Giant wedding in New York to forget the pandemic

‘Just (re)married!’ Some 500 couples celebrated a symbolic wedding on Sunday, under the blue sky of New York, a ceremony full of color, joy and emotion to heal the wounds of the Covid.

Crowns of flowers on their heads, wedding dresses or eccentric outfits, the couples, many of whom were already married, walked in procession, before their union was pronounced on a large stage by an imam, a rabbi and a pastor. Some could hardly hold back their tears.

“We were to get engaged on March 24, 2020 in Hawaii, but obviously the pandemic canceled everything,” Erica Hackman, a white wedding dress, told AFP on the arm of her husband Richard, in the festive atmosphere of Damrosch Park. , at the foot of Manhattan buildings.

The couple, who were expecting a child, married the following summer “on the roof of a building, with the close family, less than 20 people, all masked”, recalls Erica, 35 years old. ‘It was really a small wedding. So today, it’s really important to come and celebrate with other people who have been through the same thing,’ adds Richard, 37.

Catch-up

The ceremony, organized by the Lincoln Center, a New York cultural institution, was presented as a catch-up session for couples separated by the Covid or whose marriage 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, the images of deserted Times Square and improvised morgues going around the world.

‘There is so much hate these days. Having a day where we just celebrate love is important, ‘explains Wonderful Lloyd-Kline, 56, who came with Anisa, whom she married in 2008, to Toronto in Canada.

“We are a same-sex couple, it is really important for us to go out, to show ourselves in public”, she assures, referring to the American Supreme Court, which some fear that it will challenge. causes the right to marriage for all after that of abortion.

Various ages

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.

Amid the strolling couples, Anne-Marie Colon, 59, came with a beautiful photo of her fiancé, Louis Steven, ‘the love of her life’, a professor from the Bronx who died of Covid in April 2020.

‘We were 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.

/ATS

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