My niece and her fiancé, with fourteen people who love them in attendance, went down to City Hall on Friday morning bright and early and waited with the throngs of other couples in all manner of attire to say their "I do's."
They'll have the big wedding in Jamaica in December, but they're moving to Dallas in June, and just decided everything would be easier if they were married already. So they picked a day and Friday it was. Some of their key people, including the bride's father, and my son, and most of the bridesmaids couldn't get away from work obligations, but there was a crowd anyway.
The bride's mom came to New York for the weekend for the wedding. It was lovely to have her stay with us again, the way she used to for a part of every summer when our kids were growing up and spending those out-of-school months together at our house in New York and at their grandmother's in St. Lucia.
It took more than two hours for the happy couple's ticket—number 49—to be called. As we waited, we stood around in clusters and passed the time with stories. I have no idea what my husband is telling the groom (right) and our daughter's boyfriend here.
There is a booming industry on the sidewalk in front of City Hall catering to couples showing up to get married. My niece, who'd scoped out the flower cart when they went to get the license a couple weeks ago, had her bouquet freshly made on the spot, as a long line of other brides-to-be waited in line to choose their blooms. Next to the sidewalk florist a man offered gold bands for sale and photographers offered to take pictures of the couples or serve as witnesses, for a price.
Two of my niece's six bridesmaids were able to make the Friday morning City Hall nuptials. My daughter (on the right) will be the maid of honor at the formal wedding in December. This was agreed on back when these two were still teenagers.
My girl and I took a picture together because you should always take pictures to commemorate those moments of pure, unalloyed happiness.
After a bit of confusion with the marriage license, we finally were called to the outer chamber of the the circular pink room where the Justice of the Peace would perform the marriage ceremony.
The man and I relived our own fond memories of choosing each other thirty-three years ago come August. My niece and her love have absolutely no idea how fast the years rack up—if you're lucky, and we are, and they will be, too.
The cousins who are really more like sisters, were giddy at times.
So were the bride and groom.
And then, finally, the vows. It took all of a minute. We were in that room for about five minutes in total. As the bride and groom kissed, we cheered.
Then everyone wanted to take pictures with the newlyweds. Here is the happy couple with his dad and stepmom.
And with her mom. Her dad couldn't make it, but he'll walk her down the aisle in December.
With his mom and his two sisters, a very artistic tribe.
With her bestie from the time they were schoolgirls, and her bestie's love.
With her sister-cousin and aunt-other mother.
Mr. and Ms. Reid, April 19, 2019
May your love grow ever stronger and richer with the years and may your journey together be full of laughter and deep ease. We are so happy for you both.