XXL wedding scene in New York
More than 500 couples celebrated a symbolic wedding Sunday, July 10, under the blue sky of New York, a ceremony full of colour, joy and emotion to heal the wounds of COVID.
The whole range of the wedding was present on this exceptional day, crowns of flowers on the head, wedding dresses or eccentric accoutrements, the couples, for many already married, walked in procession, before their union was pronounced on a big stage by a rabbi, a pastor, an imam. Some of them could hardly hold back their tears.
“We were supposed to get engaged on March 24, 2020, in Hawaii, but of course the pandemic cancelled everything,” said Erica Hackman, wearing a white wedding dress, on the arm of her husband Richard, in the festive atmosphere of Damrosch Park, at the foot of the Manhattan skyline.
The couple, who were expecting a child, got married the following summer “on the roof of a building, with close family, less than 20 people, all masked,” recalls Erica, 35. “It was really a small wedding. So today, it’s really important to come and celebrate that with other people who have been through the same thing,” adds Richard, 37.
The ceremony, hosted by Lincoln Center, a New York cultural institution, was billed as a makeup session for couples separated by COVID or whose marriages had been ruined.
But everyone was welcome. New York had been hit hard by the pandemic in the spring of 2020 and had come to a standstill, with images of deserted Times Square and makeshift morgues making the rounds.
“There’s so much hate these days. To have a day when you just celebrate love is important,” said Wonderful Lloyd-Kline, 56, who came with Anisa, whom she married in 2008, to Toronto, Canada.
“We are a same-sex couple, it’s really important for us to come out, to show ourselves in public,” she says, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court, which some fear will challenge the right to marriage for all after the right to abortion.
Some are very young, others, like Esther Friesner Stutzman and her husband Walter Stutzman, have been married since 1974. “He promised me a trip to Paris,” she smiles.
Amidst the strolling couples, Anne-Marie Colon, 59, came with a beautiful photo of her fiancé, Louis Steven, “the love of her life,” a Bronx professor who died of COVID in April 2020.
“We were supposed to get married in Aruba (…) I thought that coming today could be a beautiful celebration of the life we had together for 11 years,” she explains, smiling.