When the words “Valentines Day” are uttered, are your initial thoughts those of exchanging vows in the middle of Times Square? Well, many braved the weather this Sunday to celebrate their love. Surrounded by a ring of gold, mirrored hearts and bright lights, couples joined their hands in marriage as onlookers cheered.
It’s Sunday, February 14, 2016- Valentine’s day. Nine gold, mirrored hearts are aligned in a circle on Duffy Square by the famous red steps of Times Square. Inside the circle are a few rows of seats and a camera man. Aside from Times Square’s normal bustle of tourists (though significantly less people are out and braving the cold 10 degree weather), people are gathered around the heart installation, intrigued by their own reflections and a sign reading, “Weddings in the Square”. A camera crew is huddled under a tent close by. A man dressed in a red costume equipped with a heart-shaped hat and tinsel, is walking around spreading the love- handing out heart-shaped stickers and words of encouragement. Select couples who registered are able to exchange wedding vows in the circle, and others renew their vows on the red steps at 6pm.
“If you believe in love, you can get everything. Be in love, feel love, share love.” – Dimitri Ivanov
“We’re from Los Angeles and she had a work trip so we decided to extend our trip. We’ve been married for a year and a half so she registered us to renew our vows today, we thought times square would be a romantic place.” –Diana Lomelin
“It’s kind of cool, its Valentine’s Day so why not I guess, spread the love. It’s interesting they’re doing this in times square”. –Jake Matthews
It’s one of the coldest days this year- 10 degrees out but the wind chill makes it feel about negative 10. Everyone is bundled up in their warmest layers. Runny, red noses are everywhere, tissues seem to be in hand no matter which way you turn. People are shivering and shaking, but spirits seem to be high and smiles are plastered on the frozen faces- it is valentines day after all, the day of love. Times Square isn’t as bustling as it normally is, but those brave souls that have made it out of the comfort of their homes, are taking their time to look at their reflections in the gold, heart-shaped mirrors on Duffy Square. A little blonde woman and her brunette friend are standing by equipped with a camera and microphone. A white tent nearby houses a group of men and a couple of women, more camera crew. The red steps are lined with tourists taking pictures with the backdrop of Times Square. A little man is running around dressed in red, handing out small heart-shaped stickers, plastering them on people’s foreheads as he “blesses” them- wishing them love and offering words of positivity. His name is Dimitri, a performer from Moscow, who with his high spirits, and positive energy, is using his time to spread love to anyone who needs it. The first couple to be wed are Robert and Andrea Little, a beautiful, African-American couple in their early 40s. Andrea is wearing a red dress and carrying a white bouquet as music sounds and she walks towards her husband standing in a black tux. As a couple of their family and friends sit inside the heart lined circle, passerby’s stop to watch the vows be exchanged. People are grinning ear to ear and clap and cheer as the couple is wed. Though smiling, a teenage couple in their early 20s stands by looking slightly perplexed. Jake Matthews and his girlfriend look on, trying to keep warm. Though happy for the couple, they’re slightly confused as to what is going on. Diana Lomelin and her husband (a couple from L.A in their late 20s) are keeping warm in matching hats equipped with pom-poms on the top, taking pictures on the red steps and looking forward to renewing their vows later in the day, though the cold is making them question their decision.