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The Ultimate Wedding-Movie Montage

By C. Robert Dimitri | Videos | June 6, 2012 | Comments ()


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As some of you might know, I married my beloved Mary Beth one month ago. That in itself would not warrant a posting on Pajiba, but there are a few elements related to the wedding that do.

Mary Beth and I have spent many hours haunting this site, and we have forged many good friendships through our time here. She and I actually met through the Internet (see that story here), and we would have loved to invite all our Pajiba friends to our wedding shindig. Unfortunately, not only would this have created a guest list far beyond our budget, but also we were informed by our venue that it could not possibly assume the insurance liability required to host a ballroom full of Pajibans. Yes, the Pajiba mock and droll has acquired quite the reputation.

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):

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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!




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Comments Are Welcome, Douches Are Not


  • The_Big_Brother

    Congrats, again, on such a beautiful work. I will admit to all the Pajibans that as I watched this, awaiting our procession, I started crying already. Best MAN. 8D

  • This wedding is one of the heritage marriage which i have been seen. I think this weddings video is one of the best.

  • TheEmpress

    So fun!  Love it.

    The best part of my wedding (just last month!) was our mom's walking in to the last verse of Tupac's "Dear Mama."  Our guests loved it.  Also, since I find the clinking of glasses to get the bride and groom to kiss super annoying, our guests were required to stand up and sing a song with the word "love" in it to get us to make out.  It was hilarious...I wish I could do the whole day over again!

  • ee

    Do you have a twin Mel? Because the music choices plus Calvin and Hobbes = perfect sync for me. It seems to me this makes much more sense for our generation, a little more personality in the middle of the ritual.

  • Clevernamehere

    I know it's a movie montage but I was so surprised that the TV inclusion was not Luke and Laura.  Even Elizabeth Taylor was there!

  • PerpetualIntern

    My father was the minister of our marriage, and definitely started the entire ceremony with the Princess Bride mawwiage part...my husband and I had no idea it was coming, but we loved it.  My grandparents were just really confused.

  • lowercase_ryan

    also: caribou for 15 points

  • That was a wonderful start to what sounds like a magical wedding day!   Bonus points for the use of the excellent JK Simmons.  And that cake is still impressive and awesome.   I wish we'd had one like that - or a stunt cake!  What a cool idea!

    My husband and I had a few pop culture tidbits in our wedding ceremony.  Instead of programs we gave out fans because it was an outdoor wedding, and on the back of each fan was a great Calvin & Hobbes strip - I added the image below, it's the one where Hobbes explains what love is to Calvin.  Then my bridesmaids processed to an acoustic version of "First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes while I walked to "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" by Death Cab (no lyrics though - we didn't want to depress our guests!).  We had a reading of "The Origin of Love" which I knew from "Hedwig & the Angry Inch" but we used the original version by Aristophanes.  We ended the ceremony with "You Are the Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne.

    During the reception, Matt and I were introduced as husband and wife to the strains of John Philip Sousa's "The Liberty Bell" march (aka the theme song to Monty Python's Flying Circus).  We also had Monty Python's Holy Ale as one of the beers for our guests.  And when we danced for the first time, we used a version of "So This is Love" from Disney's Cinderella that we had mixed ourselves.

  • damnitjanet

    YOU INCLUDED THE DOCTOR AND RIVER!!!!  YAY!!!!!!!!

    I do have to say, although I know it is not a fave movie for most, I did
    love Forrest and Jenny's wedding...outdoors, very simple. 

    But, well done and congrats all over again!

  • Archie Leach

    Gustav Holst  - Jupiter, The Bringer Of Jollity

  • lowercase_ryan

    That was wonderful, truly. You deserve way more credit than you give yourself for the montage.  Also, that cake is so cool I don't have words. Sincere congratulations to you both.

  • SugarSmak

    Great montage - I never thought I'd see anything Fassbender-related for such a happy occasion! It did, however prompt me to head to the YouTube to find my personal favorite wedding scene...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... 

    As far as pop culture nerdery at my own wedding, our bridal party entered the reception to the Imperial Death March - our (painfully shy) best man wore his Darth Vader helmet (painted in NY Giants colors...hey, it's my hubby's BFF). My avid fisherman hubby and I entered to the theme from "Jaws" and I can pretty much assume I'm the only one who had the DJ play the theme to "Sledgehammer" as a special request for the groom. 

  • mona_sterling

    I would have been fine with 75% more Muppets Take Manhattan.

  • Lindsey with an 'e'

    Dammit, there must be something in my eye.

  • KatSings

    Ok, free time now!  Our wedding was more music oriented than film, but we got a lot of compliments on the originality.  I walked in to "If I Fell" - the Across the Universe cover as rearranged for a string quartet.  TheMaskedEmu and I sang Ben Folds' "The Luckiest" as a duet during the unity candle.  We recessed to the Lord of the Rings Theme, which made everyone laugh.  Our reception entrance was different than the rest of the bridal party's - we burst through the doors to Misirlou, in our little tribute to Pulp Fiction.

    The cake cutting was also really special.  We had a stunt cake.  We bought it from ShopRite and I wrote "Mawwage" on it. It was brought out when we were introduced to do the cake cutting, and we protested it being there.  TheMaskedEmu's best man, his brother Dave, knelt and offered us a broadsword, which I drew out and we then screamed "THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE" before cutting the cake in half with said broadsword...then we proceeded to cut the real cake like normal people.  We also had a program designed to look like a Playbill, which was awesome. 

    The funniest thing all night was not something we planned, however.  When we had tossed the bouquet and garter, the DJ instructed the guy to put the garter on the girl - normal procedure, right?  Well, he decided that wasn't challenging enough the first time, so he had TheMaskedEmu hold a blindfold on the guy and asked him to do it again.  But he switched the girl out with MY DAD.  The DJ had the guy kissing my dad's foot and sliding the garter up his leg.  I don't think I have ever laughed so hard.  It was awesome.

    Ooh, also, we may not have gotten to eat at our cocktail hour, but the owner of our venue brought us test tube shooters of tequila.  So there are formal shots of the bridal party doing shots, which is amazing.

  • AngelenoEwok

     Wow, now I wish I'd thought of a stunt cake!  That's so awesome!

  • KatSings

     It was one of the first things people commented on afterwards.  It made sense with my stunt background and our mutual love of awesome weapons.  The sword is going to be mounted somewhere near wedding pictures.  :-)

  • nosio

    Aw, this made me feel all squishy. Also, I love your music choices.

  • Tinkerville

    Congrats to you and yours! While I'm not married (not for years I hope) I do have wedding cake stories, having worked in a gourmet cake shop for a long while.  My favorite one we ever did was an Enterprise cake with the bride and groom sitting together on the bridge. 

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    My wedding ceremony took five minutes, which suited my wife and I just fine. The rest of the night was spent in drink, debauchery and various states of undress. Which really should surprise no one. Oh, and my sister-in-law referred to me by my wife's ex's name. Thirteen years later and she still has not been allowed to forget that one.

  • AngelenoEwok

    And I love my husband.  

  • Sara Habein

    Aw, that was lovely. I once attended a wedding where everyone walked down the aisle to various Super Mario Bros. music. The reception was decorated like the first game, complete with golden tokens on the tables.

    My wedding was basically eloping with an audience of around 25, in a park, and I wore a red dress.

  • KatSings

    Oh, do I.  As we got married the week before you.  When I have time, I'll totally share on here! :-)

  • PDamian

    "Rudimentary editing skills," my ass. That was one hell of a fine movie montage.  Congratulations on your wedding, and may you and your bride have many happy days together.

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