A few years ago friends of ours got married on Halloween
afternoon in their own backyard.
They had always celebrated the evening by throwing large parties
where everyone was expected to arrive in costume. Guests were
greeted by a front lawn extravagantly dressed for the part as
well: a dense collection of moving sculptures that emitted eerie
sounds; graves and ghouls crammed into a space that would have
made them more comfortable had it been three times larger. Lights
would suddenly spring to life and creatures move in response to
hidden wires and motion detectors. People drove to their street
- with and without kids - to gawk, giggle, even screech a little
themselves. One of the creatures was perched on the front porch
roof, slowly waving its fifteen-foot arms, staring down with
bright, blinking red eyes, emitting a kind of mournful shriek
when someone walked under it on their way to the front door.
It came naturally to our friends to include in their nuptials a
costumed wedding party of twenty-seven, assigned to be characters
from television shows, cartoons, and movies, while the groom
and groom went their own way as top-hatted, quasi-Victorians.
Some participants had parts with lines to learn: this wedding
would be a themed performance piece. The wedding planner was
hired in part because of her theatrical background that included
performing on Broadway; she gave herself a part on the day.
A crew of six professional makeup artists set up in the living
room to work on the participants for several hours before any
guests even arrived. Like any theatre production, there was a
certain amount of hurry-up-and-waiting.
The happy couple hired a photographer on my recommendation, a
woman who would not be alarmed by this sort of thing, while I was
the only person in the wedding party allowed to carry a camera.
My wife was Grandma from the Adams Family, while I was Uncle
Fester. I never thought to take my own picture. However, I
documented pre-production, what I could of the event itself
(since I had a small role to play), and the party after. These
are their stories.