Sheremony

The comical invitation to the Sheremony, between Kenneth and Singtrece McLaurin.

It’s often said that marriage is a union of compromise. Giving a little and taking a little is one of the fundamental bases for a happy marriage, and one of the first examples of that is the wedding planning process.

For instance, Kenneth McLaurin didn’t want a ceremony. Having been married before, he preferred a more straightforward nuptials, without too much fuss. On the other hand, his fiancé, Singtrece, had never been married before and was looking for something a little more meaningful. Both of them are natural-born performers, so a compromise followed between a show, which Kenneth wanted, and a ceremony, which Singtrece wanted: the Sheremony.

“I don’t like weddings, and she wanted to have a wedding. I didn’t want to spend any money, and she didn’t want to spend any money,” Kenneth said. “So, we tried to have a wedding that we would want to be at.”

“And also, everybody loves to be entertained,” Singtrece said.

The Sheremony was held at Cinemapolis on Jan. 13, with family and friends invited, as well as the general public, for between $20 per ticket in order to mitigate costs. Kenneth is a comedian while Singtrece is a singer, so they incorporated performances from both of them into the party after the ceremony, collaboratively called Singing Notes and Slinging Jokes, a Wedding Bells version.

“It was intimidating, thinking about planning a wedding,” Kenneth said. “But planning a show is something that we felt comfortable doing, so we approached it from that viewpoint.”

The couple said they did receive some negative feedback from people who were upset about having to pay to come to a wedding, but the McLaurins figured that since they were basically already a family coming together (both Kenneth and Singtrece already have children), the ticket price could simply replace the normally-required wedding gift, and help the couple avoid spending too much money.

“For me, I also wanted to stick it to the wedding-industrial complex,” Kenneth said. “When people were talking about wedding registries, I actually looked at one, and all they had were little crazy stuff that nobody wants or needs. And we’re older, we have our families, and if they had a wedding registry for a cruise or a microphone, something we could really use, then we would do it. But they didn’t.”

The event itself went off without any issues, with the show portion also featuring the couple telling stories of some of the highlights of their relationship along with their performances. And despite some of their relatives warning them against it, both Kenneth and Singtrece’s sets were well-received, with food served afterward.

“My step-dad, when I told him ‘Hey, I’m getting married,’ his first response to me was ‘Boy, don’t do nothing stupid like perform,’” Kenneth said. “And I told him, ‘Don’t worry,’ and left it at that. He thought I meant ‘Don’t worry, I will not,’ but in my head I was like ‘Don’t worry, we certainly are.’”

Even despite that warning, Kenneth said his mom lightly heckled him during his comedy set. Overall, both Kenneth and Singtrece got what they wanted: a wedding that was comfortable for them and the people they invited, free of the frills and formality of a normal wedding. Singtrece said even though it was non-traditional, she “couldn’t have asked for a better wedding.”

“I wanted to experience that,” Singtrece said. “But I also got nervous about the wedding, because I sing for so many weddings. And I just didn’t want that stiffness [where] people are afraid to laugh or clap. So when I get married, I didn’t want it to be like that. People could talk back, they could laugh, they could be comfortable. And that’s exactly what we got.”

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