PHILADELPHIA, March 28 (UPI) -- A Philadelphia couple, honoring a deceased loved one, got married at his funeral, in a surprise ceremony that astonished 850 onlookers in the church.
The marriage of Reggie Wade, 39, and his bride, Monique McMillan-Wade, 29, took place this month at the funeral of Wade's uncle, Gregory "Chops" Scott, who was shot to death Feb. 27, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Thursday.
Before his death, Scott promised to walk the bride down the aisle, because her father had died years ago.
Wade said he and McMillan-Wade chose to honor Scott's promise by combining their wedding with his funeral.
"We keep our promises, and he promised to give her away," said Scott's widow, Alfreda Johnson-Scott. "And he was dressed for the occasion."
Scott was a community leader and drill master of the Gold Coast Buccaneers marching drill team in West Philadelphia, and his funeral attracted 2,000 mourners and four drill teams, closing the city's Pine Street and overwhelming the First Corinthian Baptist Church, the newspaper said.
During the 4-hour funeral service, the Rev. Caleb Johnson announced: "If you came to this looking for a funeral as usual, you're in the wrong place. This is going to be one for the books."
He then married Wade and McMillan-Wade as they stood before the casket. The bride and groom each wore black and gold T-shirts, Buccaneer colors, with Scott's picture on the front, the newspaper said.