Emerging congruently with the economic boom and strengthening middle class in the immediate post-WWII era, the white wedding –a church ceremony followed by a formal gala in a catering hall or hotel reception– is historically new. Whether residing in the working or upper class one hundred years ago, most couples joined their lives quietly in a morning ceremony at home or in church, had some breakfast, and then either went on a honeymoon tour or onwards to their home.
Still, the diversity of today’s weddings is staggering when contrasted to the past. For political, financial, and cultural reasons, choices abound. And, more importantly, overall acceptance of individual variances in weddings is increasing.
You can marry in jeans at home or a gorgeous dress in a Starbucks or a blush evening gown in a park. You can carry no flowers, real flowers, artificial flowers, paper flowers, a broach bouquet, a book, or your cell. You can just say “I do” or write personal vows in a civil or spiritual ceremony anywhere you’d like. You can skip rings, use wooden rings, get tattoos, or go platinum. A violinist or trio or DJ or jazz singer can sing as you walk or dance or stroll towards your ceremony space alone, with a parent, friend, child, or your spouse-to-be. You can sit on grass or stand on a rooftop while you exchange vows. You can have a priest and rabbi preside over your vows. You can enlist a female or male or transgendered person to marry you without any hassle. You can marry someone in your own culture or someone with a different ethnicity. In New York, you can marry *anyone* you love.
And I’m happy to help you with anything imagined. I cannot be completely branded as offbeat, but I am certainly far from a cookie-cutter celebrant or minister or priest or rabbi or judge. If you want a classic service in a park, I’d be honored to officiate. If you want to wear pajamas at home or in your hotel lobby, I will keep everything relaxed and informal. If you dream of a quick guerrilla elopement in MoMA or the Metropolitan Musem of Art, I will be your accomplice. And even if you want to renew your vows decked out with your kids surrounding you on the beach, I’m delighted to oblige.