12/30/10: Tom & Kristy 10th Anniv.

What an excellent adventure--
I conspired with Groom Tom

to surprise his Bride Kristy

with a *surprise* 10th Anniversary Vow Renewal in Grand Central--featured in NY Daily News!

Tom & Kristy have been married 10yrs and have 3 sons. When they were 1st married, they really wanted

to do the ceremony at Grand Central, but it was beyond their budget. On the day of their wedding upstate, there was a big winter blizzard that kept many guests from attending.

On their 10th anniversary, Tom & Kristy planned to "restage"

their wedding with a photo session at Grand Central.

Kristy had NO IDEA that Tom contacted me, to surprise her,

to renew their vows!

She was totally overcome with emotion and we had a beautiful

ceremony. On a side note: how GREAT do these two look

10yrs later in their SAME wedding dress & tux?!!

I am so inspired by Tom's romanticism and his love for his wife,

and the vibrant, exciting, true LOVE that Tom & Kristy

have shared for 10yrs. I hope they contact me

to renew their vows again on their *20th* anniversary!

Warm regards you two, you have truly touched my heart!

With love, Rev. Annie NYC

12/18/10: Jaxie & Dan 5th Anniversary

Jaxie is a good friend from my online life! We met in a pop culture literature chat group in the 1990s :) It was an honor to offiicate Jaxie & Dan's wedding ceremony in PA in 2005.

This holiday season I was delighted to renew Jaxie & Dan's vows of marrige on their 5th Anniversary in Allentown, Pa on the set of Civic Theatre's A Christmas Carol

The bride & groom spoke the same vows they shared 5yrs ago, and in addtion, added new, personal vows to their commitment to each other.

We were joined by two friends who supported them and took photos & video. Afterwards, they had lunch in the neighborhood, and I went to my family Christmas party!

It's touching to witness the sincerity, attention, and affection Jaxie & Dan give to their relationship. They have told me to "save the date" for their 10th anniversary vow renewal in 2015!

Many blessings you two, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
With love, Rev. Annie NYC

11/28/10: Thanksgiving Wedding

Congratulations Thanksgiving weekend Bride & Groom, married today in their neighborhood Hell's Kitchen/Clinton in NYC! This couple shares a great New York love story-- they met in their neighborhood while walking their dogs. They got their puppies together for play dates, and thought "we should date too!" They celebrated their wedding today in the presence of their closest family members from the Northeast & Nebraska. The bride's friend Leah Lund Photographer came to NYC from upstate NY especially for the ceremony. Have camera, *will travel*. Her website is beautiful, and I look forward to seeing her wedding photos! We celebrated the wedding at a wine bar in the couple's neighborhood, Casellula (52nd & 9th), an intimate, cozy space with exposed brick walls, and a large picture window front that looks out onto the city sidewalk, passing yellow taxi cabs, pedestrians, and double decker midtown tour buses. Family members arrived in winter coats-- it's cold now in NYC! The tables were set with fall flower centerpieces for brunch immediately following the ceremony. The bride arrived escorted by her father, and we greeted her with applause. She joined hands with her groom, and we had a sweet, tender, emotional wedding. The bride had tears running down her cheek as she spoke her vows. The couple chose the reading "The Art of a Good Marriage," shared after the vow & ring exchange. I always like reading this one-- sensible & sensitive advice to the couple on keeping love alive throughout the years. The groom & bride had one attendant each, who witnessed their license following hugs & kisses with everyone at the end of the ceremony. Then the bride changed into her cowgirl boots ! I love it! After a champagne toast, the couple shared a romantic first dance that demonstrated their sincere love for each other. It's truly inspiring to me to be in the presence of such love. How beautiful. As a wedding keepsake, instead of a guest book the couple brought a guitar case for everyone's signature & wedding blessings. That's a first for me--great idea! Best wishes for many years of happiness you two--may you enjoy many long walks together with your dogs in this beautiful city we call home! Happy Holidays to you & all your family. With love, Rev. Annie NYC

11/27/10: Kathryn & Ross

I'm still glowing from celebrating Kathryn & Ross's Thanksgiving weekend wedding tonight at historic home to literature & arts, The Lotos Club on E. 66th St. (a block from Central Park East). Sweet, adorable couple, warm & welcoming families, fun & personal ceremony. Hurray! When I arrived, the bride & groom had just finished photographs with Photographer NicoleMarie with their bridal party & families, and were relaxing upstairs before our ceremony start time. Kathryn was completely at ease, sitting on the floor of the library on an antique red oriental carpet with her full skirt all poufed out around her like a doll. She was so comfortable there that I got down on the floor too and sat next to her (!) to give her a hug and go over the order of ceremony and signing of the license. The bride wore a simple neckline princess gown with her hair in loose ringlets down her back. She carried an autumn palette bouquet of orange & pink roses accented with berries, and on her feet under her full skirt she wore awesome mauve pink high heels. The bridesmaids were lovely in pale cocoa cocktail length dresses with ruffles around the neck. This is a great style that can be worn again, ladies! Very stylish & in this year. They all chose their own evening bags & matching shoes. As for the gentlemen...! Ross was dashing & dapper in a black tux, and he & all the groomsmen wore indisputable classic Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars. Excellent! When it came time to begin the ceremony, we descended the red carpeted spiral staircase to the dining room with it's beautiful floral centerpiece and carved marble fireplace. I began the processional accompanied to violin, followed by Ross, his parents, the bridesmaids & groomsmen in pairs, followed by ringbearer & flower girl, then Kathryn escorted by both her parents, who were married on Thanksgiving too! In a room that has hosted parties for Gilbert & Sullivan, the Great Caruso, Benny Goodman & Helen Hayes, Ross & Kathryn exchanged traditional vows, and instead of a Wine Blessing they had a Beer Blessing! For as Ben Franklin said, "Beer is proof that God loves us." This got a chuckle from the crowd and points for their originality. I am so grateful to Ross & Kathryn and their families for sharing their happiness and time of Thanks and Giving with me tonight. It was such a pleasure to chat with all the relatives and relations after the ceremony and agree what a charming couple these two are, and how their love for each other inspires us all and fills the room! For their first dance, the bride & groom chose a "reel" to the song "You're My Only Home," adapted from Magnetic Fields, I think--must ask them! They swirled, they discoed, they dipped, they spun each other around, and for a moment I felt like I was at a country dance in another century. Then they started jumping up and down like they were on pogo sticks, and I felt like it was a rave! Friends joined them on the dance floor for classic & contemporary rock, and it came time for me to bid them goodnight. THANKS Photographer NicoleMarie for sharing their wedding slideshow, here. Great work! Thanks Ross & Kathryn for touching ALL our hearts with your love tonight! With love, Rev. Annie NYC

Happy Thanksgiving 2010!

Greetings friends & family! Sending you Happy Thanksgiving
wishes from Allentown, PA, where I'm visiting with Mom,
brothers, nephews, Aunts & Uncles.

I love waking up early
on Tofurkey Day to watch
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
This is one of my annual rituals--
my heart just swells with joy
for all the teens in the high school bands
that get to fly to NYC for the 1st time
and experience the thrill of marching down Broadway!
I am glued to the TV during all the Broadway musical numbers,
I look forward to The Rockettes big kick-line finale,
and when Santa appears on his big sleigh
to usher in the Christmas season, I start to cry!

Before YouTube & DVRs, watching the parade & The Tony Awards
*live* were THE only opportunities to see highlights
from the Broadway shows. The magic of Broadway
and the excitement of New York City encouraged and inspired me.
NYC represented heaven to me, the center of the universe!

I never imagined that one day I would call this amazing,
dream-come-true place HOME. I can't imagine living
anywhere else, and it gives me such joy to share this fantastic city
with my friends, family, and the wedding couples who marry here!

I'm so grateful for all the wonderful couples I met this year,
and count every wedding I celebrate as a blessing.
September & October were very busy with weddings & traveling,
and I'll be catching up & "filling-in" this wedding blog over the winter months.

Wherever you are today, in the USA or abroad,
I will be thinking of you today as I gather around the table
with my family and we join hands and share what we are GRATEFUL for.

With love, Rev. Annie

10/31/10: Trish & Keith

Childhood friends Trish & Keith,
reunited on Facebook, marry at long last
in Brooklyn! Halloween 2010

10/30/10: Kate & Karey

Kate & Karey's wedding in
Greenwich Village, Halloween weekend 2010
(I wore my "Professor McGonagall" hat
before/after the ceremony!)

9/25/10: Kev & Jen

Jen & Kev:
Fun, original wedding
for a great couple
with big smiles,
fantastic personality
& humor!

Here's Jen & Kev's JOKER
wedding cake
featured in Brides Magazine!
Love it!
Lots of laughter, heart,
and surprises on Long Island!
THANKS Kev & Jen!
I'll never forget
this one! With love, Rev. Annie NYC

9/17/10: Margaret & Adam

I love a good love story.
Margaret & Adam met a year ago last July. They'd both spent the afternoon on one of NYC's best new parks & social meetup places--The Highline.
They had been there separately, and later met over drinks in the MeatPacking District. LOVE!

Margaret is originally from LA, and Adam from the UK.
This year they traveled around the world and met each other's families, and brought them all together tonight in Central Park to celebrate their wedding day!

Adam & Margaret have lively spirits, quick smiles, and a joyful presence. They were so excited to tell me about their great wedding rings, from Little King in the East Village, which they designed themselves. Beautiful!

The wedding was at dusk at the Ladies Pavilion
in Hernshead in Central Park,
by the water's edge. Perfect weather tonight--with just a tiny bit of Fall chill in the air.

From here you can see the lake and a beautiful NYC skyline to the South, and the historic art deco Eldorado Apartments to the West.

Margaret was escorted by her brother & her mother, and we remembered the loving spirit of her father in the ceremony.

She was stunning in a strapless off-white gown with tulle skirt, white lace gloves, and tobacco colored pumps that matched the autumn palette
feathers in her hair. Her bouquet was white orchids with cotton buds, with long trailing feathers. Truly original and gorgeous! Adam wore a grey suit, with tobacco colored tie to match his bride's accessories.

I always offer couples "traditional" American wedding vows, sometimes I refer to them as the "TV vows"--you know what I mean--the ones we hear on TV and in soap operas: "To Have and To Hold, from this day forward, For Better or For Worse, For Richer or For Poorer," etc. There is something very grounding, very comforting, about participating in the ritual of repeating words that we are so familiar with.

When we first sit down to plan a wedding ceremony,
st couples I meet with *don't know* that you do NOT have to say these traditional vows/words! You can write your own vows, adapt them from another source--whatever you want to do! Margaret & Adam chose to express their vows this way:

Adam: From this day on, I choose you,
My beloved Margaret
to be my wife,
my constant friend,
my faithful partner
And my love from this day forward.

Margaret: From this day on, I choose you,
My beloved Adam,
To be my husband
To live with you and laugh with you
To stand by your side,
To love and to cherish,
From this day forward.

I love the word "beloved," it always makes me think
of this song, from the musical KISMET :)

Adam's mom is in the UK and was unable to travel to join
us for the ceremony--so his sister had mom on the cell phone
during the whole ceremony! Right after the pronouncement
& kiss, Adam was handed the phone and was able to tell mom
in person that he was now a married man. I love the modern world!

At the wedding, I got to work with Tatjana & Charles from Wrinkle in Time Photography. They were so awesome, they have been following my weddings, and I felt like I was meeting *my fans* LOL! THANKS you two for totally making my day with your enthusiasm & support of my wedding ministry. Looking forward to working with you again!

Adam & Margaret, I wish you all the best in your continuing love story. And yes, if I hear of any more performance art German punk bands playing in NYC, I will email you & we'll meetup for a beer and some music!

All my best, Rev. Annie

9/15/10: The Plaza Hotel

It's always such a pleasure to go to The Plaza Hotel in NYC.

The entrance & the lobby take my breath away.

It really is stunning, iconic, and feels like the lap of luxury.

Right at the South East corner of
Central Park, across the street

from the horse-drawn

carriages, the Apple Store and

and a short walk from Tiffany's.

I was contacted by a Parisian couple this month

who arranged for a suite at The Plaza,

and we held their elopement ceremony

there in the presence of one witness,

and our photographer, Jordan Van Aken.

The groom wore a great rock-n-roll outfit,

a 19th century inspired military jacket

with gold buttons & piping, and motorcycle boots.

He took great care with all the ceremony

preparations, even sprinking flower petals

on the carpet in preparation for the bride's appearance.

or "Here Comes the Bride"

from the 1980 Flash Gordon soundtrack!

The bride entered wearing a gorgeous

strapless gown that laced up the back,

white stiletto heels,

a crystal heart necklace,

and a yard of 4" wide white satin

ribbon tied into a bow around her ponytail.

The ribbon was so long and wide,

it fell like a veil down her neck & shoulders. 1st X I've seen this--really original! (That's PARIS for you!)

The bride & groom recited traditional

vows, followed by poems they read to each other

en Francais. We had a real "NY moment"

when just at the very end of the ceremony,

the *doorbell* to the suite rang. We weren't expecting anybody.

We ignored it, and continued on, until the door opened

with the loud announcement, "HOUSEKEEPING!"

Fortunately the couple had an excellent

sense of humor, and shoo'd the maid away

and I carried on with the final pronouncement!

I was invited to stay

for cake & champagne,

and the cake toppers

were so cute--

Japanese anime figures,

a surprise from the groom to the bride. Adorable!

Wishing my sweet Parisian couple many years of adventures & happiness!

With love, Rev. Annie

9/15/10: Kate & Glenn

I have to admit, I have a bit
of a crush on Australians!

It started with
Mel Gibson in Mad Max,
and thosebackpackers I met
on a Eurail train from France
to Italy my junior year abroad.
Then it included the films of Peter Weir,
pop icon
Kylie Minogue, Nicole Kidman,
the amazing Guy Pearce, and flawless Hugh Jackman on B'way
in The Boy from Oz! And now it includes Kate & Glenn!

I think Americans & Australians are a bit like England's
naughty 1st cousins. We seem to be having entirely too much fun
for her majesty's liking. It's a stereotype, sure, but I have
never met an Australian who wasn't beaming a smile ear to ear.

And that makes an Aussie WEDDING day even more super fun!

I've had a great time corresponding
with Kate & Glenn this year
about their NYC destination wedding.
The were engaged at
The Helmsley Park Lane
and wanted to come back to the Big Apple for their ceremony.

Their guest list started at 25, and grew to 50 as more & more friends
from Down Under and across the US wanted to come join them to celebrate!
The photographer was a friend from home, Big Dog Bites,
and I can't wait to see the pictures!

Kate & Glenn considered different locations in NYC, and
settled on Central Park's Bethesda Fountain, a perfect wedding spot,
as seen in the Amy Adams/Patrick Dempsey film ENCHANTED.

We were gifted with a perfect sunny
September day! Glenn & guests
waited by the fountain for Kate's
arrival by horse-drawn carriage.
She was escorted by her parents
down the Bethesda Terrace
grand staircase. What an entrance!
Truly like a scene from a movie!

One of the personal touches
the bride & groom chose for their
ceremony was to read excerpts from love letters

they wrote to each other when they were dating.

It was so moving to hear the depths of connection, emotion,
and gratitude in their words, and it really added to the romance,
ritual, and sweetness of their ceremony.

Everyday in Central Park
is a unique adventure--
here are some other visitors
to the park on Kate & Glenn's
wedding day! Haha--I love this town!

Best wishes always
to Glenn & Kate, with thanks
for their friendliness, enthusiasm, and excitement!
I'm so happy I got to celebrate with you! With love, Rev. Annie

9/12/10: Kimberly & Jorge

Oh, that time of year is here: my last wedding for the season
on the Carnival Miracle! After this, the ship will sail off
to the Caribbean route for winter. I have such a great time
doing the cruise weddings in NYC every summer--
meeting ship staff from around the world,
working with the coordinators,
meeting the couples, and having lunch on the Lido Deck!

Kimberly & Jorge were married in the ship's big theatre,
The Phantom Lounge. When I arrive I touch base
with the videographers, the sound technicians,
and the stage crew to see that we are set with cameras,
microphone, and any tables or props needed.
Jorge & Kimberly did a Unity Candle Lighting,
so I always check with the video team
that the stage is set for them to get great shots!

The bride & groom had a large wedding party
of bridesmaids in seafoam green dresses,
big families, and a flower girl. When the groomsmen arrive,
I always get asked to help with pinning on
their boutennieres since I am good with the straight pin & the lapel!

The wedding party was ready to DANCE at the reception!

The bride & groom opened up their 1st dance
to an ALL DANCE, and it got the party started!

Best wishes to Kimberly & Jorge and their families.

Hope you had a great cruise,
and have many happy years together!
Sincerely, Rev. Annie

9/7/10: Louis-Philippe & Marie Pier

It was such a pleasure
to marry Louis-Philippe & Marie Pier from Montreal!
They love NYC, and chose Central Park and
the Ladies Pavillion at Hernshead to celebrate
their "spontaneous & cool" wedding day.

Louis-Philippe looked smart in a lime green shirt
and black & white striped tie, and Marie Pier
was gorgeous in a strapless gown and mid-length veil,
and *red high heel shoes* :)

They left their dear 1yr old son Emile at home with grandparents, and came to NYC with their friends Olivier & Veronique as witnesses.

I brought my Altec Lansing iPod speaker,
and we plugged in to hear
The Four Seasons, Largo from Winter, Op. 8 No. 4 by YoYo Ma,
as the bride came down the park path at the start of the ceremony.

Olivier read "Love Is" from Corinthians, and Veronique read
The Apache Blessing.

After vows in English, they couple exchanged personal vows with each other in French,
and we ended the ceremony with I Will, from The Beatles.

Casey Fatchett was the couple's photographer,
and it was great to work with him again! I'm grateful
to know some great wedding pros :)

Louis-Philippe & Marie Pier brought me a treat
from their home: Canadian Maple flavored sweets
from Chocolaterie La Maison Gourmande. YUM!

Many blessings to Marie Pier & Louis-Philippe!
Your true feelings for each other really touched my heart!
And you are TOTALLY *spontaneous & cool*!

With love, Rev. Annie

9/2/10: Evelyn & Garreth

I wondered what to wear to Evelyn & Garreth's CRUISE WEDDING
today. Some cruise weddings are sundresses & Hawaiian shirts,
others are big whitedress, formal tux, and the works!
Since summer is almost officially over, I wore my black linen
one last time, knowing it would blend with any wedding style I'd find!

Evelyn & Garreth had a big, friendly wedding with really happy,
outgoing guests--all very talkative and excited for this wedding day!
I coordinated with both Mom's before the ceremony to make sure
they knew that they were prepared for their readings--one in English,
and one in Spanish.

Garreth wore a light tan suit and deep purple orchid boutonniere.
He was totally relaxed and grinning ear to ear. I loved Evelyn's
short, net veil with floral comb, and her flowers were vibrant
& stunning: reds, greens, deep purples. I spoke to her privately
before the ceremony, and she was so excited, and very nervous.
I assured everything would be just fine, and I'd be there
to remind her to breathe!
The bride & groom wrote their own vows, and had us all going
from laughter to tears. Evelyn was overcome with emotion,
and her Maid of Honor was right there for her, offering her
soothing whispers and assuring her with a light touch.

Evelyn & Garreth chose to do the modern ritual "The Rose &
The Vase," symbolizing their love for each other--
that was a nice touch, I'm not asked to do that one very often.

At the reception, Garreth's father offered a heartfelt blessing,
and the Best Man & Maid of Honor recalled their long friendships
with the couple and wished them well.

The wedding party is sailing off now to Canada.
Have a great cruise! With Love, Rev. Annie

9/1/10: Martin & Cecilia

This week I did my very 1st BEACH WEDDING!I met with Martin & Cecilia in late August to discuss their September 1st wedding. We had enjoyed coffee at Le Pain Quotidien in Central Park one evening at dusk, I met their dog Mac & infant daughter Felicia, and they told me their love story & wedding ceremony dreams. We discussed a beach wedding...Montauk...excellent...! And then Martin said he imagined being married *at dawn*, with the sun rising in the East over the ocean! I took the train out to Montauk the night before the ceremony, and Martin & family picked me up at 5:20am for the drive out to Montauk Point on the tip of the South Fork of Long Island--referred to as "The End." It was amazing to watch the sky go from inky black to saturated indigo as it absorbed more and more light. Sunrise was at 6:14am, and a miraculous pink sun rose over the ocean and we started the ceremony. Every word of the ceremony was deeply personal & meaningful to Martin & Cecilia--we co-created their wedding script exactly to their specifications. It began with me sharing some of their love story: their 1st meeting, their 1st date, when they knew they had found "the one," what they love about each other, and their aspirations for their future. In addition to traditional vows & ring exchange, we did a Celtic handfasting with different pastel ribbons, and Cecilia & Martin also wrote their own personal vows. To symbolize the blending of their lives with their daughter Felicia, we adapted "The Sand Ceremony" to a stone ceremony, and the couple layered black, brown, and white stones they'd collected on the beach the day before. Caroline Roccheta was our photographer, and she did an awesome job! She was right in there, in a non-invasive, gentle way. I really appreciated her gentle style and artistic eye, and look forward to opportunities to work with her again. When the ceremony was over, it wasn't even 8am yet! We signed the license with Martin's parents as witnesses, we took some photos, and drove back to Montauk Village where I said goodbye and wished them every happiness on their continuing journey. Before heading back to NYC, I went for an oceanside lunch at Nick's and had *the best seafood salad in the history of the universe*! What a perfect day, awesome wedding, and wonderful trip! Thanks Martin & Cecilia for sharing your joy and spirit of adventure with me! With love, Rev. Annie