Manhattan Penthouse Ceremony

Presiding over ceremonies in very cool lofts is certainly a perk of this job.  The Manhattan Penthouse at Fifth Avenue and 14th Street is no exception.  The view is nice, but the simple elegance and location sets the space apart from others.  Here is the prelude to my couple’s ceremony last night:

This pair met during a post-doc interview nearly three years ago. At the time, Vanessa thought Brian smart, but crazy. These initial assumptions sharpened as they debated the legitimacy of Brian’s chosen field in biology. But Vanessa came to admire Brian’s boldness: he was willing to confront authorities to potentially foster an innovative path. Brian was also fortunate to find someone whose skills would enrich his own. And here is the core of their strength as a couple: Vanessa and Brian brilliantly complement each other.

Nonetheless, no one could predict with certainty the prospect of this day back then. Brian’s subtle crush on Vanessa was met with hesitation due to his occasional tendencies to be abrupt. For about four months, wariness curtailed the further development of their friendship. Co-workers, as we all know, probably should not date anyway. And yet work provided the forum in which Vanessa witnessed Brian’s hidden interior. Brian’s disposition, she learned, softens with those closest to him. Vanessa came to understand that Brian is a nice guy; he is caring. His endeavors to refine technology to enable a prolonged lifespan for mere humans are the hopes of a romantic dreamer with inventive visions of the future when ‘we will live forever.’ When Vanessa relaxed enough to plant a seed of fondness for Brian, their connection deepened.

For the first time, Vanessa found a scientist with whom she could chat playfully and insightfully about the sacred and the profane – the intellectual and commonplace. Forehead arching chats gave way to passionate debates about the Celtics and Lakers. Over a game and amazing raviolis, Vanessa’s doubts about mingling among co-workers began to erode.

More serious backdrops ultimately quickened the pace for their bond to transform into shared love. A personal tragedy became a reminder that emotional turmoil should not be an excuse to hibernate, but rather to strive for happiness. As the cliché suggests: “Life is too short to pass by the good things.” After a viewing of the melancholic movie,The Reader, Brian kissed Vanessa. And she kissed back.

Since then, the ways by which the two complement each other have grown more transparent. Vanessa is serious; Brian is a kid at heart. She is quiet; he is outspoken. At the same time, although they express themselves divergently, both are generous and supportive. They are able to stay compassionate when times get tough. For these reasons and more, neither wishes to wait much longer to marry.

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