Regularly, I receive emails and calls from couples, those from America and those from other countries, who are in a bit of a panic. They’ve made plans to elope in New York, expecting to marry at the City Clerk’s office, only to find that the bureau is closed on weekends and government holidays. All of a sudden, these brides and grooms are scurrying to come up with a Plan B! Such was the case with Laura and Bruce, a lovely young couple from Scotland.
My bride and groom—and 30 of their loved ones—were coming to New York in mid-October for a fabulous trip to the Big Apple to watch the young couple tie the knot. Only weeks before their trip did the couple learn that their wedding date, Monday, October 13, was Columbus Day, a legal holiday in the States. In a harried state, the couple reached out to me. As I calmed them, I actually suggested that this was a “blessing in disguise.” I said, “Once you go to the Clerk’s office to get your license, you’ll be glad to be having a sweet, personalized ceremony at an alternate location.” Now working with me, I offered the luxury of rethinking the ceremony. Unlike the formulaic, impersonal, and ultra-brief ceremony downtown, we could create something special for their big day. After all, everyone was making a great effort to attend this wedding.
And so we started from scratch. We started with a nifty, romantic location in Central Park. Bruce and Laura selected personalized vows for the day. We also included a delighted re-telling of the couple’s romantic “story”…their meeting, courtship, proposal of marriage in the Big Apple, hopes for the future, and more. We incorporated a handfasting ceremony in the wedding, using a ribbon with the groom’s family tartan. The bride’s brother did a reading that the bride selected especially for him. I was able to find a jazz saxophone player that played music requested by the bride for her processional and for post-wedding music, as we toasted their union. I brought cake and bubbles and more. It was lovely. Don’t you agree?