I recently had the pleasure of marry an off-beat couple from Idaho. From start to finish, their unique elopement expressed their distinctive style and joie de vivre. Their love story started on Friday, September 13, 2001. Twelve years later (also a Friday the 13th), they were making lifetime promises at the Top of the Rock, 70 floors (850 feet) above Manhattan.
The wedding celebration of Jessica and Eric started with a photo shoot with the awesome Laura Pennace. The bride and groom arrived to Times Square with coordinating black and red wedding attire. They strolled about Midtown, staging iconic shots. All along the way, Laura snapped adorable photographs at locations featuring the number “13,” which the couple considered their lucky number.
Joined by a handful of their closest loved ones, the couple launched into the evening sky for a “private” ceremony at the now famous 30 Rock. The wedding script, which I read with the aid of my flashlight app on my IPhone, was playful, developed specifically for the self-described “nerdy” couple. I included two distinctive readings for the love birds. The first, by the children’s author Charlotte Zolotow, was “Some Things Go Together.” I closed the ceremony with a reading by J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the fantasy novel The Hobbit. Along the way, the groom presented his beloved with a wedding ring….that she’d never seen before!
The “I Dos” and kiss were followed by a spontaneous high five by the couple. The “reception,” if you will, took place in the Rockefeller Center concourse, just outside of the Starbucks. We toasted Eric and Jessica with sparkling apple cider (no alcohol allowed at 30 Rock) and a spectacular gluten-free cake prepared by the award-winning Vegan Treats Bakery, delivered all the way from Philadelphia! As the bride and groom signed the marriage license (and their guests showered them with festive bubbles), the Monty Python jokes flew at warp speed.
This out-of-the-box approach to tying the knot isn’t for everyone, but as you’ll see in the video below, it suited these soul mates to a T. So, I say to my love birds, “Mazel Tov!” “Bravo!” “Félicitations!” “Herzlichen Glückwunsch!” “Congratulazioni!”
For those interested in such a wedding experience, I should add a post-script: landmark buildings like the Top of the Rock and Empire State Building don’t officially sanction wedding ceremonies. However, in my experience, brides and grooms are met with a wink and a smile, easily passing through security.