Because (Short of Paris) Is There Anywhere More Romantic?
No matter how small or large the wedding, marrying in New York is unavoidably grand. The city itself—the majesty of the skyline, the iconic beauty of the old museums, libraries, hotels, bridges—provides a backdrop worthy of the silver screen. It’s no surprise that the Empire State Building is one of the most traveled-to spots in the world to pop the question. (Sounds touristy to locals, but try telling that to the woman 86 stories into the sky, shouting “Yes!” over the rooftops of Manhattan.) The staff there gets daily calls from men asking, “Will the ring set off the security alarm?” (It will, if guards aren’t given the heads-up.) “May I use props?” (Officially no, but that has yet to stop anyone, if the groom who sent his brother to scatter flower petals on the floor of the observation deck is any indication.) “Is there any way to skip the line?” (Yes, a $45 Express Pass ticket allows you to cut.) One of the best things about both proposing and marrying in New York City is that there is almost always an enthusiastic audience. “When the girl puts the ring on, the crowd goes nuts,” says Wil Greenstreet, who plays saxophone on the observation deck Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and frequently takes song requests from grooms-to-be. Below, four only-in-New-York proposals.
1. Rachel Leigh & Christopher White
“I asked Rachel to cross the Brooklyn Bridge with me on a day when we were hit with ten inches of snow. About a quarter of the way over, the city got very quiet. The walkway was nearly empty, except for a family of four. I asked the father if he’d take our picture. We posed for the first flash, and then on the second, I got down on one knee. I took the ring out and Rachel shouted, ‘Holy shit!’”
2. Alie & Michael Causey
“I asked her at Top of the Rock. I had the ring in my coat pocket. In line, right as I noticed the metal detector, the guy in front of us set it off with an engagement ring of his own! He pulled it out and his girlfriend started to cry, and I thought, ‘I planned all this, and now it’s going to happen in the lobby, right after this guy!’ I took off my coat, and sent it through the conveyer belt. Let’s just say I got to the top and she said ‘Yes.’”
3. Kelley Lynn Niemi & Don Shepherd
“It was a week before Christmas. We took a horse-and-carriage ride, and then walked to Rockefeller Center. Don led me through the thousands of tourists to the base of the tree. I wasn’t suspicious until I noticed him fidgeting with his jacket pocket, saying ‘Merry Christmas, honey ...’ over and over. Then he was on one knee with the ring out. The crowd let out a huge gasp.”
4. Colette & Nick Villamizar
“He asked me on the rink in Rockefeller Center. We cut the huge line (unbeknownst to me, our tickets were stamped to indicate we were ‘the’ couple). We skated and raced under the tree, until everyone was asked to clear the ice for a Zamboni intermission, or so I thought. But no. Nick skated out into the middle of the rink, and I heard someone yell, ‘Oh my God, that guy’s proposing!’”
From the Winter 2008 New York Wedding Guide