One if by Land, Two if by Sea (Manhattan restaurant wedding)

I really like this restaurant for small weddings, perhaps 20-65.  So did my couple yesterday.  The soft ambiance is wonderful; the brick, slightly odd room shapes, high ceilings, and fireplaces really feel “classic New York.”  According to my groom, if you have a wedding with fifty guests, you can have the entire restaurant, which includes three rooms: a ceremony room; bar area; seating itself; and a balcony for either cocktails or something else.  To sweeten the deal, couples receive the…PIANIST.  Extra cool.

Here is their “surprise” personalized ceremony:

We gather here to finally celebrate the joining of Diane and Ron into marriage.

Let us rewind time to 2002 when Ron and Diane bought each other through

At the time, Ron suffered from a bit of marriage-phobia; he was “single, alone, tired, and sad.” Diane wondered whether she could ever meet a “nice guy,” and if she did, if she would ever deserve him.

But in each other, both found a considerate and fun companion. Ron called when he said he would and planned the next date before the current date ended. Over the next months, Ron and Diane endured trips between New Jersey and Queens, long chats, and discovered a shared fondness for impromptu performances to eighties music, such as dancing to MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This.” It did not take long for their affectionate commitment to become obvious.

Ron and Diane, any couple who cherishes antiques – who values the old along with the new – is a couple ready to marry. Every person, object, tree, and creature comes with a story. A Bill Cosby sweater, a sewing machine, a pillow, and a century-old windowpane included. Crafted with labor and molded by experience, all are gifts to be appreciated and treated with tenderness.

Likewise, you cultivate your loving friendship in gratitude and compassion. Despite pragmatic tendencies overall, shared romantic sentiments have softened you as a couple. Indeed, Lake Placid’s special brand of moonlight built a natural, magical canopy underneath which Ron proposed.

Ron, Diane admires the strength of your convictions. She appreciates how you help pull her out of a bad mood. With patience, you endure her Q-Z moments and obsession with being neat; with grace, you are able to diffuse uncomfortable situations. You keep promises to yourself and others. Without complaint or expectations, you fix things. In a world gone mad with procrastination, you are the perfect landlord who is happy to heal a leaky pipe. In fact, a fire extinguisher has a permanent place in your car just in case it’s needed.

A quick walk easily turns long as you stoop to ruffle the ears of a dog and chat with those encountered. At the same time, you know how to have fun and be silly. Everyone you encounter feels encircled by your enthusiasm and happiness. Indeed, Diane finds your fascination, curiosity, and laughter infectious. You are the most unique person Diane has ever met, and she will proudly call you her husband. You are “the one” for her.

Diane, Ron searched for a tall, Italian girl around his age. He was lucky enough to find you. After the first date, he awakened invigorated with a fresh, new energy. It took only a few weeks for him to feel as though “you would be a keeper.” Ron admires your intelligence and independence. He appreciates his daily life with you too. Together, you agree, disagree, fight, and love: in other words, you have a real, genuine relationship.

You are his life, his best friend, and accomplice in good-willed mischief. He loves to make you laugh. You are worth any effort. With no one else does Ron feel as though he may let his guard slip. With you as his advocate, his fears begin to melt and his imagination opens up. You are the most unique person Ron has ever met, and he will proudly call you his wife. You are “the one” for him.

Ron and Diane, you know each other quite well. You understand each other’s flaws and potential. Neither feels judged harshly by the other. Rather, you feel one another’s warm, comforting support. The love you share inspires both to notice all that is wonderful in the world. It is a liberating kind of love because you embolden each other. When you took the risk of meeting, both took the risk of falling in love. This is perhaps the most significant risk you could take: you allowed yourselves to be vulnerable. Yet, you received the gift of each other.

From this day forward, whenever you are apart, your minds will sing:

Home, let me come home. Home is whenever I’m with you. Home, yes I am home. Home is wherever I’m with you. Take me home. I’m coming home. I follow you into the park, thru the jungle, thru the dark. Girl aint never loved one like you. Moats and boats and waterfalls, alleyways and payphone calls. I been everywhere with you. Laugh until we think we’ll die, barefoot on a summer night–never could be sweeter than with you.”

The home you build together will emerge mutual admiration, encouragement, kindness, help, care, generosity, and, above all, the creation of song-and-dance routines complete with off-beat props.

With these thoughts in mind, I will request your consent:

Ron, do you take Diane as your wife? Do you promise to share her joys, lighten her burdens, respect her, laugh with her, and celebrate her achievements for all the days of your life?

Diane, do you take Ron as your husband? Do you promise to share his joys, lighten his burdens, respect him, laugh with him, and celebrate his achievements for all the days of your life?

May we have the rings, please?

May these rings remind you always of the home you create together.

Diane and Ron, your friendship has the strength to withstand any calamity life may bring. You know that marriage is messy. The trick is to at once accept the more annoying habits of our partners and try not to be too annoying ourselves.

Fortunately, you like each other too much not to marry. Already you have welcomed each other’s perceived greatness and strangeness.

May you continue to enjoy marveling at natural wonders. May Diane win most Scrabble games. May you play well together. May you work well together. May you be polite to each other. And may you grow in love by remaining young in spirit.

By the authority that the State of New York entrusts onto me, I may now pronounce you “husband and wife.”

Please feel free to celebrate with a kiss.

Signing of License


You did such a marvelous job melding our 2 stories into a memorable, personal ceremony. In fact, many of our guests commented that it was the nicest, most loving ceremony they had ever witnessed.

Thanks again for your wonderful touch. We’ll remember it always!


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