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