Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Elvis Wedding ~ Las Vegas in New York City Style

He Loves Her Tender and True

I just had my first destination wedding in Las Vegas, in the Valley of Fire desert. Beautiful red rocks soaring above a flat plain of grasses. Our bride Angel asked me to wear Elvis glasses when I walked down the aisle to the altar. Elvis... when I first started to do costume and adventure weddings over a year ago, which join my devotion as a wedding officiant with my craft as a performing artist and clown, I said "Elvis is in Vegas. This is New York." and "I am not the Vegas of New York."

And lo! The first costume wedding I was asked to do, by Todd and Shirley on Dec. 31, 2010 ~ part of their world record attempt for vow renewals ~ was Elvis! It didn't start that way. They had wanted a Beatles theme, upscale John and Yoko. Shirley envisioned daisies in the snow. It was a New Year's Eve vow renewal, wedding number 20 for them in seven years of their mission to reach over 100 ceremonies. Yet when Shirley got to our costume shop, Creative Costume (my theme weddings partner) she didn't feel happy in her 60's get up. What to do? I had been imagining a sitar on a red carpet in the white snow, and all of us seated, surrounded by bright daisies. The Costumers showed their Creativity, bringing disco outfits that Shirley loved. Yet, who will officiate? The Costumers brought out Elvis. Shirley cooed in delight.

Oh, My Darling, I Love You... And I Always Will.

I now have the great honor of proclaiming that my father and I have both impersonated Elvis. How many daddy-daughter pairs can say that? Dad entertained his office as Elvis at his retirement party. I joined skaters from the Central Park Disco Skaters Association, and guitarist James Dalton Baker to present a truly custom wedding ceremony. I wrote a wedding quoting dozens of recording artists from the Elvis and Disco eras and told Todd and Shirley's love story. We had dance breaks featuring our skaters, including skate-style break dancing by Energy in the Middle (aka Harry). We even had a sing-a-long.

Hand Jive

When Todd and Shirley took their vows, all the glitz seemed to bow as their pure love shone brightly. Strangers watched and cheered ~ that always happens with outdoor weddings in New York City. The New York Daily News and Fox 5 TV came. We were all happy. (We're still happy.) And Todd even made it back to their nearby hotel in his platform shoes.

I felt like I gave all my gifts that day. Being playful, creative and serious at once; helping Shirley and Todd design a magical experience; bringing great artists together to collaborate on a fun and solid show; performing; and at the center, honoring love and passion - that of Todd and Shirley, that of music, that of nature, that of groovy self-expression.

If anyone asks you to do something zany today, know they probably have a sincere and sound reason. Say yes. Here's to you, Dad.

In the Daily News the Next Day
All Together Now (Oh, that's the Beatles)

photos by John Mazlish Weddings