It was a misty cloudy morning but not even the weather could damen the spirits and joy of the 48 coupleswho gathered on Goat Island near theBridal Veil Falls for the historic occasion.
It all began with a recording of Rayperforming "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and was followed by a short but somewhat emoitional sppech from Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation President John Percy. In his speech Percy said a partnership of marriage is a timeless icon and told the couples he hoped their love would become more powerful than the powerful cataracts behind them. Niagara Falls has long been known as the honeymoon capital of the world and Percy said that now it is the honeymoon capital for all people.
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster spoke and said that the ceremony could not have been held in a better place. The mayor welcomed all of the couples both local and from across the nation including Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas. Mayor Dyster concluded by saying, "may rainbows be your guide where ever life takes you."
The wedding ceremony itself was performed by three officiates - Honourable Kristen Grandinetti, Reverend Theresa Kime, and Pastor Marna Pritchard. After an exchange of vowes, the giving of rings, and thepronouncement of wedlock a great cheer erupted. Not even a small protest by a local congregation could hinder the joyous event.
Shaun Doyle from the Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus performed "From This Moment" originally recorded by; and NTCC President John Percy gave the closing remarks.
Once the couple signed the marriage lisences and made their way to Terripin Point near the majestic Horseshoe Falls the reception began with the cutting of the cakes; an honour that was bestowed on the one female and one male couple who had been together the longest - nearly 30 years.
On June 24 New York Governorsigned into law the Marriage Equality Act allowing same sex couples to marry in 30 days time. Numerous couples took advantage of the law and wed on Sunday July 24 - the first day the law was legal - and many more joined them on Monday.