The Covid-19 pandemic derailed grand plans, family celebrations and weddings for people around the globe.
But, keen on making up for it, a few hundred couples whose special day had to be pared down recently gathered in New York to celebrate their commitment to each other in the name of love.
“We were masked-up. We only had our very immediate family at an outdoor ceremony," one New Yorker told CBS News about her first wedding day.
Another couple, Daniela Steila and Mark Steinberg, said this was their first in-person wedding after exchanging vows online at the peak of the pandemic.
"I couldn't get to Italy, she couldn't come here, so we were married online while we were in different countries, and only then could we be together," Steinberg said.
Some 500 multi-cultural couples signed up to renew their vows at the Lincoln Centre, a sprawling landmark in the Big Apple that’s played host to concerts, ballets, and plays. The event was called Celebrate Love: A (Re)Wedding.
The centre’s website described it as “a special day for newlyweds, those whose weddings were cancelled or diminished, and people who want to recommit their love to their partners and the city we love”.
Love was certainly in the air, as the event featured a multicultural ceremony led by a reverend, an imam and a rabbi, as well as music and dancing. New York City's mayor, Eric Adams, who's single, was also in attendance.
“Congratulations to you all!” he said. “You now make me want to get married!”
There was nothing demure about the do-over. Social distancing was a distant memory as the lovebirds locked lips and sealed their vows with kisses.
"Throughout the pandemic it's felt like celebrations of love have been in short supply. But the reality is people have continued to fall in love, to commit to each other and to this city, and to show that faith in the future every day," said Shanta Thake, the Lincoln Center's chief artistic officer.
The commitment ceremony, which wasn’t legally binding, also saw long-time couples renew their vows after the pandemic gave them a new outlook and lesson in love.
"You can get through anything as long as you could have the love of your partner," Jeff Lawrence-Lopez said.
SOURCES: DAILYMAIL.CO.UK; CBSNEWS.COM; NY1.COM; TOWNANDCOUNTRYMAG.COM