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GENERAL HOSPITAL luke laura wedding sized

It was 40 (!) years ago November 16 that General Hospital threw the wedding of the millennium. But to those of us who were there โ€” well, watching, anyway โ€” it seems like only yesterday.

Great Expectations
While on one side of Port Charles, young divorcรฉe Laura Baldwin was admiring her beautiful gown, on the other, her groom Luke Spencer was making an announcement to anyone within earshot: โ€œHello, Port Charles,โ€ he hollered from his balcony. โ€œLucas Lorenzo Spencer, king of the single life, is giving it up today!โ€

Though nothing could wipe the smile from Lauraโ€™s face, she did admit to her mother Lesley Webber that she was troubled by Helena Cassadineโ€™s visit to Port Charles. Since her husband had died in Luke and Lauraโ€™s successful attempt to keep the madman from freezing the world, she knew that Helena couldnโ€™t have flown in to offer her best wishes.

Something Borrowed, Someone Cruel
How right Laura was, the Cassadine matriarch cursed the couple โ€” and would continue to haunt them for decades after. But thatโ€™s another story for another dayโ€ฆ

Before the ceremony, Luke paid a visit to Ruby Spencer, the beloved aunt whoโ€™d raised him and sister Bobbie, and promised that even after he had a wife, heโ€™d always need her. Then, at last, it was go time.

helena cassadine GENERAL HOSPITAL, Elizabeth Taylor, 1963-present

Above: For better or cursed, Helena watched the wedding from afar.

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 couldnโ€™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 Lauraโ€™s friends and family what, frankly, they already knew. โ€œThe 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 โ€” love, loyalty and courage.

โ€œTogether in the face of extreme danger to themselves,โ€ he continued, โ€œthey overcame powerful forces that sought to destroy Port Charles and its people, even the entire world.โ€

GENERAL HOSPITAL, Anthony Geary, Nita Talbot, (1981), 1963-, ยฉ ABC / courtesy Everett Collection

Wedding Crasher
Miraculously, no one spoke up when the officiant asked if anyone could show โ€œjust causeโ€ to object to the marriage. After the reception, however, somebody raised a big stink. First, Luke tossed Lauraโ€™s garter โ€” which Rick caught. Thenโ€ฆ

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 Lauraโ€™s divorce, thereby invalidating her marriage to Luke. โ€œThe hell you are,โ€ seethed the groom.

Instead of take the bait that his nemesis was dangling, Luke reassured Laura that they were one โ€” and they always would be. With that, they took off on a honeymoon that they hoped would never end. And we in the audienceโ€ฆ we just sighed dreamily.

โ€˜I Dosโ€™ That Canโ€™t Be Outdone
Even now, all these years later, the wedding of Luke and Laura remains daytimeโ€™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 RSVPโ€™d yes!)

To relive the magic of Luke and Lauraโ€™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.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, Anthony Geary, Jackie Zeman, luke bobbie abc ec

Who Ya Gonna Call?
Luke never wouldโ€™ve laid eyes on his future bride, had scheming sister Bobbie not enlisted the scoundrelโ€™s help to separate her crush Scotty from his significant other, Laura.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, (from left): Kin Shriner, Genie Francis, scotty laura

From โ€˜I Doโ€™ to โ€˜Weโ€™re Doomedโ€™
The honeymoon ended quickly for Scotty and Laura, who found herself fascinated by streetwise Luke, her boss at the Campus Disco.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, from left: Genie Francis, Anthony Geary, (1980), 1963- , ph: Curt Gunther/TV Guide/ยฉABC /Courtesy Everett Collection

It Happened One Night
Thinking that he was a dead man walking, Luke acted on his attraction to Laura in the most awful possible way: He forced himself on the object of his obsession.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, from left: Genie Francis, Anthony Geary, (1980s), 1963- , /ยฉABC /Courtesy Everett Collection

Chillinโ€™
Despite Lukeโ€™s unthinkable act of violence, Laura couldnโ€™t shake her feelings for him. By the time theyโ€™d prevented Mikkos Cassadine from freezing the world, they were madly in love.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, Genie Francis, Anthony Geary, in the wedding episode, 11/16&17/81.

Letโ€™s โ€˜I Doโ€™ It
On November 16, 1981, the wedding of Luke and Laura began. On the guest list: 30 million viewers, the biggest audience in soap history.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, from left: Anthony Geary, Elizabeth Taylor, (1993), 1963- , ph: Craig Sjodin/ยฉABC /Courtesy Everett Collection

Wedding โ€˜Presenceโ€™
An unexpected โ€” and unwanted โ€” guest at the nuptials was Mikkosโ€™ widow, Helena Cassadine (yes, thatโ€™s Elizabeth Taylor). While everyone else made toasts to the happy couple, she cursed them.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, 1963-present, Genie Francis, Anthony Geary, in the wedding episode, 11/16-17/81

Well, โ€˜Aisleโ€™ Be
Despite the Helena-shaped shadow looming over them, Laura made an honest man of Luke. Well, as honest as he was ever gonna get.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, Anthony Geary, Genie Francis, in the wedding episode, luke laura

Ring Leaders
The Spencers immediately got a taste of how tumultuous their married life would be when the brideโ€™s bouquet was caught by none other than her bitter ex, Scotty.

Anthony Geary, Genie Francis"General Hospital" gh luke laura

All Good Things Must Come to an End
In the decades that followed, Luke and Laura gave it a good shot. A lotta good shots, actually. But when Anthony Geary retired in 2015, their love story came to an end.

Jane Elliot, Anthony Geary"General Hospital" SetThe Prospect StudiosABC Studios03/29/17ยฉ XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 13799U.S. Airdate 05/04/17

The Other Woman
When Geary returned to General Hospital in 2017, it was only very briefly, so that as Jane Elliot left, they could reunite the Bickersons, Luke and Tracy Quartermaine.

Jon Lindstrom, Genie Francis"General Hospital" SetThe Prospect StudiosABC Studios03/07/17ยฉ XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 13775U.S. Airdate 03/31/17

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