Monday, September 5, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

We recently went to a wedding in New York City. On a hot, early September day, more than 50 people crowded into a humid apartment in lower Manhattan to witness the vows of two people who define what relationships should be. (Unlike the pampered suburbs, many apartments in the city do not have air conditioning. So only the strong survive.)

The wedding favor: a long-stemmed glass and Sanskit passage.
"Love is no assignment for cowards."—Ovid

Since they work in show business, the ceremony included actors reciting poems and passages, a composer performing songs he wrote just for them and the couple, themselves, singing a duet. So this wasn’t just a wedding, it was a free and wildly entertaining show.

Steve and I are admittedly sentimental. Whenever we go to weddings, we find ourselves holding hands, smiling at each other and fighting back the tears. Weddings showcase love and its ideals at their romantic best. Forget the fact that one out of two marriages fail. This one won’t. Sometimes you just know that, and that’s what made this day so inspiring.

"My heart is ever at your service."—William Shakespeare

People flew in from all over the country for the affair—from Los Angeles, the Carolinas and other far-flung places. We happily took an hour’s train ride in from Jersey and braved the irregular holiday subway schedules to find our way to this special moment in time. The apartment was filled with stylishly dressed and very charming guests, all bubbling with joy.

Top, coconut; middle orange; bottom, lemon.
In a departure from the usual nuptial fare, all the hors d'oeuvres and a beautiful two-tiered wedding cake (see picture) were prepared by the groom, Eric—an incredibly talented and artistic man.

But what made this gathering so truly remarkable was the fact that it happened at all. These endearing people—one from South Carolina, the other from Rhode Island—first made eye contact with each other across a crowded bar in New York City, and it was love at first sight. There's a 20-year difference in their ages, but that proved no obstacle. They have lived together for 15 years and have wanted to affirm that love through marriage. The final barrier to that goal fell away this past June, when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo raised a pen to sign ground-breaking, same-sex marriage legislation into law. It went into effect 30 days later, meaning that same-sex couples could begin marrying in New York by late July. In August, our friends decided to get married and three weeks later, marriage certificate in hand, they tied the knot.

"Was it love at first sight? It wasn't then—but it sure is now."—Ann Meara, of her 30-plus-year marriage

So it is with a sense of exquisite delight that I wish Russ and Eric all the happiness and rich complexities that marriage may bring—and many joyful anniversaries to come as spiritually and legally blessed soul-mates. 


  1. What a lovely recap of Eric and Russ's happy day. I haven't seen Eric in many years but he looks as happy as he did when we were young and silly back in college.

  2. Why, thank you. It was a lovely day. And I knew Russ in college. He was my Freshman year speech instructor. They are both wonderful people.