Last night, I went to the engagement party for performers Lindsay Sharman and Laurence Owen. They are getting married at Disneyland.
“Yes,” said Laurence. “We’re taking ourselves off to Florida as a… erm… sort of… a…”
“Marriage?” I suggested.
“Yes,” said Laurence. “We’re getting married. That’s the main gist of it. For ten days in May.”
“That,” I said, “is a long marriage by American standards.”
“Well,” he replied, “if we get through ten days, we know it’s going to be alright.”
“Why get married at Disneyland?” I asked. “Have they heard your song?” (Laurence has a wonderful humdinger of a Disney pastiche song.)
“That’s the thing,” he explained. “Disney looms very large in our lives. As a kid, I used to go to Paris Disneyland with my dad. And, about this time last year, Lindsay and I had a week with no gigs in and I was temporarily homeless – between flats – so we went to the Paris Disneyland and we had a really amazing time there. Then we went again in September, immediately after last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
“I had this idea that, in January this year, I would pop the question to Lindsay. Then she sort-of beat me to it. Cos we were chatting by text late on Christmas Eve – Christmas Day early morning – and we just got talking about Disney weddings and decided to go on from there, pretty much. So that was it.”
“Proposal by text?” I asked.
“Proposal by text. We’re thoroughly modern.”
“I didn’t realise,” I told him, “that Disney do marriage packages.”
“Oh yes,” said Laurence. “For your basic package, you get a location for a ceremony. We have a gazebo next to a big lake and there’s a pirate ship by the lake and it’s themed like a 1920s boardwalk-type thing; it’s all very nice.”
“And it’s more expensive to have the castle?” I asked.
“Oh yes,” said Laurence. “And, if you pay $3,000, you can arrive in the Cinderella pumpkin coach and you have two footmen.”
“Frogs?…” I started.
“For that price,” said Laurence, “you would hope so.”
“… or English?” I concluded.
“Maybe,” said Laurence. “And, as well as those guys, you get two buglers who will announce your arrival on long trumpets with flags hanging off them. You have to pay through the nose for that, though. And, if you want to have Mickey Mouse present, you have to pay another $900.”
“Are Mickey, Donald and Goofy all the same price?” I asked.
“Any costume characters,” explained Laurence, “you have to pay $900 each. So, if you want Mickey and Minnie together, that’s $1,800.”
“I wondered if maybe Goofy was relatively cheap.,” I said. “Who wants Goofy officiating at their marriage?”
“Possibly,” said Laurence. “On a sliding scale of Disney characters, maybe if you only want Pluto, you could get him for fifty quid.”
“You’re getting married on May 6th…” I said.
“Yes. We tried to get May the Fourth because that’s Star Wars Day, but they were full up on that day.”
“Of course!” I said. “Disney now own Star Wars. So you could have Stormtroopers in attendance. The ultimate white wedding.”