces, who in best movie theater tradition, politely asked the audience to silence cell phones and refrain from talking.
I found the length (just over six minutes) sprawled more than my original intent. Even so, there were movies that I did regret leaving out, but at a certain point with so much raw material I had to cut off the input. I thought the end product to be a fair compromise between the populist and the esoteric and between the tragic and the comedic. I have not performed a count, but as you will see, many of these did not lead to a happy ending. I also included a few of my favorite television weddings.
For your reference, here is a list of sources for the scenes in order:
The Princess Bride; Gone With The Wind; Citizen Kane; The Muppets Take Manhattan; Every Girl Should Be Married; Kill Bill: Vol. 2; The Simpsons - "Lisa's Wedding"; Forsaking All Others; Flash Gordon; The Muppets Take Manhattan; Old School; Spider-Man 2; License To Wed; The Hangover; Licence To Kill; Father of the Bride (1991); My Best Friend's Wedding; Spaceballs; Runaway Bride; The Proposal; Sweet Home Alabama; American Wedding; Secretary; Vicky Cristina Barcelona; Cheers - "I Do, Adieu"; Beetlejuice; Bridesmaids; Clash of the Titans; Brokeback Mountain; Confessions of a Dangerous Mind; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Big Trouble in Little China; I Love You, Man; The Wedding Planner; The Wedding Date; Corpse Bride; Independence Day; Firefly - "Our Mrs. Reynolds"; Monsoon Wedding; You Only Live Twice; Pride and Prejudice; The Lady Eve; Sex and the City 2; My Big Fat Greek Wedding; The River; Hard Eight; About Schmidt; Krull; The Royal Tenenbaums; The Philadelphia Story; The Simpsons - "I Married Marge"; Goodfellas; The In-Laws (2003); Robin Hood: Men in Tights; Angel Face (1952); The 40 Year Old Virgin; Armageddon; Love Actually; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Wedding Crashers; The Incredibles; Intolerable Cruelty; The Muppets Take Manhattan; The Graduate; Doctor Who - "The Wedding of River Song"; Shrek; The Muppets Take Manhattan; Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones; Boogie Nights; The Bride Walks Out; The Marriage of Maria Braun; Divorce Italian Style; Muriel's Wedding; True Romance; Kill The Irishman; Made Of Honor; The Terminal; The Wedding Singer; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Micki and Maude; Wedding Rehearsal; Monsoon Wedding; Tombstone; A Beautiful Mind; Ali: Fear Eats the Soul; The Godfather; Gone with the Wind; The Muppets Take Manhattan; I Take This Woman (1940); On Her Majesty's Secret Service; Intolerable Cruelty; Star Trek: Nemesis; Freaks; When Harry Met Sally...; The Godfather; Citizen Kane
Yes, I am a fan of the underrated Intolerable Cruelty. Yes, I reluctantly included that lackluster fourth installment of a certain film series brought to us by Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford. Yes, The Muppets Take Manhattan deserves every single one of those uses. No, I have not seen most of the populist, wedding-centric movies in this list in their entirety. (You know which ones I mean.) In case you do not recognize the popular classical accompaniment, the music is Gustav Holst's "Jupiter" movement (appropriately for a wedding, "The Bringer of Jollity") from "The Planets." No, I did not secure any rights at all to use any of this.
The intent was to give a wide cross-section so that all the guests might recognize and enjoy a few references. I hope you enjoyed it as well.
That was not all the wedding had to offer in the movie reference department, however. Check out the list of music cues used for our processionals and recessional that would follow:
1) Beethoven's 7th, 2nd Movement (popularized in all sorts of productions - recently included in Best Picture The King's Speech)
2) "Yoda's Theme" - John Williams (This accompanied my siblings and me.)
3) "L'Arena" - Ennio Morricone (If my phalanx of ten groomsmen - and three ushers - was not intimidating enough, this would sell them.)
4) "Princess Leia's Theme" (the bridesmaids, ring-bearer, and flower girls)
5) "The Throne Room / End Titles" from Star Wars: A New Hope - John Williams (Mary Beth had wanted this for her processional for a long time; I think I found the right woman.)
6) "End Titles" from Blade Runner - Vangelis (the recessional)
That was not all. Princess Leia herself (in cardboard cutout form being held and voiced by another of my nieces) protested at the beginning of the ceremony. With all the memorable cinematic wedding protests, I have always wanted to attend a wedding with a protest; I figured it might as well be my own. (Our plan for Mary Beth to have her own counterpart protest by cardboard Malcolm Reynolds did not come to fruition.) After gently informing Princess Leia that a certain Corellian smuggler awaited her, our vows that we wrote rounded out the motif with a few more references.
I was very pleased with how it all turned out, and the feedback from our guests that included such descriptors as "cool," "personal," "interesting," "unique," and "fun" were extremely satisfying.
I heard that one of my friends marveled that my wife would "let me get away with this," but he immediately qualified that statement with the observation that she and I must be especially sympatico, as, yes, she was game for all of it.
(O.k. We were not on entirely the same page, as she did not respond to my idea to have Quint's "Indianapolis" monologue from Jaws as one of our ceremony's readings with any amusement.)
Just because we could not invite our Pajiba friends to the wedding does not mean that you were not there in spirit. Look closely for your homage in the top right section of my groom's cake (an inspired design courtesy of my bride's mother's bakery, Pearl's Cupcake Shoppe in Richmond, Virginia):
Finally, my Pajiba friends, I suspect some of you might have your own wedding stories that can rival or exceed this blend of the traditional and the pop-culture nerdy. If you are willing, I invite you to share them in the comments section and look forward to reading your stories.
C. Robert Dimitri loves his wife. Hooray, marriage!