Dummies Performing Wedding Stirs Government Reaction
Vancouver – September 15, 2009 — In an event destined for thousands of YouTube viewings, longtime Grizzly Adams senior producer, David Balsiger, will marry San Francisco medical doctor, Christine Strong, in a ceremony officiated by “Butch” and “Suzie,” the puppet stars of the Canadian children’s television series, Maralee Dawn & Friends.
The wedding and reception is scheduled for Saturday, September 19th at 3 PM at the Executive Hotel Vintage Park in downtown Vancouver, Canada. Along with the bride, groom, and ventriloquists’ dummies, also participating in the ceremony will be popular TV puppeteer Maralee Dawn, as well as female comedienne, and Canadian television personality, Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson.
Although wedding ceremonies performed by inanimate objects are rare, even in Canada, the happy couple fully expects all legal and spiritual requirements will be handled by the puppets’ “mouthpiece,” says Maralee Dawn, Canada’s best known children’s ventriloquist and an ordained minister. We thought this would be the perfect way to tie the knot; not with a totally solemn ceremony, but with some real wedding humor,” explains Balsiger, the author of 28 nonfiction books including New York Times bestsellers. “Before the ceremony is over we may be the dummies and the real dummies may be the most coherent characters in the wedding.”
Dummies marrying U.S. citizens in Canada have raised objections at British Columbia’s Vital Statistics Agency (VSA) as Butch is not old enough nor a trained or appointed Marriage Commissioner authorized to perform marriages in Canada. Another hurdle for Butch is that the VSA says they cannot grant him a temporary appointment to perform marriages.
Maralee Dawn and Butch are meeting with VSA officials this week in hopes of convincing them that the circumstances surrounding this wedding calls for relaxing the rules as the bride and groom may end up—not legally married! “I’m hoping Butch is able to convince Canadian marriage officials that he’s one of the smartest dummies in Canada,” says Dawn. “We certainly do not want this wedding ceremony being invalidated as it could cause an international incident between U.S. and Canada.” “Talk about reality TV,” adds Laura-Lynn. “I’m going to have a running commentary on the ceremony. To be allowed to use the words dummies and wedding in the same sentence opens up a lot of material for someone like me.” “Admittedly, it’s not a solemn storybook wedding,” concludes Dr. Strong, the bride. “It does have a wedding dress, the presiding pastor Butch dressed in a tuxedo, and a few of the trapping of a traditional wedding—but that’s where it ends with a totally unscripted ad lib humorous ceremony that will unfold without anyone in the wedding party knowing the outcome.”
Prior to their engagement, Dr. Strong worked as a medical advisor for several film and television projects Balsiger produced for Grizzly Adams Productions. The two also collaborated on the book, Inspirational Wit and Wisdom from the Internet (2006, Bridge-Logos). Grizzly Adams has produced more than 650 family friendly movies, TV specials, and series episodes since 1999.
Contact Maralee Dawn (866) 930-1333 or Laura-Lynn (604) 765-2017