This summer we had the unique privilege of writing a customized murder mystery wedding for an amazing couple, Alessandra and Kevin Potter. They are both great lovers of the genre (in fact they met at a mystery show in NYC) and decided that they wanted to surprise their guests with a 1930’s themed interactive murder mystery during their special event. Their wonderful wedding planner, Amy Dearth from Consider It Done Special Events, immediately reached out to us and asked us to create something completely new and tailored to them and their guests. As always, we were up for the challenge!
The first step was learning about the bride, the groom, their wedding party and the guests that would be in attendance so we could figure out how best to approach bringing a murder into a wedding ceremony. After many Skype calls with the happy couple (who were based in Amsterdam during the planning process) we decided on having the officiant be the victim and having him die at the very end of the ceremony, right before announcing the couple man and wife. Lucky for us, one of our best Actors – David Stickney – is also a certified wedding officiant, so we knew exactly who to book for that role!
Helping set the scene was talented pianist Steve Sarro, who started out playing wedding music during the ceremony and then quickly switched to a dramatic and mysterious score as the murder unfolded.
Once the ‘officiant’ was dead, it was time to bring in the Detective Sam Bogart (played by the incomparable Richard Rininsland) and his intrepid assistant Tess Skellington (played by the extremely pregnant executive producer Shannon Lane DuPont, who also wrote and customized this entire event).
“My name is Detective Sam Bogart, and as of now we know two things:
#1: The officiant has been killed.
#2: Someone in this room is a murderer.
The most likely suspects I have now would be those closest to the officiant at his time of death. That being, the entire wedding party. I am going to temporarily place you all under arrest.
Alessandra, Kevin, I know you both shared rings, but I also have some bracelets for you to share.”
Now that we had our main suspects in custody, it was time to enlist the help of the wedding guests in solving the mystery of who killed the officiant and why. To start the investigation, our Detective Bogart had to interrogate the wedding party, which was really just a fun way of introducing each of them for their prepared speeches about Alessandra and Kevin.
We then had to welcome a special guest to help us solve the mystery – the twin brother of our deceased wedding officiant who was himself a professor of paranormal studies. He used his connection to the spiritual world to bring some additional clues to light.
The tables at the reception each had a unique detective theme (Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Clouseau, Nancy Drew, etc.), so we came up with table specific challenges that fit the themes and ultimately led to a clue. For example, at the Hercule Poirot table the guests needed to complete an Agatha Christie themed crossword puzzle and once they had finished it they received a follow up clue that told them the killer’s name had the same number of letters as the number of books written under the Christie alias listed as one of their crossword clue answers.
Once each table had completed their challenge and found their clues, Detective Bogart had them read their clues aloud so each piece of the puzzle became clearer to the entire group (the killers name had six letters and began with an N, the method of murder was poison, the wrong person was killed, and so on).
That led to the final clue, which was located at the sweetheart’s table – a lock box that contained one half of a best friends bracelet. The other half belonged to the killer!
It turns out our culprit was the bride’s best friend and Murderer of Honor, Nicole. She was jealous of having to share Alessandra with Kevin so she tried to kill him with a poisoned handkerchief, but the officiant used it first and died instead.
“The poison was meant for you, Kevin! You’re never going to catch me alive!”
Literal mic drop as she runs from the room.
You didn’t think we’d let her escape, did you? Our Detective Bogart caught the killer and placed her under arrest, much to the delight of the entire audience – especially the bride and groom!
Now that we had solved the mystery, it was time for us to handle some unfinished business – finalizing the marriage of Alessandra and Kevin. Luckily, the officiant’s twin brother was on hand to pronounce them man and wife and let them have their first kiss as a married couple.
This wedding was an amazing experience to be a part of and we are grateful to have been included in an occasion so special. There was such a genuine love between the bride and groom it made us weep (though Shannon blames the pregnancy hormones for some of that). And the guests were incredible, so willing to get into the mystery and play along. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, one that we will never forget. So here’s to Alessandra and Kevin – may they share many more years of irreverent fun and happiness, ’til death do they part!
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Mystery Cafe, New England Fun, LLC.
18 Washington Street,
#200 Canton, MA 02021