The groom and his attendants wore pirate garb. The bride and her “maids and matron of horror” were Goth princesses in satin bustiers. Sound like a lost number from Rocky Horror? Nope, it was the wedding of Winooski couple Michael Molino and Sara Robedee, which took place last Saturday at Merrill’s Roxy Cinemas in Burlington.
As about 20 guests — all in costume — filed into the biggest theater at 11 a.m., they received favors — concession-stand-style popcorn containers full of caramel corn and fake spiders, hand-lettered with the names of the bride and groom. A skeleton toted a baby carrier, while a Man in Black cast furtive glances around the room.
When everyone was seated, the lights went down and black-and-white images flickered on the screen. As sinister music played, a dark, sinuous creature prowled the environs of a castle straight out of a Vincent Price movie. (Closer inspection revealed the monster to be a fish in an aquarium.) “THE WEDDING,” a caption announced.
Molino and Robedee love the aesthetic of horror movies — and clearly, they’re not alone. (Later the same day, Burlington’s annual Zombie Walk attracted a big crowd of shambling brain eaters — and giggling, appreciative spectators.) But the short film that opened the couple’s ceremony wasn’t horrifying at all. Crafted with help from Vermont Community Access Media, it was a gently comic account of their relationship, complete with re-enactments of the awkward first date and the smoother second one, when the pair fell into philosophical conversation at Dobrá Tea. “That’s when I knew that Mike was weird enough for me!” Robedee voice-overed.
The film ended on a still of a Gothic cathedral’s interior, which stayed on the screen as the lights went up. Minister Roddy O’Neil Cleary took the stage, wearing a cat’s-eye mask. She removed it to perform her duties, saying, “This is a first for many of you, I’m sure.”
Cleary summoned the spirit of love — “this is the time of the spirits,” she pointed out — and asked the parents of Robedee and Molino to stand and affirm their support for the union. They did — the groom’s folks in Roaring ’20s gear, the bride’s looking like tattered gypsy folk.
“I love what you are doing,” Cleary enthused, as the couple stood before her, “the way you are joining the sacred and the secular. Seeing you on the screen, you both look like stars.”
It was awfully rosy rhetoric for a gathering that featured so many ghouls. But as Robedee and Molino recited their pledges of mutual love and support, the emotion in their voices was as real as it gets.