— -- Kendall Oshiro was almost late to her own wedding.
Luckily for her, nobody in the audience noticed, because nobody in the audience knew they were attending a wedding.
The unconventional venue was a book signing featuring Carrie Brownstein, star of the television show "Portlandia," and actress and comedian Amy Poehler, of "Parks and Recreation" fame. Brownstein was there to promote her new memoir, "Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl."
They had just begun the question-and-answer portion of the event when Oshiro stepped up to the microphone and asked Brownstein if she would officiate a wedding for her and her partner, Genevieve Hernandez.
“Everyone just started cheering,” Oshiro recalled. “Carrie started laughing and Amy Poehler’s jaw just dropped.”
Oshiro and Hernandez had been planning to elope in a few months, but then they learned from a friend that Brownstein was an ordained minister. The idea started as a joke, but the couple decided that they had nothing to lose by trying. Both are fans of her band, Sleater-Kinney, and had already purchased tickets to the Pasadena, California, event.
“I like to think we’re becoming more spontaneous,” Hernandez joked.
Oshiro said that when she told Brownstein and Poehler that she had brought their marriage license with them, “Amy looked at Carrie and was like, ‘You have to do it, you have to do it, you have to do it.’”
Brownstein agreed to be the officiant and called the couple down from their seats in the balcony. Poehler acted the part of a would-be organist, playing “Greensleeves” on a piano that was on-stage.
With Oshiro and Hernandez standing beside her, Brownstein offered a brief but heartfelt benediction.
“All of us here are rooting for you,” she said. “The way we root for ourselves and the way we root for love to always win out over despair.”
Brownstein then pronounced them married, the newlyweds kissed, and the crowd of 500 strangers burst into cheers.
According to Oshiro, it was a “nervewracking” and “crazy” evening, but it was all worth it.
“I was marrying my best friend,” she said, “so in the end it didn’t matter to me.”