Michael and Margo’s (Fake) Wedding

UPDATE: Check out the comments! Amongst other things, there’s a comment from Jenn, who played the bride; and a very full report from the Oregonian’s society columnist.

UPDATE 2: Added a link to Gisho’s photos.

UPDATE 3: Culturepulp!!!!!!!! Woooo!

A good time was had by, if not all, then at least by all who have spoken to me about it.


Above photo of Margo and Michael (played by Dylan and Jenn, respectively) by B. Zedan.

You can find photos of the wedding (including some cute shots of Sydney and Maddox, like this one) on the web:

Also, Bill has posted some video. I’ll update with further links as I find about them.

Below the cut, some random recollections of favorite moments (and I apologize in advance for not knowing everyone’s name — if you know names, help me out in comments!). Also, in the comments, I’ll post the playlist from the reception.


Yes, I misspelled “furniture” on the poster. Sigh…

The thing about an event like this is that if you can see even 10% of what’s going on, that’s a lot. So I missed far more than I saw. Anyhow, some favorite moments:

* Jake (who played the minister) and his mother Bev arranged a surprise — two people no one but Bev had never met before (Sara and Travis) came in claiming to have rented the Church for a real wedding that night, and demanding to know why all these people were here. They were very convincing, and I was nearly convinced I’d have to throw everyone out before Jake let me in on the gag. Sara and Travis stayed in character to the very end, with Sara’s character furiously threatening to end the engagement as they walked out of the Church building and argued down the street.

* I can’t even begin to describe how awesome Dylan, as our groom Michael, was. Really: It’s. Not. Possible. Katie, as Dylan’s “roommate” Troy, was also amazing. (How badly is a wedding going when the drunken groom is making out with his friend Troy on the reception floor?)


“Groucho and Bowie called. They want their kid back.” —Mike Russell

* Margo, played by Jenn, who really is eight months pregnant. The dress Jenn put together could not possibly have emphasized her belly more. It was beautiful.

* Kip, as the groom’s father, who kept on finding seemingly impossible new heights of fury to rise to; and Rachel, as the groom’s disturbingly young stepmother, who went into the basement as a mild-mannered comic book editor and returned as an astounding blond wig supported by five feet of wiggle, tight dress, and attitude.

* The pirate’s story. The pirate explained that when Michael was a very small boy, he had wished that there would be a pirate at his wedding day, and his fairy grandmother had granted that wish. “I didn’t exist yesterday, and I won’t exist tomorrow — I’m just here to be the pirate at this wedding.”

In the foreground: Ninja (left) and pirate. In the background: bridesmaid, and world’s oldest living civil war veteran.

* The live-action-role-player (LARPer) from a Vampire game, pretending to be a person pretending to be a vampire, and operating under a completely different rule system than everyone else at the fake wedding. The vampire and the pirate had a swordfight during the wedding. It was awesome.

* The bride’s resentful friend turning the little bride figure on the cake upside-down, with her head buried in frosting. Sydney the flowergirl was shocked by this, and as soon as the friend had wandered away, Sydney righted the bride figure.

* I say “Sydney the flowergirl,” but actually Sydney quickly caught on that everyone was using a fake name for the night, and said that her “wedding name” was Martha.

* The groom, during the ceremony, producing a list of pros and cons for marrying Margo (or not). On the back of the sheet of paper was a personals ad with the header “MSM.”

* Kim as the bride’s sister, coming in clothes that really came close to being “casual Friday at work,” and enjoying (in a “concerned” way) everything that went horribly, horribly wrong all evening.

* Amy standing on a chair to sing brilliantly along with “The Greatest Love Of All,” reaching an almost painful high pitch as everyone cheered. She sang the line “they’ll never take away my dignity” with particular ironic relish.

* Amy, playing a kleptomaniac, was generally awesome, wandering around and shoving everything in sight — including the champaign glasses and, at one point, the bride’s veil — into her bag. (She and Brad also, I’m told, did an awesome job performing “Bat Out Of Hell,” but unfortunately I missed it.)

* A man in a trenchcoat buttoned up all the way, sunglasses a hat, and a newspaper held in front of him, sneaking around from place to place, always with his back to a wall. Think he was a spy?

* Charles, as Fred the best man / visitor from the future, using his awesome hypno monkey on the gambling addict / long-lost uncle, and ordering the uncle (played by Aaron) to follow “the man in the trenchcoat,” intending that he follow the vampire. However, the first trenchcoat he saw was the spy, and so he followed the spy around for awhile.

* Ninja! (Sydney and Maddox were both awestruck by this. So were many of the grown-ups.)

* The groom’s father (played by Kip) discovering that it’s hard to remain in denial about your son being gay when your son the groom is rolling around on the reception floor making out with his roommate.

* The world’s oldest living civil war general spotting The Doctor (played by Emily), and saying “Doctor! Long time no see!”

I could go on a long, long time, and still not mention everything I saw last night that I loved — and I’m sure I missed far more than I saw. (There were bunches of players who I never got to interact with.) But I don’t want to go on forever. I’ll post links to other people’s recollections as I become aware of them; feel free to use the comments here as well, either to post comments or to link.

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16 Responses to Michael and Margo’s (Fake) Wedding

  1. 1
    Ampersand says:

    The playlist from the reception, in order:

    “Goldfinger,” performed by Shirley Bassey. (This was for the bride and her father’s dance.)
    “Tainted Love,” performed by Soft Cell. (For the bride and groom’s first dance.)
    “I Will Survive,” performed by Gloria Gaynor.
    “White Wedding,” performed by Billy Idol.
    “Billie Jean,” performed by Michael Jackson.
    “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” performed by Bonnie Tyler.
    “Every Breath You Take,” performed by The Police.
    “Tempted by the Fruit of Another,” performed by Squeeze.
    “Unworthy Of Your Love,” from the original cast album of Assassins.
    “Happy Together,” performed by The Turtles.
    “Quinn the Eskimo,” performed by Bob Dylan.
    “Should I Stay Or Should I Go,” performed by The Clash.
    “Barbie Girl,” performed by Aqua.
    “Blister In The Sun,” performed by The Violent Femmes.
    “Greatest Love Of All,” performed by Whitney Houston.
    “Summer Nights,” from the Grease soundtrack.
    “Paradise By The Dashboard Light,” performed by Meat Loaf.
    “Sea Foaming,” performed by The Butthole Surfers.
    “Wind Beneath My Wings,” performed by Bette Midler.
    “My Oh My,” performed by Aqua.
    “Que Sara Sara,” performed by Doris Day.

    “Is That All There Is,” performed by Peggy Lee, may have slipped in there somewhere too.

  2. 2
    Kip Manley says:

    While the basic thrust of “Johnny was a Pyro” doesn’t fit the situation, the chorus woulda been kick-ass:

    What am I doing with this ring on my hand?
    If this is the good life, who’s choosing it?
    Mama’s best woman and Daddy’s best man—
    I’m highly in danger of losing it.

    Tremendous fun! Who’s getting hitched next year?

  3. 3
    Ampersand says:

    Some of us, last night, were talking about doing a funeral next year instead.

  4. 4
    Jenn says:

    I particularly enjoyed how proud Troy was for knocking up Margo in a hot tub at some party in the West Hills back in early January. He bragged about it to Michael and everything (Apparently Michael was out of town on some business trip).

    Also the Doula/Midwife performance by Heron was amazing, especially when she came up on stage when she saw I was leaking–wiping it up with Grandma’s veil, natch. Apparently Margo is going to use a birthing tub–how appropriate.

    Jake’s mom made the best bitchiest Mom as Bea, Matt as Biff (the Bride’s father) was impressively over bearing as was the Bride’s sister Margie (Kim).

    Marianna as Sorority Sister Sissy was delightful as was Charles’ Fred (he agreed that Janet would make a good name for the unborn savior)

    I wish I brought more energy to Margo, though I thought I did okay with a headcold and all. At least I did manage the most awkward pregnant poses I could to good effect. And was pleased that I had more than one person ask me if some of my belly was padding. It’s probably the dumpiest I’ve look this entire pregnancy (I consider that a victory)

    And, as always, I had a lot of fun bouncing off a hysterical Dylan character.

    Much fun!

  5. 5
    magpie says:

    I am really hoping someone writes up a narrative version of this… I’d love to know what happened.

    Photos are awesome.

    One question – which Doctor was Emily (cannot yet find in photos)

  6. 6
    Thene says:

    Gee, Amp, anyone would think you were out to destroy traditional marriage. :O

  7. 7
    Lyle Dashwood says:

    (Here’s a report filed by Lyle Dashwood, the columnist from The Oregonian’s little-known society pages, reprinted here with his kind permission. –Amp)

    On Tuesday, September twenty-third, 2008, I attended the wedding of Margo X to Michael Y, officiated by the Reverend Buck “Duke” Fulminster, ordained minister and tech enthusiast (while speaking with him, I heard the most amazing notions about devices that allow one person to transmit text messages to another through a process resembling telepathy).

    Suffice to say, this event (termed “lovely…um…modern, memorable” by the effusive stepmother of the bride) was distinctly different from the many weddings your faithful correspondent has covered in the past in these, the society pages of The Oregonian. Admittedly, there were a few hiccups at the beginning, most of which appear to have originated with a wedding coordinator who is still learning the ropes of the business (as a matter of fact, the coordinator was so inept as to have the rehearsal immediately before the actual ceremony; even more troubling, there was a second couple who arrived, claiming that they were to be married in that church at that time. However, it is worth pointing out that the wedding coordinator has had only 11 years of experience; one hopes that he will learn from his mistakes, and that, in time, he might learn how to manage a social event, the demands of which apparently escape him at this early point in his career).

    As I grasp after the meaning of the events of the ceremony and the reception that followed, I ask myself not, What did we learn, but, If something can be learned from this experience, who might learn the most from it? With this in mind, I hope my readers will pardon me if, in lieu of my customary verbal posy of color, splash and sparkle, I turn serious for a moment and address those select few who have glimpsed the beacon of the journalistic profession, and have skittered, moth-like, toward its mellow and undulating light.

    Advice for the Aspiring Society Page Columnist

    1. Remember, when covering a wedding (or a retirement party or a debutante ball) that the honored guests have histories of which you may know very little. Particularly at weddings, emotions typically run high and, in such instances, a word or a glance can leave fresh bruises on nerves already rubbed raw by joy, sorrow, hope, fear (memory, desire—thanks, T.S.) For the sensitive journalist, respect for the vulnerabilities of the guests is of the first priority; thus, feelings, rather than facts, must come first. For instance, it may happen that, as you cover the wedding, you learn that the bride is “in the family way.” It is best not to make mention of such facts at all; however, if you feel that you cannot but heed your unswerving allegiance to truth, you need not say that the bride was “pregnant”; rather, you might say that she was enceinte (and hope that the bride and her family do not understand French).

    2. An effective reporter is not only an observer, but a participant. Thus, you must mingle. You must explore. “In the destructive element immerse,” as Joseph Conrad wrote. Familiarize yourself with the world on which you are reporting by moving about in it, learning its rules, its conventions. What can seem bizarre or inexplicable at first can begin to make sense as you learn more about it. And there is no better way to learn than to ask questions.

    However, keep in mind that your questions can produce contradictory responses. For instance, while covering a wedding, you may learn that it is rumored that the bride is enceinte. It may happen that you have the opportunity to speak to one person, such as the bride’s mother, who denies the rumor, and another, such as the bride’s father, who confirms the rumor. Whom to believe? They can’t both be telling the truth. Is there a way to resolve this dilemma? There is. I have already mentioned it. Rather than calling attention to the bride’s delicate condition, restrain yourself from mentioning it (or, if you must mention it, employ a tactful euphemism). The result? Problem solved—where there is no explicit reference to the bride’s condition, there is no need for mentioning rumors about her condition (again, if you are so inflexible as to prefer unvarnished truth to diplomatic circumlocution, you could say that her condition was “radiant”).

    3. While you do want to dig for the story, you do not want to dig too far. At wedding receptions, alcohol typically flows freely, and celebrants, dropping their guard, can say the most outrageous things that, were the speakers sober, their sense of decorum would certainly suppress. As the old saw has it, “Discretion is the better part of valor”; one form of journalistic courage, then, is employing one’s discretion to protect the public image and thus spare the feelings of those persons about whom you may learn less than savory details.

    Moreover, there are one’s readers to think of, who certainly do not need their society news spiced with the salacious and tawdry. Thus, it is better to leave out questionable tales of the bride’s entertaining untold numbers of gentleman callers in her Tri Delta sorority days. Pass in silence, rather than repeat, the accusations of philandering made by the mother of the bride against the father of the bride. Do not read anything into the fact that the groom forgets the name of his new wife as he toasts her—understandably, it is a moment fraught with great emotion and significance for the newly married man; thus, who are we to read deeper meanings in his entirely forgivable lapse in memory? It might be thought funny, in some circles of doubtful taste, that inscribed on the cake was the message “Have the cake say Congrats Margo & Michel”—but such humor is the stuff of slapstick and carnival, and best left to the low wits who write for the Portland Tribune. Nor is there need to dwell on the malicious sorts that weddings inevitably attract, like vultures to carrion. For it could only have been a vulture who, at Margo and Michael’s wedding, removed the bride figurine from the cake and jammed it, head-first, into the cake. At the sight of the up-ended miniature, your reporter was reminded of the disturbing image that climaxes the description of the Ninth Circle of Hell in Dante’s Inferno.

    Personally, I would much rather think about the genuinely warm people who attended Margo and Michael’s wedding, such as the lovely woman who greeted me at the door and invited me to sign the guest book. Why couldn’t more of the guests have been like her? Certainly, this delightful and charming young woman provided a welcome contrast to the bickering breed whose want of manners turned the reception into a coarse parody of a second-rate French farce.

    4. But, you will say, what am I left with to write of when I am assigned to cover a wedding? Are there any topics appropriate to the laboring pen of the conscientious society columnist? Indeed there are, grasshopper, if you simply let events take their course. As you cover more and more weddings, you will become more highly skilled in recognizing those events that make a wedding special. Weddings are social gatherings at which wishes come true (as we learned, the pirate in attendance came in answer to a wish the groom had made as a child. A timely appearance, too, for at one point this stalwart was called upon to parry the villainous advances of an anemic-looking, but strangely mesmerizing rogue). Weddings are occasions for social and cultural exchange. I learned, for instance, that ninja is a religion and that its members worship the “shurikan” (our facts department is still checking this out). In
    addition, weddings are occasions for gentle humor and conviviality. Indeed, your reporter experienced a moment of comic awkwardness when he met one of his co-workers at the wedding—apparently the assignment chiefs at The Oregonian were nodding when they sent both myself and my colleague to cover the same event.

    Perhaps, most of all, weddings represent opportunities for spontaneity, and these were certainly in evidence at the wedding of Margo and Michael. Among the moments that stand out for your reporter were the dance the wedding coordinator had with one of the flower girls, and the lovely trills produced by one ravishing songbird who favored us with an air and, when she had finished, left us to find that, as if a melodious cat burglar had wandered among us, our hearts had been stolen, packed up and utterly taken away (on that note, I believe I may have misplaced my wallet at some point during the reception; if anyone finds it could they please contact my office c/o The Oregonian?)

    So thank you, Margo and Michael, for the valuable lesson. You remind us that each wedding is special, and that the character of the event is determined by the wills and improvisational skills of those who attend. Great good luck to you both for a long and happy marriage.

    Lyle Dashwood

  8. 8
    Ampersand says:

    Thene, LOL!

    Magpie, I think Emily was a new doctor, not any of the previous doctors.

  9. 9
    Dianne says:

    I just want to say that I loved the cake. I’m trying to imagine ordering it…”I want the cake to say, ‘Have the cake say congratulations Margo and Michelle'” “Right. The cake will say ‘congratulations Margo and Michelle.'” “No, no. The cake should say, ‘Have the cake say…'” “Isn’t that what I just said.” “NO!” “Er…”

    I conjecture that you baked it yourself to save this sort of argument.

  10. 10
    Ampersand says:

    No, I ordered it from Costco, and included a very detailed note. Despite my note, however, they spelled “congrats” correctly, rather than “congarts” as I asked. :-P

  11. Pingback: My, what a busy week it was at Jenn Manley Lee

  12. 11
    Rook says:

    Shamefully late, here’s the best of my photos: http://pics.livejournal.com/gisho/gallery/0000dxqe

  13. Pingback: Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » Michael & Margo’s (fake) wedding rises to new levels of awesomeness!

  14. 13
    Rachel says:

    The last panel of the Culturepulp trip sums it up SO beautifully. You should put it on the invites next time.

  15. 14
    Married on Maui says:

    The last panel of the Culturepulp trip sums it up SO beautifully. You should put it on the invites next time.