The end of the year finds all of us, I think, in a wistful and sentimental mood…thinking about special moments, those we’ve loved, hopes and dreams and more. Retrospectives and lists of all sorts dot publications, television programs, and social media. For me, it is a time, to think in sweeping terms about my celebrancy work.
The weddings have come, one after the next, in rapid pace fashion, largely due to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Gay couples who’d been “thinking about” getting married, came to New York by the scores. And, I was lucky to marry so many from places like Tennessee, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, my beloved Oklahoma and more. Adventurous couples came to the Big Apple from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan and many points in Europe including Scotland, Ireland, France, Sweden, and England to tie the knot.
Some couples wanted their wedding vows at iconic, but off-beat, locations such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, the Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock, while others chose more conventional venues. Our nuptials unfolded at hotels like the London, Hotel Giraffe, Kitano, Roosevelt, NoMad, Greenwich, Ink 48, and the Dream Hotel. Many restaurants including Aquivit, Cork Buzz, ici, Freeman’s, the Russian Tea Room, and Craft hosted affairs of varying sizes. Some of my couples opted for classic venues such as the Tennis & Racquet Club on Park Avenue, Gotham Hall, 3 West Club, The Foundry, de Seversky Mansion, 520 Loft and Garden, All Souls Church, and the Yale Club. Beyond the abundance of weddings in Central Park, my brides and grooms opted for other outdoor locations be it the Brooklyn or Bronx Botanic Gardens, Prospect Park Boathouse, or the little parks that dot the Brooklyn side of the East River. And, of course there were weddings outside the metropolitan area on Long Island, and in Connecticut and New Jersey. I had an opportunity to marry a couple at a golf lover’s dream—Winged Foot, the famed course in Westchester County. And, I even officiated a first-ever wedding on a float in the Steuben German-American Parade in September!
As part of my personal retrospective, I decided to decorate a little tree with framed ornaments of my brides and grooms. It is a happy, festive reminder of the wonderful people who entrusted a special moment to me, an honor to be sure. I wish for them all many years of health, happiness, and prosperity. And for 2014, may they enjoy innumerable happy surprises!
Enjoy a sampling of these happy couples in the video clip below. (Note: I’ve noticed that these videos may be fussy on certain browsers, but Google Chrome manages nicely.)