Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Culture: A Wedding At City Hall, New York

On New Year´s Eve (Sylvester) I got married. I bonded with a beautiful New York woman I have been seeing for almost 3 years. The official wedding ceremony took place in New York`s City Hall which is in Manhattan´s Financial District.

The place seemed to me like a combination of a railway station and a cattle auction - very American I guess. It was crowded, loud and a bit chaotic.

My bride and I arrived there around 10 am and went to a desk close to the entrance where we got the number 722. We were told that we would have to wait in line until this number is called.

The waiting hall, which is shaped like a long hose, has 2 boards where the numbers and the stations for registering are displayed. There also are loudspeakers which announce numbers and desks.

There were a lot of people waiting on their calls, which created a chaotic cluster.  Crowds, boards and loud speaker announcements created a busy and somewhat industrial atmosphere. I wouldn´t have been very surprised if the arrival of a train would have been announced or some farmers would have called weights and prices of their cattle.

Some people there were much less formally dressed than they are usually at German weddings. Many had just casual outfits and some wore redneck t-shirts. Interesting was a high percentage of same sex couples. I guess this reflects the shrinking popularity of traditional marriage and the rise of gay and lesbian pairings, at least in

Around 12pm our number was called and we could register at the desk with our witness . Then we had to wait around 40 minutes more for the final act.

Around 1pm the wedding ceremony took place in a room called a chapel. The city authority person delivered a short but nice speech and declared us finally husband & wife by the law of the great city of New York.

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