I’m not quite sure where to begin when telling the story of Andra & Geoff’s wedding day. It was an adventure from beginning to end, and I loved every second of it. There was a little bit of a mix up, and Andra & Geoff found themselves all dressed up and ready to go to City Hall, but they didn’t actually have a marriage license. In New York City, you have to get your marriage license at least 24 hours before your wedding. You can fill out the paperwork online, but then you have to actually go down and pick it up from the clerk’s office 24 hours before the ceremony. They had the printed confirmation, but hadn’t realized they needed to have picked up the license itself beforehand.
When I’m with my clients, I like to run down a checklist to make sure we haven’t forgotten anything before we head off to the ceremony – ID, rings, marriage license, wallet. As I was asking Andra before we left the hotel if she had the marriage license, she said she had the confirmation. I thought this sounded a little odd, so I just asked if I could take a look at the paperwork to make sure we had what we needed. It then fell to me to break the bad news that they might not be able to get actually get married that day. That conversation could have gone one of two ways, but luckily Andra & Geoff are AMAZING, and they both started cracking up. We decided to head down to City Hall anyway, because one way or another they still needed to get a license, and we all started brainstorming who we knew who could help us with this problem. We all three tried to think if we knew any judges, and when that didn’t work out, I decided to call my photographer friend Amber, who I knew had been ordained to officiate the wedding of one of her friends. I wanted to see if she would at least perform a ceremony after we got the license. We wouldn’t be able to make it legal, but at least they’d be able to exchange rings and have an unofficial ceremony. Then they could sign the paperwork the next day making it legal, once the 24 hour waiting period had passed.
Amber is AWESOME, and she agreed to meet us at City Hall and we’d all head up to the High Line so they could have some sort of ceremony, even if it wasn’t actually official. After we got the license, we were heading out to take some photos around City Hall while we waited for Amber to arrive, and that’s when a woman overheard our conversation and stopped to talk to us. She knew a judge who might be able to legally marry them today and had us head into the Supreme Court building across the street. I wasn’t allowed to bring my cameras inside, so I waited on the steps while Andra & Geoff went to figure out if they could be married somehow. Andra texted me that the judge the woman knew had agreed to do it, and they were about to get married. So I had to call Amber and break the news that we’d miraculously found a judge to perform the ceremony. Amber was SO nice about it, and was thrilled for my couple that they were able to get legally married.
A few minutes later, Andra & Geoff came bursting out of the Supreme Court building – finally married, and it was legal and everything! As we shot portraits after the ceremony, whenever someone stopped to congratulate them and tell them about someone they knew who was getting married in the next couple of days, Geoff would laugh and say to them, “Make sure you they get the marriage license 24 hours beforehand!”
Weddings never go according to plan, and yet somehow it all works out. Andra & Geoff’s sense of humor really got them through yesterday. I think a lot of people would have freaked out, but everytime they started to talk about it, they just laughed and laughed.
Andra & Geoff – you guys are THE BEST. I am so thrilled I got to be a part of your day. Happy honeymooning!