Last night I had the honor of marrying the stunning Tina and Greg. Much about the wedding was “Quintessential New York.” The rooftop ceremony was held at the “Fashion Hotel” in the garment district. The stunning sunset views honored the couple’s love of our great City and our bride’s passion for the world of fashion, as she is a professional stylist. Many guests were from that industry and were a feast for the eyes. (I came to realize that these people were as beautiful on the inside as they were on the outside.)
The bride is from a wonderfully traditional Filipino family, and in honor of her Heritage, Tina incorporated the tradition of a veil and cording ceremony. This custom is quite beautiful and is a sweet opportunity to include special guests in the ritual. The cord and veiling are situated in the ceremony before the vow and ring exchanges. In our slightly modified version the mothers of the bride and groom served as the veil “sponsors.” As such they were called before the guests to gently place a beautiful tulle veil gently on the shoulders of the bride and groom. The description of the veil calls to mind the union of the couple and the protection of love they experience from their beloved community. Two very special friends, including one who introduced the bride and groom, were appointed the cord sponsors. They placed a specially created cord around the necks of the couple. The cord is designed in a “figure 8,” the recognizable infinity sign. The cord signifies the strength of the couple’s love and the literal “tying of the knot.” Like the round ring exchanged later in the ceremony, the infinity sign of the rope shows the unending nature of the love. The cord and veil are removed before the more standard vows, but I am certain that it is a highlight of the ceremony for guests who are not familiar with the custom. And of course is a moving tribute to her family of origin which nurtured a childhood with many memories from their ancestral homeland.
I look forward to seeing photos of the ritual from the wedding, but a shot from the rehearsal earlier in the day gives a hint of the visual feast offered to those in attendance.