Celebrate the 39th Wedding Anniversary of General Hospital’s Luke and Laura With a Look Back at the Most-Watched Nuptials in Soap History
ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection
Don’t worry, it’s OK if you didn’t bring a gift.
It was 39 (!) years ago November 16 that General Hospital threw the wedding of the millennium. But to those of us who were there — well, watching, anyway — it seems like only yesterday.
While on one side of Port Charles, young divorcée Laura Baldwin was admiring her beautiful gown, on the other, her groom Luke Spencer was making an announcement to anyone within earshot: “Hello, Port Charles,” he hollered from his balcony. “Lucas Lorenzo Spencer, king of the single life, is giving it up today!”
Though nothing could wipe the smile from Laura’s face, she did admit to her mother Lesley Webber that she was troubled by Helena Cassadine’s visit to Port Charles. Since her husband had died in Luke and Laura’s successful attempt to keep the madman from freezing the world, she knew that Helena couldn’t have flown in to offer her best wishes.
Something Borrowed, Someone Cruel
How right Laura was, the Cassadine matriarch cursed the couple — and would continue to haunt them for decades after. But that’s another story for another day…
Before the ceremony, Luke paid a visit to Ruby Spencer, the beloved aunt who’d raised him and sister Bobbie, and promised that even after he had a wife, he’d always need her. Then, at last, it was go time.
Vow and Forever
As Laura was escorted down the aisle by stepfather Rick Webber, Luke did his best to keep his heart in his chest. He couldn’t believe that the woman of his dreams was strolling toward him, to become his for all time.
When the officiant spoke, he told Luke and Laura’s friends and family what, frankly, they already knew. “The two young people before us, through their love for one another, remind us of what it is that makes life precious to all of us — love, loyalty and courage.
“Together in the face of extreme danger to themselves,” he continued, “they overcame powerful forces that sought to destroy Port Charles and its people, even the entire world.”
Miraculously, no one spoke up when the officiant asked if anyone could show “just cause” to object to the marriage. After the reception, however, somebody raised a big stink. First, Luke tossed Laura’s garter — which Rick caught. Then…
Oh boy. Then, Laura threw her bouquet. Both half sister Amy Vining and pal Tiffany Hill were willing to tackle anybody who came between them and it, yet it was caught by Scotty, the husband Laura had dumped in order to run off with her rapist.
Needless to say, a fight ensued, after which Scotty got what he thought was the last word: He was going to contest his and Laura’s divorce, thereby invalidating her marriage to Luke. “The hell you are,” seethed the groom.
Instead of take the bait that his nemesis was dangling, Luke reassured Laura that they were one — and they always would be. With that, they took off on a honeymoon that they hoped would never end. And we in the audience… we just sighed dreamily.
‘I Dos’ That Can’t Be Outdone
Even now, all these years later, the wedding of Luke and Laura remains daytime’s gold standard, not only a beautifully produced affair full of romance and surprises but the most-watched episodes of daytime television in soap history. (Thirty-million viewers RSVP’d yes!)
To relive the magic of Luke and Laura’s wedding, click on the below photo gallery, which takes you all the way from their inauspicious beginning to that gorgeous ceremony and, finally, their bittersweet ending.