True love needs no lights. Or heat. Or music.
Two little LED candles on a podium was all it took Friday for a Plan B wedding in lower Manhattan.
That – and the city clerk.
Among the seven couples who showed up to tie the knot were Jason Allegrante and Caroline Pommert, both 28 and from Brooklyn.
“We’re really happy to be doing something life-affirming in the middle of this catastrophe,” Allegrante declared as he arrived on Worth St. – breathless, late and a little pale, tugging at his vest and anxious to see his petite bride inside.
Andrea Allegrante said her son and daughter-in-law planned to get married Friday because Pommert’s visa expires Monday. She’s from France and works here as a casting director in the film industry. The groom is a lawyer with the Federal Reserve.
“She needs to get her green card,” Allegrante said. “But that’s the least of it. They’re very much in love. They’ve been together three years.”
John Allegrante said he was planning to treat the wedding party to a fancy luncheon at the Gramercy Tavern, but it’s closed because there’s no power. He said he now plans a bigger party — “maybe in France.”
Pommert, in a short white chiffon dress with an off-the-shoulder bodice, wore knee-length black boots and carried a bouquet of white roses. Her maid of honor was the reverse image in a black knee-length dress.
City Clerk Michael McSweeney and his deputy, Alisa Fuentes, married the couples in the “Plan B” chapel, tucked into a reception area between two chapels normally used for such ceremonies.
In front of a semi-circular banquette stood a wooden podium and the two LED candles. The cavernous office had a bit of an eerie feel, lit only by daylight that was minimal because of cloudy skies.
McSweeney said he moved the ceremony to the reception area because noisy, noxious generators were running outside the chapel windows.
“I didn’t want their wedding to be drowned out by the drone of generators and gas fumes,” he said.
McSweeney said 73% of his staff reported to work this week – if not to Manhattan, then to the borough office closest to where they lived. It took all of Thursday to get the generators working in Manhattan and, once they did, the computers were operating in the four other boroughs.
The only other couple to get married in Manhattan this week arrived Wednesday.
McSweeney said, “It was a couple from Germany. They’d gotten their license here Monday, spent the storm in their hotel in Times Square and then Wednesday, strolled down here to see if we were open. They walked in off the street.
“They said they wanted to get married before they flew home today. And why not? We were open for business.”