Couples who look to elope to New York have a certain zest for life, but my recent bride and groom Anne and John took it to new heights—literally. A number of weeks ago, I received a rather perfunctory query about a ceremony for a couple visiting New York from St. Louis. It was a lazy Sunday evening when I responded to the email with a quick phone call….and my celebrancy practice will never be quite the same.
I immediately hit it off with the gregarious groom, perhaps because I consider myself an honorary St. Louisan having lived there for a few short years as a child. It turns out that the bride (an Aussie) and groom were former New Yorkers who wanted to elope to the City for a private wedding. Their idea? To have a ceremony sky high during a private helicopter tour of the Big Apple, with take-off set for sunset. Despite some initial butterflies, I enthusiastically accepted the mission! And so it was, the couple, escorted by my friend and colleague photographer Monica Velez, took off from the west side heliport. “Beau,” our trusty pilot, took us on an unbelievably beautiful tour of the City. I was absolutely breathless with the bird’s eye view that we had, hitting all of our couple’s sentimental favorites—Madison Square Garden, where they had met….Radio City Music Hall, where the groom worked……the midtown location of their New York love nest. Along the way, I managed to deliver a brief ceremony that wed our thrill-seeking couple.
The wedding day was divinely inspired, I do believe. The prior day was completely soaked with thunderstorm and the following day was a record-setting October snow storm! Moreover, it turns out that the particular date was the 125th Anniversary of the “birthday” of the Statue of Liberty. Following the helicopter ride, the night sky was filled with fireworks in honor of Lady Liberty. Even more outstanding, their wedding date was the anniversary of the public opening of the beloved St. Louis Arch.
I cannot thank this spectacular couple enough for such an extraordinary opportunity. May we all embrace life with such passion!