The Importance of Being JK


Talk about making an entrance.

There’s been a fair amount of hype lately about a fast-spreading internet video, “JK Wedding Entrance Dance.” No, this isn’t a new version of the Chicken Dance or a lineup of spiffy-looking grannies doing the YMCA. Instead, it’s an unexpected twist on the traditional wedding entrance that captures all the energy, fun and celebration that starting a new life should exude. It also makes you pause for a moment and remember: life’s short. Have some fun with it! 

Take a look at their incredible entrance:

Traditional it’s not, and I suspect the pinkie-lifters of the world and those who couldn’t handle HAIR (gasp!) may very well frown upon it. “Tsk, tsk! That’s no way to respect the serious intent behind vows, and to do it in church. . . sin!”

Thank goodness the majority of JK Wedding Entrance Dance viewers expressed happiness and well wishes for the creative, loving couple. However, as you might expect, several reacted unfavorably, deeming their actions void of “reverent fashion,” and without “signs of holiness.”  Anyone having “Footloose” flashbacks yet?

Everybody Cut, Footloose

Footloose, for those who do not know or may have forgotten, was a 1984 movie starring Kevin Bacon (Ren), Lori Singer (Aerial Moore) and John Lithgow (Reverend Moore). It was about the desire of two young people who wanted to kick up their heels in a very religious small town that wanted the couple to kick the habit. Dancing, Reverend Moore professed, was the root of all evil and subsequently, banned:

Reverend Shaw Moore: “Even if this was not a law, which it is, I’m afraid I would have a lot of difficulty endorsing an enterprise which is as fraught with genuine peril as I believe this one to be. Besides the liquor and the drugs, which always seem to accompany such an event the thing that distresses me even more, Ren, is the spiritual corruption that can be involved. These dances and this kind of music can be destructive, and, uh, Ren, I’m afraid you’re going to find most of the people in our community are gonna agree with me on this.”

But I digress.  A recent July 25, 2009 Washington Post article  titled, “Going to the Chapel and we’re Gonna Get Jiggy” describes Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz’s (JK) June 20, 2009 wedding. The article refers to it as “a processional gone phenomenal” where “ they and their attendants (seven bridesmaids, five groomsmen, four ushers) all boogied down the aisle, fabulously—which after less than five days on YouTube snagged 1.75 million hits, the latest ordinary-folks-with-talent stunner to hit the Web.”

Eating Dessert First

Watching this video simply instills the importance of “Being JK” . . . that is, being yourself, tossing old notions aside, and doing things with a “so what” passion. And of course, it certainly brought back memories of my own wedding in June 2007.

Bottom line: their entrance was different. Different is memorable. And it’s a wedding, the ultimate celebration and expression of joy and excitement. Thinking that expressing JK Excitement is inappropriate or childish is akin to someone winning the lottery and thinking they should merely utter, “My. I do believe we have won the lottery. This is a dandy day.” No way! Why, of course, you’re going to do with your body what your mind and emotions are feeling! Jump for joy. Do a dance in your jammies. So . . . why walk down that aisle when you can run . . . or dance?

 It’s the red umbrella in a sea of black.

 It’s dessert before dinner.

Doing something unexpected for no reason other than “the mood just struck.”

Daring to be different. Fun, despite the fine: 

Everyone Needs a JK Moment

Everyone should have his or her JK Moment. It doesn’t have to be a dance, garner 1.75 million internet hits or even be about a wedding. Even if it’s just a small expression that’s unique, it’s a moment to be remembered. Whatever it is, it’s got to break away from traditional and say, “the heck with it. This is my/our time to shine!”

Put the “but my mother would never have” and “I’m too old to. . .” notions aside and get on with it. A life built exclusively on others’ (family, media, neighbors, etc.) expectations and standards is not your own.

My JK Moment

What was my recent JK Moment? My own wedding to Adam in June 2007. No, my maid of honor didn’t breakdance down the aisle, but she was gliding . . . gliding on the river as both our ceremony and reception was held aboard a riverboat.

We did not having the traditional church setting or table seating. The atmosphere was relaxed and open; no assigned seating, but two levels of entrances and decks that encouraged mingling, conversation and movement. People moved as freely as our boat, coasting—like our lives—peacefully and with direction.



Our JK Moment was also an attitude. My husband and I promised to each other that on our wedding day, we would make the time to take in the day, despite the rush around us. Furthermore, we vowed not to get caught up in the trivial nonsense like “why Martha’s slice of cake was larger than Lou’s” and such. Our wedding would be just a few hours that would be gone in the blink of an eye and we were not about to let “potato/puh-tah-toe” moments get in the way.

It’s one day. Make it uniquely yours. Reflect the spirit of the bride and groom’s personalities, capture an energy that gets people reminiscing and enjoying themselves. Maintain the elegance of a wedding and honor its serious intent, but have fun with it.  Leap





It’s going to happen. When you have 100 different personalities (or more) at a wedding, or any occasion for that matter, you have that same amount of shouldawouldacouldas. Candles or flowers on the tables? Both? Why isn’t she going with my idea? You’d think she’d have gone with an updo. Who’s the guy with the tats? (That would be my uncle). The food is too hot, the food is too cold. The sunset’s gorgeous. This tasted funny. He smelled funny. That was delicious!  Who were some of her bridesmaids anyway? (Actually, a very fair question to ask of a bride who was a former military brat, living in a half-dozen cities between grade school and high school where friendships formed just as fast as they faded).  Sigh.

So here’s to the JK Moments we’ve all had, or hope to have—and making sure we each experience at least one. 

How are you celebrating your life?

Ren:  [addressing the town council, reading from his notes in the Bible] “From the oldest of times, people danced for a number of reasons. They danced in prayer… or so that their crops would be plentiful… or so their hunt would be good. And they danced to stay physically fit… and show their community spirit. And they danced to celebrate.” And that is the dancing we’re talking about. Aren’t we told in Psalm 149 “Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song. Let them praise His name in the dance”? And it was King David – King David, who we read about in Samuel – and what did David do? What did David do?
[paging frantically through Bible]

Ren:  What did David do?
[audience laughs]

Ren:  “David danced before the Lord with all his might… leaping and dancing before the Lord.”
[smacks table in front of Reverend Moore]

Ren:  *Leaping* and *dancing*.
[stands up straight]

Ren:  Ecclesiastes assures us… that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to laugh… and a time to weep. A time to mourn… and there is a time to dance. And there was a time for this law, but not anymore. See, this is our time to dance. It is our way of celebrating life. It’s the way it was in the beginning. It’s the way it’s always been. It’s the way it should be now.


Jennifer Lilley

Jennifer Lilley, 34, says as much as she liked this video, she can not claim to  bust moves with as much finesse. A self-admitted cross between Seinfeld’s dancing Elaine and a “Risky Business” closet dancer, Jen would rather watch others dance for laughs and fun.


© Jennifer Lilley and Jen Lilley’s Thought Buffet, 2009.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Lilley and Jen Lilley’s Thought Buffet with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.