A New York couple got married in the street with their friend officiating from a nearby window amid fears the coronavirus outbreak might disrupt their October nuptials.
Reilly Jennings, 28, and Amanda Wheeler, 38, got married on Friday in front of four of their best friends in the Manhattan neighbourhood of Washington Heights.
Another of their friends officiated the ceremony from his fourth-floor apartment window, in honour of so-called social distancing rules around the virus crisis.
Originally planning to get married in October, the couple feared stricter travel restrictions and the closure of their wedding venue might stop the big day going ahead.
Writing on Instagram, Reilly said: “We were supposed to get married in October. The reality of that happening in our current climate seemed slim.
“Amanda’s business closed and everything has just blown up.”
The couple managed to get a copy of their marriage licence on Thursday, but, as they were about to leave home on Friday for the ceremony, New York City‘s Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the bureau would be closing for the foreseeable future.
Panicked, Reilly and Amanda starting messaging their friends, desperately hoping to find someone to officiate their wedding at short notice.
“I definitely panicked,” Reilly told NBC News. “I was freaking out a little bit. I just wanted to get it done.”
Luckily, the couple found out their friend Matt Wilson was certified to perform the ceremony and agreed to go ahead – from his apartment window.
Avideo of the ceremony shows Matt reading an excerpt from the novel “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez, before the couple say “I do” in front of neighbours hanging out of their windows and onlookers who had stopped in the street to watch.
“What a day,” Reilly said on Instagram. “Amidst the uncertainty and despair we all feel right now, marrying the love of my life in the most NYC moment was perfect.
“I’ve waited four years to call Amanda my wife and this was all just the cherry on top of the love I feel every day.”