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Love in the time of Corona: Couple says 'I do' from sidewalk as friend officiates from window

In the "most New York moment ever," this beautiful couple tied the knot on a Manhattan sidewalk as their friend officiated their marriage from his fourth-floor window.

Love in the time of Corona: Couple says 'I do' from sidewalk as friend officiates from window
Image Source: reillyjennings / Instagram

Weddings during the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States look a little different. While some people have opted to move their weddings online, inviting friends and family members to hear their wedding vows over Skype and other video conferencing platforms, others have tried to get a little more creative. The perfect example of this is New York City couple Reilly Jennings and Amanda Wheeler. Instead of tying the knot as they originally planned to, they took to the streets of a Manhattan neighborhood and, while following social distancing guidelines, had their friend Matt Wilson officiate their wedding from his fourth-floor window, CNN reports. This was definitely a wedding to remember.



The unusual ceremony took place on Friday last week. Taking to the small neighborhood of Washington Heights in Manhattan, Amanda and Reilly looked up at their friend Matt, a certified marriage officiant, as he officiated their marriage from his fourth-floor window. He leaned out of his window and gazed down at the couple as he made them take their vows. It was perhaps "the most New York moment ever." Both Amanda and Reilly love their city, and would not have imagined getting married any differently. In an interview with CNN, Reilly shared, "It was the most New York moment ever and was even more special to share with the entire neighborhood in such a scary and uncertain time. I love this city."



Originally, the now-married couple was supposed to host their wedding in October. However, afraid that the COVID-19 outbreak would only get worse, they decided to ditch their initial wedding plans and have a quick courthouse wedding instead. On Thursday last week, the couple had visited the New York City Marriage Bureau to obtain a marriage license. The next day, just as they were headed to the bureau in order to actually tie the knot, they discovered that Mayor Bill de Blasio had closed the bureau down indefinitely amidst the public health crisis. The couple, to no one's surprise, was rather disappointed.



Nonetheless, one of their friends - Matt - swooped in to help. "After a somber afternoon, one of our friends texted us on a group chat, letting us know he was ordained by the county clerk of New York and could do it," Reilly shared. "We texted, 'Wanna marry us outside your window in the next 24hrs?' and he said 'YES!' To that I replied, 'How about in 90 minutes?' We both finished up work meetings, got dressed, picked up some flowers, and headed to his apartment around the corner." Matt, however, was practicing self-isolation in order to protect himself and his community from spreading the deadly virus. That is why he officiated their marriage from his fourth-floor window.



Before the friend-cum-marriage officiant asked Amanda and Reilly to pledge their love for each other, he read out an excerpt from the novel Love in the Time of Cholera by Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, which was, of course, quite fitting. As the ceremony went on, several people walking down the street joined in to celebrate the couple's love. "We got to share our love with more people than we ever could have imagined," newly-married Reilly shared. "And that's the best part." In a video she uploaded to Instagram, the couple is seen exchanging vows as dozens of folks watch on from the street as well as from the windows of neighboring apartment buildings. Though this may not have been Amanda and Reilly's original plan, it was definitely an unforgettable ceremony. Love in the time of Corona is, without a doubt, possible - and so beautiful.



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