family onlineTechnology pandemic wedding

Well, the pandemic brings new experiences every day. This morning I went to an online wedding—not Zoom but an app called GoToMeeting. My niece, Emily Alter, and her fiancé. Max Krol, were married at 10:30—9:30 a.m. in Texas. They had planned an elaborate destination June wedding in Turks & Caicos, which made the Texas Alters rejoice. Colin and Lisa actually lived on Provo, one of the Turks & Caicos islands, and I visited them there. It would have been familiar territory.
But COVID-19 interfered. Air travel began to look more and more unwise, and they were unsure about the resort they were working with. Common sense prevailed, and they cancelled everything. Emily has been an R.N. on an orthopedic floor at Lennox General in Manhattan for several years, but with the pandemic, her unit was converted to care for COVID-19 patients. We are all extremely proud of her and more than a bit worried for her. Obviously, she had no time to plan a wedding.
Enter the City of New York. Mayor De Blasio and Corey Johnson, Speaker of the New York City Council, conceived of a plan they called Project Cupid, and Governor Cuomo signed it into law. The online marriage license program is a way of encouraging love during the time of pandemic. Previously New York residents had to appear in person to apply for a marriage license. Under this program, the whole thing can be done virtually—documents submitted, payments made under a secure electronic program. The signed marriage license is delivered electronically. The program is available in eleven languages and translation assistance is available if needed. One more wonderful example of the things being done by caring and kind people these days. They truly outweigh the outrageous rebellion and selfishness we see from some.
I was unsure what form the wedding would take, but by 9:30 Jordan, Jacob, and I were at my computer (Christian had a work appointment). Turns out the ceremony would be conducted by the family rabbi who married Emily’s older sister and brother. The rabbi estimated that, with quite a few households logged on, there were close to a hundred people in attendance. Lots of bantering back and forth preceded the ceremony. The bride’s father wore a white shirt and bow tie but joked he couldn’t stand up because he didn’t have pants on. My oldest son and his family were all spiffed up, Colin and Kegan in sport coats but I suspect they too had shorts on the bottom.

My Tomball family in their wedding finery  Megan tuned in from their Austin apartment while Brandon logged on from his parents’ home in Midland where he was on a belated Mothers’ Day visit. The rabbi took center stage and joked that this was Uncle Mark’s way of avoiding the expense of a Caribbean wedding. But he turned solemn for the actual wedding, which included the ritual of exchange rings and the traditional stomping of a glass by the groom. Afterward, the bride and groom cut a cake, and one-by-one people chimed in with their congratulations.
It was a day for happy tears. Last night I was awake awhile in anticipation, but I expect to have sweet dreams tonight. And I’m still in a bit of wonder at what can be done with technology. ##onlineTechnology ##family ##pandemic ##wedding
onlineTechnology family pandemic wedding

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