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He Tapes Them Together

The Origin of Wedding Videos?

1953 - Word has spread around that the Rev. Roy D. Brokenshire of Carlsbad, Calif., goes Dan Cupid one better, and chances are he'll marry more young couples this June than any other clergyman in the southern part of the state.

Immediately after he performs a wedding ceremony in his Carlsbad Union Church, 35 miles north of San Diego, he gives the newlyweds a tape recording of the service, complete from wedding march to final vows.

The taped ceremony, he says, serves two purposes:

First, particularly on anniversaries, it is a magical means of recapturing the spirit and beauty of their wedding.

Second, a playback of their vows is a highly effective means of preventing a break between the couple when storm clouds appear. "Often," he says, "couples I have married come back for advice and counsel about some marital problem when their marriage is threatened. Sometimes a couple appears on the verge of separation or divorce. Before I talk I always play back for them a recording of their wedding. Their own voices pledging themselves to each other forever say far more to them than any other human being could. It puts them in a receptive mood to settle their differences. And you'd be surprised how those differences often just melt away even before the recording has finished playing."

The red-haired Rev. Mr. Brokenshire also gives two red roses, bound with a white ribbon, to each couple he marries. He explains that the roses are a symbol of their blossoming love, the white band a symbol of their faith and devotion.

It was a little over 4 years ago that the 49-year-old minister hit on his taped-weddings idea, after he had experimented with recording Sunday-morning services for shut-ins and noted the enthusiastic response.

He's a happily married man himself, and has a daughter, Shirley, 19, and a son, Donald, 18.

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