Surprise! It’s Your Wedding

Sarah Ritchie Elopement, featured post, Real Stories, slider

As the Polar Vortex rolled through America this week, I was called to review photos from snowy elopements of years gone by.  I came across this beauty and it made me reflect on a couple of unusual “surprise” weddings I’ve had over the years, including this one.

Twice in my long career as a wedding officiant and Celebrant, I’ve had ambitious and uber-romantic grooms plan surprise NYC elopements for their loves.  In this case, the groom was planning a New York trip with his partner and their child.  Unbeknownst to her, he invited other members of the family to join him in the Big Apple.  With family gathered round in their beautiful suite at the Waldorf=Astoria, he asked for her hand in marriage!  With my consultation, he had dutifully brought all the required paper work from home.  We’d planned the wedding, including location photographer and such.  The bride’s only job was to find a wedding dress, during the days leading up to the wedding!  As you see, it was a chilly, but spectacular event—one that will be a cherished memory for all who were there.

More recently, an American groom from the South, brought his beloved to the city for a “holiday.”  He suggested they visit Central Park (despite it being a very cold day!), after taking in art at the Metropolitan museum.  As they ambled toward the Bethesda Fountain, they were greeted by about a half-dozen of their closest friends.  At that point, the groom (armed with wedding bands) asked her to marry him!  We had a ceremony immediately!  The groom and I secretly worked together so that the ceremony was personalized to the couple.  Immediately after the wedding, the couple rushed to the New York City Clerk’s office to secure a marriage license.  After meeting the 24 hour waiting requirement, I met them at their hotel where we signed the papers.  Now, this isn’t a plan that will work for every couple, but it surely is an epic romantic gesture!  But these extraordinary memories rushed back to me during this historic cold snap!  de