Winter Princess

One of the great things about a Celebrant-led wedding is that the ceremony can be breathtaking and spectacular in unexpected ways. Lately, it seems, there is an emerging interest in so-called theme weddings. The possibilities for these gatherings are only limited by the imagination. Whether a costume ball for a Halloween wedding or an outdoor ceremony reflecting the bride and groom’s fascination with Medieval history, theme weddings can be a breath of fresh air for the couple, guests, and even the officiant.

I was fortunate enough to participate in a themed-type event on Christmas Eve. For those who haven’t been to New York City during the holidays, it is hard to convey just how magical it is. Even during the challenging days of the recession, the retailers, city officials and others, bring out the finest holiday decorations, as they have for so many years. Fifth Avenue, a world class shopping area, has absolutely spectacular decorations from the window displays at Saks Fifth Avenue to the Cartier Jewelry Store, festively wrapped as a package. For blocks and blocks, one will see lights and adornments that, as far as I know, are simply unmatched in other grand cities around the world. Walking north on Fifth Avenue, one will eventually bump into Central Park—always lovely—is especially stunning when blanketed in snow. The crown jewel of the holiday decorations is most certainly Rockefeller Plaza, perfectly placed in midtown Manhattan. With the enormous Christmas tree, skating rink, life-sized nutcrackers, and 50+ waving flags in red, green and gold, the Plaza will turn even the most hardened holiday scrooge into a jolly soul.

On Christmas Eve, Karina and Nick, a lovely young couple from Ohio, harnassed the holiday exuberance at Rockefeller Plaza into a late afternoon wedding ceremony. It was a real delight. Karina, a naturally pretty woman, looked like a winter princess. She wore a beautifully designed strapless white wedding dress with all of the beading and sparkles of a new bride. On her head sat a crystal tiara that would do the Swarovski Company proud. Draped around her shoulders was a custom-made hooded holiday cape—cherry red with white fur trimming. Her bouquet, made in England, included a bundle of winter berries. Even the groom sported a blazing red shirt under his black suit. I was in the spirit with my own red dress.

While the couple planned a private ceremony at the Plaza promenade, with the tree prominently in the background, I knew it would be anything but “private.” Passers-by love to see weddings—always, anytime, and anywhere. And for tourists lucky enough to be in New York for the holiday, a romantic wedding in front of the world’s most famous Christmas Tree is a feast for the eyes and the heart. Those in the area gathered around to be a part of “our” wedding. I could literally see the twinkle in a number of eyes. No doubt these were people renewing their own wedding vows, privately in their hearts. At the end of our sweet ceremony, a tourist and police officer served as our witnesses. The bride and groom were swept away to take photographs at landmarks including St. Patrick’s Cathedral. They completed their evening with a carriage ride around Central Park and dinner at the famed Tavern on the Green. Our couple has returned to family and friends in Ohio, but I know they will cherish their fairy tale wedding for the rest of their lives.

Photograph courtesy of Laura Pennace Photography.