PAWTUCKET, RI—As part of uncle-of-the-bride Ronald Schwepp's extensive coverage of the Schwepp-Ploman wedding, a reception-dinner catering cart was videotaped for posterity Saturday.
The cart has been preserved for countless future generations on one of the four unlabeled two-hour VHS tapes Schwepp filled at the event.
"I was serving plates to some of the back tables when I noticed [Schwepp] videotaping my cart," said Four Starz Catering employee Erin Ringler, 18. "It was obvious that he didn't want to miss capturing an important detail of the wedding like what kind of trays the food came on, so I stepped aside to give him a clear shot."
"At some point in the future, someone might be telling a story about Jen and Travis' wedding and realize they've forgotten how big the catering carts were, or how many wheels they had," Ringler said. "That person can now simply refer to the tape."
The shaky, hand-held footage of the tri-level wheelable wooden cart was taken between 6:20 and 6:27 p.m., according to the ever-present read-out in the lower left-hand corner of the video.
UCLA film and media expert Randall Phelps praised Schwepp's work.
"Thanks to this exhaustive documentary, future generations of Schwepps and Plomans will not be left to wonder in what manner pieces of the wedding cake were delivered to the tables," Phelps said. "Their heirs will know, for the cart will be right before their very eyes on the television screen, as if they were witnessing it firsthand."
"These progeny will also know which entree selection was preferred, based on Schwepp's shots of the dirty plates on the bus carts," he added.
The catering cart, the subject of seven of the 478 minutes of wedding footage, is one of more than 300 objects videotaped by Schwepp at the event. Among the others: a stack of folding chairs, Cousin Beverly's discarded corsage, the DJ station, a tray of rum and Cokes, the streamers on the bathroom doors, a Chrysler LeBaron convertible in the parking lot, and the soda machines in the vending area down the hall.
Equal time is devoted to the exchange of vows, the bushes outside the church, the best man's toast at dinner, and a lengthy pan of the empty hotel jacuzzi.
"Our descendants will not be forced to wonder what happened at the Ramada West on August 14," Phelps said. "Our children, our children's children, and their children can see all the events of this sacred day: the ceremony, the dinner, the dance, and Ronald Schwepp's 19-minute van ride from the church to the reception."
The videotapes are now in the hands of the newlyweds, who have filed them safely away on the top shelf of a hall closet, where they will remain untouched, assured of their place in history.