When JP Armstrong sent a 1:30 a.m. email to Deb Larson detailing his idea to perform a series of weddings aboard a parade float, she couldn't stop laughing.
"I can't think of a better story to tell people years from now," said Larson, a member of the Afton Parade committee.
Now the Afton Fourth of July Parade is taking a romantic turn.
Armstrong, a local wedding minister whose resume spans more than a decade of wild and exotic weddings, will be marrying people as the float scoots down St. Croix Trail during the annual parade.
Couples who want to tie the knot or renew their vows can sign up ahead of time or simply hop aboard the tuxedo-colored float, dubbed the 'Love Float,' as it rolls in front of thousands of parade-goers.
The 'Love Float' will include a DJ, church pews for wedding guests and an arch. "It's pretty much everything you'd see at a backyard wedding," Armstrong said.
A Lake St. Croix Beach resident, Armstrong said officiating weddings gives him a sense of satisfaction by helping people who want a customized wedding. His father was a minister, so it was only fitting he followed that path, he said.
He's performed everything from traditional weddings to helping a couple elope at a music festival. He does it all for free.
But as far as marrying people in front of an audience of more than a thousand people, "I've never done anything like this before," he said.
The Love Float will welcome all couples, and those wanting to tie the knot officially can bring along a marriage license for Armstrong to sign.
Organizers will also be holding a post-parade reception in Town Square Park to give a champagne toast to newlyweds. Larson said she's working on finding a big enough wedding cake.
Couples interested in signing up to for marriage can contact Armstrong at 612-406-2106 or JpArmstrong@rocketmail.com.
More information about the parade is available at aftonparade.com.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Armstrong's phone number.