PHOTOS: Ecstatic Couples Tie The Knot as the Manhattan Marriage Bureau Reopens
The Lower Manhattan center for City Clerk-officiated ceremonies resumed in-person weddings Friday after being shuttered for over a year due to the pandemic.
Harlem residents Sae Feurtado, 32, and Richard Kissi, 34, were planning to get married at City Hall when the pandemic hit.
The couple, who had been waiting several years to tie the knot, were about to give up on their dream and hold the ceremony in Central Park when they heard Mayor Bill de Blasio announce he was planning to reopen the Manhattan Marriage Bureau.
“Today, I think we’re just feeling really grateful to get it done and to get it done in the most classic New York City way at City Hall,” Feurtado said Friday after the couple made jubilant exit from the Worth Street building.
Here are some more photos documenting the first day of the return of in-person City Clerk-officiated weddings — another flicker of faith in the future.
Florist George Taxi, 52, returned to the post he’s occupied for seven years for the first time since the pandemic brought city life to a halt.
Taxi worked for ride-sharing and food delivery apps like Uber and Doordash to earn a living through the closure.
City officials took safety precautions during the reopening.
“We’ve been trying to get married and now that it’s actually happening I’m really nervous and I don’t know what to feel,” said Fabian Gavilanes, left.
He and his partner, Pablo Calderon, waited a year to make it official.
A photographer displayed a portfolio on the steps of the Marriage Bureau while couples waited their turn.
Alfred Marochini waited for his friends outside of the bureau.
He had planned on attending their ceremony until learning about the strict safety restrictions limiting couples to one witness per ceremony.
Alexia Alurralde, right, and Jarenth De Leon were were headed for a digital pairing before they got the opportunity for a more traditional ceremony.
“We were originally gonna do a virtual ceremony and when that got shut down we were like, ‘OK, guess we’ll just wait some more,’” said Alurralde about delaying her big day with De Leon after Gov. Andrew Cuomo discontinued online weddings.
“I feel fortunate to get to experience what we actually planned,” added De Leon. “A virtual marriage didn’t feel as official or ceremonious so we were glad that we were able to do it.”