A super-sized wedding involving dozens of same-sex couples took place Monday morning in Niagara Falls, local news station WGRZ reported.
It was a very special time, it couldn’t have been more special, one couple told local paper Buffalo News.
NIAGARA FALLS — With flowers, cake and tearful hugs, the giant wedding that took place on Goat Island Monday morning was pretty standard by most accounts.
Except that the 46 couples were making history, as some of the first same-sex couples to be legally married under the recent passage of the Marriage Equality Act in New York state.
As a light mist descended upon the colourful group, the 92 brides and grooms were surrounded by family, friends and well-wishers who circled protectively around them to ward off potential protesters.
While some religious groups had announced plans to protest the event, only about eight protesters were heard singing in the distance as the couples spoke their wedding vows.
It was an extremely emotional event, not only for the participants and their guests, but for those who spoke at the podium, including Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti whose voice broke during her reading of a poem, “To My Friend.” “There is nothing more important in this world than love,” she told the group.
Along with couples from the Niagara Region, wedding partners came from as far away as Arkansas to be part of the “First Official Group Wedding Ceremony,” presented by the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation.
“This city and these mighty falls are now a chapter in all of your lives,” John Percy, director of the NTCC told the assembled group, adding that Niagara Falls was now “The Honeymoon Capital of the World for all people.”
The couples were also welcomed by Mayor Paul Dyster, who said, “We’re honored that of all the places you could have gone you chose Niagara Falls.”
Following the vows, the island rang out with jubilant cheers and applause, and some of the brides and grooms spoke of their joy at having their love legitimized.
“This is the America I believe in, because ‘We the people’ means everybody and we are everybody,” said Diane Wnek, quoting from the U.S. Constitution. Wnek married her 21-year partner, Candy Casey, both of Buffalo, and the two were wearing gold wedding bands they had purchased two decades ago in anticipation of their legal wedding day.
In honour of the many same sex weddings taking place throughout the state, the falls was lit in the colours of the rainbow on Sunday — a symbol of gay pride and the beauty of differences — when area city clerk’s offices were also opened so couples could apply for marriage licenses the day the marriage equality law went into effect. The falls was also expected to be lit in rainbow colours every 15 minutes on Monday between 9:30 p.m. and midnight.
Many area groups and businesses partnered with the NTCC to create the wedding, including DiCamillio’s Bakery which provided two cakes, and two city florists, Harris and Lever Florist and Marli’s Florist, who provided flowers.
After the ceremony, the couples moved to a tent near the Top of the Falls restaurant to cut the cakes and dance. Many planned additional celebrations, including Jeff Pawlik, 48, and Dan Shade, 29, both of Niagara Falls, who had renewed their vows after marrying legally three years ago in Canada.
Both men were dressed in suits and ties, but planned to change into casual clothes afterwards and join their friends for a visit to the nearby Cave of the Winds.
ay marriage in New York under rainbow-colored Niagara Falls – BlogPost – The Washington Post