The first clue that something unusual was in the works was the number of formally dressed men and women loitering near the live stage next to the White Rock museum and archives.
There were dozens of them, the men in suits and women in bridal gowns.
It was a blisteringly hot Sunday afternoon at the Spirit of the Sea Festival, and at least five photographers and one videographers were also lurking with intent.
Local singer-songwriter Neil Harnett was playing on stage, dropping a few hints about some kind of special event coming up.
Moments after Harnett announced he was taking a break, music started playing through the stage speakers.
Alina Kouneva started the dance in her wedding gown, leading a group of women on the lawn in a choreographed routine.
Then it was the turn of her fiancé, Kevin Tremblay, who danced his response from the stage.
It was a flash mob, which is defined by Wikipedia as “a group of people who assemble suddenly in a place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression.”
But this was hardly pointless.
The music stopped playing and the couple then tied the knot onstage with marriage commissioner Gloria Gordy performing the ceremony.
The two Crescent Beach residents had written their own vows, and when they were done reciting them, the just-married husband and wife launched one last dance before leaving the stage.
Afterwards, Gordy told Peace Arch News she had never officiated at a flash mob wedding before.
“This was a first for me,” Gordy said.
“Every wedding is unique, but this is one of the most unique I’ve performed.”
Gordy said the couple had planned to hold their wedding on White Rock’s west beach without realizing the festival would be underway the same day.
They contacted festival organizers, who arranged to coordinate the Kouneva-Tremblay nuptials with the scheduled music show.