On Tuesday, Lower Manhattan was buzzing with activity as former President Donald Trump was charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. A heavy police presence was present on the streets surrounding the Manhattan Criminal Court, where pro- and anti- Trump demonstrators had gathered to await the verdict. Hundreds of media crew had crowded the area next to the court, with photographers vying for the best shot of Trump’s entrance and exit.
Around the corner, however, was a less visible but equally historic event taking place that day. A small but happy wedding party likely went unnoticed amidst the chaotic streets. Josh Owen-Winn and his bride, Mercedes, had traveled all the way from Liverpool, U.K. to get married on this particular day. With the whole world’s eyes focused on the nearby courthouse and the trial of Donald Trump, the couple experienced an event as surreal as it was overwhelming.
Amidst the flurry of protests and counter-protests, Josh and Mercedes made their way through the dense crowd to their own special ceremony. Like a scene out of story book, the couple emerged from the Louis J. Lefkowitz Building, the home of the Manhattan Marriage Bureau, to smiles and kisses from their wedding party. Little did they know, only a few minutes prior and a block away, Donald Trump’s motorcade had sped past on the way to the courthouse.
The Manhattan Marriage Bureau is home to many couples looking to tie the knot and make a swift end to their “engagement period” (as the city so kindly puts it). While the officiants presiding over each ceremony don’t seem to fit into any one stereotype, the days of couples making their way into the Lefkowitz Building are much different now than they used to be. On this particular day, the eyes of the world were focused somewhere else, making the Owen-Winn’s wedding even more extraordinary.
Once they obtained their official marriage license, Josh and Mercedes braved the crowds and made it to their next destination – wherever it may be – just like any other bride and groom would. And although their wedding day took place right in the midst of something much greater than themselves, Josh Owen-Winn said it all felt ‘surreal’ – and it surely was.