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Matt Von Pinnon, Published July 26 2009

Von Pinnon: Wedding in your future? Put on your dancing shoes

Weddings will never be the same.

Years from now, when you’ve about had it watching wedding parties boogie down church aisles to the latest pop song, think back to this moment and the 28-year-old couple from the Twin Cities whose wedding ceremony entrance changed everything.

Like most cultural phenomena, it started out innocent enough.

Jillian Peterson, a perky brunette with a penchant for dancing, convinced her fiance that they and their wedding party of seven bridesmaids, five groomsmen and four ushers should dance down the aisle to the Chris Brown song “Forever” before the couple exchanged vows June 20 in St. Paul.

Peterson said the wedding party rehearsed the routine for an hour and a half.

Like most weddings today, a videographer captured the ceremony.

And that was where it stood until Jillian’s father pressed the groom to share the video online so other family members could see it. Groom Kevin Heinz placed it on YouTube a week ago today.

In one week’s time, the video has gone “viral,” meaning it’s being shared electronically in incalculable ways. The video’s popularity has led to the bride and groom appearing on NBC’s “Today” show not once, but twice in two days. The Washington Post had a writer deconstruct the reason for the video’s popularity. The clip is among the most watched on YouTube, a video-sharing site that sees millions of videos posted monthly.

So what’s all the fuss about?

Watch it and you will know. The ushers who throw their programs like confetti. The chubby guy who places a fallen rose in his mouth and stands on his hands midway down the aisle. The groom’s rolling entrance. The suspended animation of the wedding party as they take their places. The bride’s genuine smile. The way the groom strolls with his bride-to-be toward the altar.

The stunt doesn’t seem done for pop-culture popularity like so much of today’s “reality” efforts, none of which are real at all. The scene feels authentic. It’s oddly intimate, though carried out in front of guests. It’s watching an extended family truly rejoice and celebrate in one couple’s special day.

But for all the activity going on in this wedding video, there was something absent, too: extravagance.

It was just a bunch of 20- and 30-somethings at an average-size wedding, in a somewhat poorly lit Midwestern church with a fairly modest pastor. The bride wore a rather ordinary dress, and the wedding party came in all shapes and sizes.

Their averageness combined with their unorthodox approach is what makes us smile.

Unfortunately, that spontaneity and this special moment won’t last. Rather, it will manifest itself into a new industry of the overdone: choreographers to create wedding aisle grooves.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Watch the video at inforum.com.


Von Pinnon is editor of The Forum. Reach him at (701) 241-5579.