Last night, I watched the romantic favorite “The Vow,” with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. I suspect my readers will have seen the movie, which is based on the real life couple….deeply in love, the couple meets a cruel twist of fate when, injured in a car accident, the bride can no longer remember her husband.
The movie begins with sentimental scenes of their wedding. Surrounded by a band of quirky friends, the handsome groom and his bride, pretty in pink, are exchanging vows in the Art Institute of Chicago.. As they prepare to receive the declaration of marriage (and the all-important kiss) several museum security guards notice the wedding party. Abruptly, they all scatter.
I had to smile as this felt like it was a page taken out of my life as a celebrant. Several February’s ago, I was approached by a stealthy groom who was eager to marry his European bride. He expected about a half dozen family members and friends to join in the affair. I am used to these simple, small weddings (which normally take place in the park or some other public location, or at a hotel or private home). But when I quizzed the groom on the location….he boldly stated that he’d picked out a series of Monet paintings at MOMA, and this is where the wedding was to be. I’m all for a challenge, but I did warn the groom that this is not standard practice for a NY institution of high culture. Obviously there are no permits to be granted for such an affair and that our luck would probably boil down to the attitudes of the particular security guards who were “policing” the area. I wasn’t sure how all of this was going to go, but I met the couple and their entourage at the museum and made our way to Monet’s water lilies. The bride was….how shall we say, rather conspicuous. The wedding was short, and sweet, but very nice. As we prepared to change vows, everyone around was on to us. The security guards sauntered by and gave knowing glances. But, it all ended up just fine.
Last year, I officiated a similar ceremony. The very wonderful couple, captured in this artistic photo, had staked out an area in the sculpture garden for secret ceremony. Although the folks enjoying the garden were “on to us” they got hitched, without a hitch.