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All’s fair in film and PR

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A marriage made in CineVegas heaven.
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With so many films on the 2009 CineVegas docket, choosing which films to go and see can be a daunting task for attendees, industry representatives and working media. Credit goes to Asylum Seekers for the festival’s most unusual public relations stunt.

Not only did the film about a group of people fighting to get the last spot at a mental institution get a place on the Palms’ marquee on Flamingo Road, the film’s tenacious public relations representatives arranged for a wedding on the red carpet before the screening and a party at the Rio afterward, too.

Despite no wedding being in the film and no Las Vegas connection, either, director Rania Ajami said the two institutions, the institution of marriage and the mental institution in which the majority of film is set, were sufficient bonding agents for the odd promotion.

Sending a street team out in straight jackets might not be quite as inviting. While some might argue that the wedding/loony bin connection was a stretch, the red carpet wedding that preceded the screening served its function: It attracted a crowd.

Houston, Tex. Residents Richard Spiller, 25, and Ashley Matthews, 21, were married just after 3 p.m. yesterday afternoon.

The bridal party consisted of five curvaceous members of the Sin City Bad Girls and four bare-chested and chiseled Chippendales dancers, while an Elvis impersonator served as the best man.

After they said their “I-do’s,” members of Thunder From Down Under and the Fantasy Girls followed them down the aisle – er, red carpet. Members of the cast also strutted for the cameras and crowd.

While the bride wore traditional wedding-day attire, the bridal party wore fire engine red velour bootyshorts, matching cropped zip-up jackets, fishnet stockings and black lace-up go-go boots with red flame accents.

The groomsmen, meanwhile, wore the standard Chippendale’s uniform: pants and a bow tie.

The wedding was hardly one for the fairytale books, it was one for the record books: It was the first red carpet CineVegas wedding in the festival’s 11-year history.

The bride admitted it wasn’t exactly the sort of white wedding little girls dream of, but said it was still what just what she and her new husband had in mind.

“We just wanted something fun,” she said moments after exchanging her vows.

She and Spiller were engaged in November and contacted the Little White Wedding Chapel in April to arrange their nuptials.

While they were originally looking for a classic Vegas-style wedding and intended to tie the knot at the chapel, Matthews said the famed chapel contacted them a few weeks ago to ask if she and her fiancé would be willing to have their wedding elsewhere.

“They just called us two weeks ago and asked us if we’d do it,” she said.

The blushing bride said she had no idea why they were chosen as the couple for the ceremony. “We were just the lucky ones,” she said.

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Melissa Arseniuk

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