The sun was shining so bright and the air was crisp on the last day of summer.
There was hardly anyone on the street and barely any traffic on the FDR Drive. In fact, there wasn't even a speck of it on the Brooklyn Bridge.
It's new there. Although I'm driving, I glance around to see. To the left, people are walking above us across the bridge. To the right, the waterfront is pristine, especially now that the trees have all matured and curve gracefully around the park. You can see a few people scattered on the grass on small pallets from afar; reading, laying, L O V I N G. Everything glistened or swayed gently with guidance from the breeze. It was the perfect day for matrimony.
Originally designed as a destination wedding in Albuquerque, Desi planned to marry my cousin, Janell where he proposed just a year before. There was an alluring charm the minute I received and viewed their engagement video. It was the most beautiful engagement video I'd ever seen. There was nowhere else that I would rather be on that day, but celebrating quietly with them. I think it was always meant to be a small event or that's what the invite suggested to me.
Needless to say, due to the global pandemic and certain travel restrictions, they decided to stay local and make it even smaller still. I was delighted when she told me that she found a new venue and that we were still invited.
My son, McKyle was my date and when we arrived I thought to myself that Janell managed to find the simplicity and calm of New Mexico in the borough in which they reside. It was a rooftop urban garden on the 11th floor that was the size of an acre. Nestled in the Navy Yard, it boasted incredible views of downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. This view would transform every 30 minutes or so it seemed, with the setting of the sun.
The sounds of a live singer greeted us as we stepped up into the fresh air of cultivated rows of vegetables, fruits and flowers. It was like a soft kiss on the cheek and a smile from Mother Nature herself.
Forgive me for not recording til the end. The lady singing was tall and beautiful. Her long braid was mesmerizing. The space was beautiful. I felt beautiful and I was there with my best guy who ended up taking some pretty beautiful pictures any time I asked.
About 20 - 25 guests sat and enjoyed small talk, those of us who knew each other very well and those of us who had just gotten acquainted. We roamed the space in clusters of twos or threes as we waited for the ceremony to start. It was getting quite cold, but hospitable baskets of throws and warm shawls were folded and waiting to be used. It gave everything a very cozy feel.
After the groom walked joyfully smiling down the isle, so did the mothers (arm and arm), followed by the ring bearers and the flower girl. Then about five minutes later, Janell and her dad (Uncle Gerald) appeared at the top of the isle and she looked the most breath taking that I've ever seen her. The tall songstress sang "Always" by Stevie Wonder and my Aunt Jennifer (Janell's mom) fixed her long cape as she stood face to face with her beloved.
"Always" was such an appropriate song for a father to give his only child away to her husband. :)
Natural progression of the ceremony was underway. Then vows were exchanged, which were sealed by rings and a kiss. Finally, the jumping of the broom.
Here are some photos through mine and McKyle's experience...
The first dance as husband & wife and father/daughter dance.
Friends & Family
My Aunt, Jennifer (the mother of the Bride)
Time to cut the cake and have a toast to the beautiful couple.
Our cousin, Amirh made the wedding cake and it was lemony light and absolutely delicious.
Just like with passed hors d'oeuves, cake and champagne; we savored our time together and as the sun went down and Brooklyn went dark, we prepared to head home.
I never get tired of seeing lovers pledge their devotion to one and other. I'd like to say to my cousin, Janell and her new hubby, Desi...
Hold onto each other with love and understanding. Be extra slow to anger and ultra kind to yourselves first, but mainly to the other. You are amazing individually, but you're unstoppable together.
J A S
P.S. Check out their wedding featured in Harper's Bazaar Bride