Why an actual priest instead of, like, an actor priest? According to Coppola, it's because he shot a version of the scene with a fake priest and wasn't happy with the result. And instead of getting a better actor to play the priest, he decided to whisk everyone down to a nearby church and have them do the ceremony for "realsies" ... not realizing that pinky-swears don't annul marriage vows.
At first Keanu thought he was being pranked ... until Winona reminded him that not only was their fake-ass ceremony conducted on Valentine's Day, but they also recited their vows and replied "yes" to that all-important question. Keanu, being Keanu, replied in the most on-brand way: "Oh my gosh, we're married."
While this situation raises the question of how many other screen marriages might have been legal, it's good that neither Keanu nor Winona went on to marry other people after filming concluded. We're really looking forward to Stranger Things and Bill And Ted 3, and it'd be a shame if filming was interrupted by the cops busting them for polygamy.
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