By Dominique Redfearn
What attendees expected to be a routine stop on Carrie Brownstein’s book tour turned into an impromptu wedding after two fans asked if Brownstein would officiate their wedding on the spot.
Moderated by comedian Amy Poehler, Brownstein discussed her new memoir “Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl” at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church. During the audience Q&A, fans Kendall Oshiro and Genevieve Hernandez took a risk and asked Brownstein if she could officiate their marriage after hearing through a friend who went to one of Brownstein’s prior tour dates that she had recently become an ordained minister. The couple, who originally planned to elope at a later date, even went during their lunch break the day of the event to get their marriage license in hopes that Brownstein would say agree.
After some persuasion from Poehler, she said yes.
Poehler ripped off flowers from a display onstage to give to the couple to use as bouquets before asking where they met. “Through a friend.” Oshiro said before Hernandez interrupted, “That’s a lie, we met on the Internet.”
Brownstein started the ceremony by positioning the couple onstage for everyone to see and explaining that she had become an ordained minister for the purpose of marrying two of her friends in a few weeks. Oshiro and Hernandez’s wedding would end up being her first.
Brownstein then headed off stage to look for a quote about love to use for the ceremony while Poehler sat behind the piano. “I only know the first part of ‘Greensleeves,” Poehler said before playing a few notes from the traditional folk song, prompting a roar of laughter from the sold-out crowd turned wedding attendees.
Brownstein then made her way back to the stage to continue the ceremony with a heartfelt speech. “All of us here are rooting for you. We’re rooting for you in the way that we root for ourselves… We root for the two of you to make each other feel the biggest, strongest, most special you’ve ever felt, and that you’re surrounded only by people who make you feel like that. So that starts here and I hope it continues always.”
The couple exchanged vows as Brownstein and Poehler looked on in admiration. “I’m excited but also slightly embarrassed to be here,” Oshiro said in her vows. The couple feared taking the attention away from Brownstein’s book event but their fears diminished as members of the crowd gave them their congratulations throughout the rest of the evening.
By the end of the evening, the ceremony had nearly become national news with attendees sharing pictures and videos on social media. Media outlets like Buzzfeed and CBS have also reached out to the couple about the event.
“We’re still having a hard time prcessing what happened.” said Oshiro. “I knew that people had been taking video and photos and posting it online, so I had a feeling it would be shared here and there, but I didn’t expect it to literally blow up the way it has.” said Oshiro.
“Carrie made a sweet post on her Instagram about the event too and it just validated my admiration for her and Amy further. Both Gen and I are incredibly humbled and grateful for this experience, and can’t begin to express our gratitude towards Carrie, Amy, or the audience.”