Grand entrances to weddings these days include everything from skydiving brides and grooms to, a little more traditional and a lot less breezy, horse-drawn carriages. But last weekend, groom Dan Forshay, a mechanic at Team Saris Performance Marine in Bolton Landing, N.Y., reached Jennika Johnson, his bride-to-be, by offshore raceboat. Forshay’s wedding-day ride to the Chelka Lodge, about two miles from the Saris shop on the shores of Lake George, came courtesy of Johnny Saris, the driver of the 30-foot V-bottom he campaigns with his father and throttleman, Jason, on the Offshore Powerboat Association circuit.
Joining Forshay (center) for his final raceboat ride as a single man were Johnny Saris (right) and groomsman Jamison Duffy. Photos courtesy/copyright Jason Saris.
“I have seen a lot of people arrive at their weddings by wooden boat,” said Forshay, who came up with his wedding-day transportation idea three months ago. “I was like, ‘Forget that, I like power.’ I thought arriving by raceboat with a 30-foot roostertail would be better a better way to make a production of it.”
As it happened, Saris and his father needed every bit of the lead time they had to prepare the boat for the event, as it was in “typical off-season condition,” meaning its engines were out of the boat and its drives were “in pieces.” They worked on the 30-footer several days a week before the shop opened and in the evenings after it closed, and by the time the Forshays’ big day came it was ready.
Saris throttled, Forshay drove and Jamison Duffy, one of his groomsmen, took the navigator slot normally reserved for the Saris Racing team’s Vern French.
Sometimes making a grand entrance to a wedding means arriving by boat, in this case an offshore raceboat.
“We did a wide-open throttle fly-by, then did a wide, hard turn and came back and made a pass to wave at everyone,” Saris said. “Then we came back to the dock. Dan got out of the boat and literally walked up and got married.
“It was a beautiful ceremony,” he added. “The sun was shining on the Chelka Lodge, but when I brought the raceboat home to the shop, just two miles away, it was pouring.”
Forshay did invite his bride to join him for the grand entrance, but she declined.
“She didn’t want to mess up her hair,” he said. “I didn’t care about mine.”