This is one of the coolest weddings that I've done in all the years - friends referred two couples to me from Atlanta who were coming up to New York - one couple had had a ceremony but it wasn't legal, and the other were getting married for the first time. As they were hundreds of miles away, I wasn't able to consult with them much before the ceremony except with one of the grooms, Chris, via email.
As it turned out, Chris and Jon wanted a more non-traditional ceremony and Reed and Topher wanted something more traditional - but Chris was the father of Reed. So I would be marrying father and son to their respective boyfriends with two different ceremonies in two different locations in Central Park all in the same hour on November 8th, 2013 (three years ago today and on the 2nd anniversary of my first wedding!).
I married Chris and Jon in a quiet ceremony in Wagner's Cove - very intimate with just a few close friends looking on. Then, we all walked across the park to Bethesda Fountain for the ceremony of Reed and Topher. Chris and Jon had been together many years, but Reed and Topher had only been together for a couple years. There was a part inside of me that envied how normal it would be for their generation (in their 20s)... that it would never be like it was for Chris and Jon (and myself and my contemporaries).
Anyway, we arrived at Bethesda Fountain and the guys looked so shiny and fresh in their suits, it was almost like I was their dad, too. Off in the distance, below the bridge, a guitarist started playing 'Amazing Grace' and the three of us - Reed, Topher, and I - smiled at each other feeling that there was Something Else at work conspiring to make this day a little extra special. We all sort of teared up together but, pressed on after some nervous laughter... but by the end, we were all in tears. By the time we got our composure and finished, a crowd had gathered along the bridge above us and down the side stairways, but we didn't see them, so intent we were on experiencing the ceremony. It wasn't until I pronounced them married, and a thunderous applause that we even knew they were there. It was kind of like all the saints and apostles had come down from the eternal to bless this marriage of these two young gay men who were so in love with each other. As you can imagine, there was not a dry eye in the wedding party.
As the two couples and their friends, went one way, I walked through the Park, back to my day job, and smiled in the autumn leaves. I knew that we had all been changed by this. Profoundly. And that, in my opinion, is what marriage is all about.