RollerCon Annual Derby Wedding
Friday, meet at 8:30pm on Fremont Street at Main, across from the Plaza Porte Cochere (the big blinky front entrance). *Meet on the Fremont St Experience side, not the Plaza side*
YES YOU CAN WEAR SKATES
The Wedding Procession will make its way East on Fremont St and end up at Hogs & Heifers Saloon, where brides will be united in holey matrimony and then the Reception will commence!
It’s a RollerCon tradition to marry your Derby Wife. But you don’t need to play roller derby to have wife; this ceremony is a total doggone free-for-all & completely open to your interpretation.
Creative wedding attire encouraged.
RSVP on facebook: https://fb.me/e/18E3ylWp8
The Origins of the Derby Wife
by Kasey Bomber, L.A. Derby Dolls
with endnote observations by Ivanna S. Pankin
The tradition started in November 2003, when a load of Derby Dolls went to see the first AZRD bout and the derby wife concept was born.
Now, see, we Derby Dolls (and I imagine/KNOW a whole lot of the rest of you out there) really like to drink. Some of us have been a little further in the barrel than others, and some of us have done so on a 6 hour van trip to Phoenix. Well, my dear friend Evil E and I initiated both the world’s most ill-advised drinking contest and what was very likely the first verified pairing of derby “wives” called as such on that very trip. Yes, yes, a fifth of Jim Beam a piece is likely to not only be accompanied by many “I LOVE YOU, MAN!”s, and all kinds of wall-eyed hooey, but before those bottles got too empty we realized something.
A derby wife is quite simply this –
1. She is the one person in this whole sport of roller derby that the very instant you looked at her, you felt like you’d known her since you were a fetus. She looked just like your best friend from fifth grade, or something she did reminded you of all the things you ever liked in anyone else.
2. She is the first person you’d call if you ever need to get bailed out of jail. (Or in my case, ever need to have an entire legal crusade started in your name.)
3. She’s the one who will be holding back your hair when you puke after drinking too much, and she won’t let anyone take your picture while doing it.
4. She’ll ride in the ambulance with you when you lose a tooth, break your wrist, or tear your ACL. She’ll make you laugh the whole way to the hospital, try to steal your pain medication (lovingly), and sneak your favorite food and a beer into recovery.
5. She’ll make her actual husband understand that if he loves her, he’s gonna have to put up with you, too, no matter how many times you come over forcing him to revisit all the derby-related shows on his Tivo that you missed.
6. She may not even be your best friend in the league or the sport, but she’d be the one you know will be the first one to back you up, even if you’re dead wrong. She’ll just tell you you’ve lost your fucking mind later in private, possibly kick your ass a little bit, and then be the only one who could ever talk your hotheaded ass into some reason.
If you can find more than one derby wife who can meet those needs, then you are lucky indeed, but myself? I’m a one derby wife gal.
Kasey Bomber, LADD
Mrs. Evil E
2023 addendum: A young skater recently asked what the Yahoo Groups line of the vows meant (in the little picture at the top of this page), and if we wanted to update them. Yahoo Groups was (is?) a messageboard system of the ’00s and was the primary communication tool of the founding mothers of DIY roller derby. WFTDA was born there (as the United Leagues Coalition) and so were the first 30 derby leagues. And as such, it’s a crucial historical part of why you’re reading this, even if you never heard of it; without all that RollerCon wouldn’t exist. So we’re not changing our legacy vows, but we did allow that maybe the hosts could update the event vows so that ya’ll kids could understand them. Because we love you!
So, back to it: its become a RollerCon tradition to marry your derby wife, however you define that title. In 2005, at the first RollerCon, a small group wedding was planned in the parking lot of the Double Down. Deez Nutz, a skater from AZRD, who holds a Reverend-ship in the Universal Life Church AND was able to borrow her 10-year- old’s Elvis costume (which I think is the one we still use?!) from the previous Halloween, officiated at the steps to the parking lot of the punk rock bar.
But what we thought would be 10 or 12 brides ended up being a couple hundred girls and a handful of boys, as well. The parking lot was filled over and spilling out with brides in homemade dresses, toilet paper trains, bottle-cleaner tiaras… and of course, skates.
There were two weddings at the 2006 RollerCon, one officiated by Hurt Reynolds and the other by Deez Nutz. Both commenced with a Wedding Procession, each well over 100 couples long, from the Plaza Hotel, down Fremont to the steps of Hogs and Heifers, where brides were joined in blissful union.
2007 and 2008 both took place in the Double Down back porch, with Refelvis (2007) officiating over hundreds of skaters including the first league-to-league marriage – when Sacred City married the Bay Area. Dumptruck Elvis and Razorslut aka Pricilla officiated 2008, which marked another first, when Emerald City (the entire league) married the same lucky skater, Ms. Goodie 2 Skates. Pricilla returned to preside over 2009’s wedding, marrying another batch of hundreds of brides at the steps of the Double Down.
In 2023 we’re going BACK downtown! We’re so excited that this year’s wedding is upon us! Who will make an honest bride out of their future derby wife this year? Which lovely couple with have the best and most creative wedding attire? And who will claim the unofficial title of most ridiculous derby marriage? Will it be YOU?