He Said/She Said: Rock 'N Roll Wedding Returns
Looking for something to do this Saturday? Feel like getting married? If so, or if you're just in the mood for trading anonymous love notes and listening to a bunch of local bands sing love-themed songs you might want to head over to the Tranzac Club for the Rock 'N Roll Wedding 2: The Anniversary.
Building on the success of the inaugural wedding last year, local couple Laura Reinsborough and Chris Eaton recently sat down with me to discuss what we can expect this weekend.
Where did you get the idea for the original Rock 'N Roll Wedding?
Laura: We got married in a barn-turned-studio behind Chris's parents' house in Sackville, New Brunswick. We both grew up in the Sackville area (me in Sackville and Chris in Moncton) and both sets of parents call Sackville home.
It was new year's eve, the barn was decorated with little white lights and happy guests in fancy outfits. The dress code was "special" which meant that Chris' 2 and a half-year-old niece wore a tutu and running sneakers. The whole evening was definitely special. Our honeymoon was spent in the barn that night, the setting where we first fell in love.
Soon after we travelled back to Toronto. Many of our friends in Toronto were not able to come to the New Brunswick wedding. We still wanted to celebrate with them, so we threw a party - the legendary Rock 'N Roll Wedding.
Chris: Basically, because Laura and I are both from the same town (Sackville), we knew there would have to be some kind of event back there. But we also knew a lot of our friends couldn't afford to fly out east, so we started planning a second event in Toronto. We both love music, so we'd been talking about having a live band for music. And once we started trying to decide who we wanted, it quickly became clear we coudn't do that. And we decided to choose everyone. Seven of our favourite bands/people playing nothing but love songs at the Gladstone Hotel.
How it became to be a public event is maybe more of a mystery. I guess, partly, it just seemed like fun. But it was also a point of telling everyone how in love we were. I had always thought marriage would not be in my future, that those public declarations were unimportant. And then I met Laura. I think that could have potentially been very sickening. But there was an innocence to it that made it work.
What happened last year?
Laura: It was in the back room of the Gladstone Hotel and we had plenty of bands playing. We're fans of all those bands, and many of them are also our friends. They could play whatever they wanted, as long as it was on the theme of love. Chris and I took turns introducing the bands, and we even re-enacted the wedding ceremony.
But this time we didn't have a justice of the peace, we had Blake Howard (Chris's drummer) perform a free-style spoken word marriage bond. It was long-winded and hilarious. We had planned on wearing our formal wear from the wedding, but Air Canada decided to keep our luggage in Moncton. So i was wearing cords and a t-shirt, but this year I plan to do it up a bit fancier.
Last year's event was quite possibly one of the funnest nights of my life. We had so many of our friends show up (a much better turnout than the real wedding in NB!) and some family (my uncle and his girlfriend came who I hadn't seen since I was 15). But we had also opened the invitation up to the public, and quite a few strangers were in the crowd as well!
I had one woman approach me at the very end of the night, she was thoroughly intoxicated, and she was thanking me for putting her trust back in long-term relationships. She had just broken up with her boyfriend of 6 years. Looks like we even did some humanitarian work in the end.
Chris: Somewhere between the fifth and sixth bands, my drummer gave a big speech and improvised a little ceremony, and everyone had a really great time.
How will this year be different?
Kind of by accident, the first Rock'nRoll Wedding was mostly solo acts. And again by accident, RnR2 is turning out to be duets. I doubt we can really maintain that once we get past RnR6, but it might be fun to try. Other than that, we're trying to keep it as simple as the first one. We have a few paper-themed ideas (it's the paper anniversary). But at it's most basic point, it's just a chance for us to see everyone we know, and to hold an event that's about nothing but 100% positive feelings. Sounds sappy, huh? We're even asking people to bring anonymous love notes to be redispersed to other attendees.
Laura: We've got more friends performing some hot shit (ow!), lots of paper-themed party games, and more exaggerations upon the theme of love. We're hoping another couple will volunteer to get married. Booya!
I'm especially excited about the paper theme. I want to get a big basket or tub and place it on a table. Then there will be little scraps of paper on the table with instructions: write a love note (any love note) and pop it into the basket/tub. Then take one for yourself. Spread the love.
I also want to place instructions for paper airplanes and origami frogs and paper hats and those little square fortune teller things that you use in grade 4.
I think we also want to expand the love theme to oral pronouncements of love - we'll invite people on stage to proclaim their love for anybody and anything. Last year Mark Sasso of Elliott Brood (who will be performing again this year, a duet with Jennifer Castle) sang a song about loving his banjo and we encourage such open interpretations of the theme. There is no end to the love.
I'll be making tacky paper chain decorations to go with the theme (it might end up looking like the prom, considering the stage at the Tranzac - oh that's another thing, we've changed it to the Tranzac, mostly because of the beer... they have Mcauslan) and we'll be putting up some of the little white lights from the original NB wedding. My sister and her husband and his brother are coming down from Ottawa, it's going to be so much fun!
How do you expect the anonymous love notes to work?
Chris: Honestly, I don't really expect it to work. It's a lot of work to prepare before hand. But hopefully, if we bring some paper, people might do it there. We're also open to people getting up on stage to declare their feelings for someone else. And there's a chance we might end up with another wedding on our hands. One of the performers from last year is now engaged. And they were considering making use of this forum. We think we should make it a rule. At least one of the performers has to get married the next year.
What do you do when you're not organizing wedding themed parties?
Laura: Chris might tell you he's a copywriter, but officially he's a writer. Fiction, novels, the good stuff. Pick up his book. Wow! and there's more where that came from.
I'm going to school at York, taking the environment and culture program in environmental studies at York. Studying such things as environmental education, community arts for social change, and envronmental literature. The past two summers I've worked in a children's garden in high park growing beautiful vegetables and going on hikes with rad kids (really, they are all rad).
Chris: I'm a novelist and play in a band called Rock Plaza Central. Our last album is really about meeting Laura. So it's fitting that we play some of those songs at the event. Sometimes I work in advertising. Laura is a student of Environmental Studies at York. And we both always seem to be working on one project or another.
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