After 35 years, Casey St. Charnez and longtime partner, Lisa Harris, have finally tied the knot. But if holding off on marriage for more than three decades is noteworthy, friends, family, not to mention the Santa Fe public at large, were in for a treat during the couple's Feb. 29 ceremony. The wedding took place on during KBAC's “The Big Show” with Honey Harris, a longtime friend of the couple who served double-duty as program host and wedding officiant.
(Listen to a podcast of the wedding broadcast.)
“Basically, we've been engaged for 35 years. That may be a record,” said St. Charnez. The couple met during a high school production of "Guys and Dolls" in Lubbock, Texas in February, 1977. St. Charnez was visiting his old college dance instructor, who was choreographing the show. “One thing led to another, shall we say,” added St. Charnez. “We moved here the following fall so I could make movies. Hasn't happened yet, but who knows?”
The plan for the on-air nuptials arose between Honey Harris and the couple over a recent dinner, and admittedly, over a few bottles of wine. “I told them that I’m one of those ordained ministers from one of those sketchy websites,” laughed Honey Harris. “But when they realized I could actually perform it, Casey and Lisa decided right then and there: ‘We’re getting married on the radio.’”
This isn’t Honey’s first time leading a wedding -- she received her ordination to marry a former colleague and his wife in 2010.
Many Santa Feans know Casey and Lisa as the owners of Video Library, a beloved downtown local institution offering a diverse range of specialty, foreign and hard-to-find films, which the couple has run since 1981. St. Charnez is also an editor for Leonard Maltin’s annual “Movie Guide” books and a regular writing contributor to SantaFe.com.
St. Charnez said an on-air wedding was ideal because many of their friends and families couldn't travel to be with them in person. “We came to the realization that when we finally did get married, we couldn't bring everybody we know to our wedding,” he said. “Now, we can bring the wedding to everybody we know...over the airwaves.”
While an on-air wedding 35 years in the making may seem unorthodox, it’s the perfect plot twist in an ongoing storyline about an irreverent and loving couple. “We are a couple because I'm one of the few people who gets her jokes,” said St. Charnez, “and because she is the oatmeal who holds my chocolate chips together.”