Dressed in white and emblazoned with the ULC's white clergy badge, Reverend Woody was lucky that the two weddings he performed were early in the day and that he would be able to retreat inside before the hot summer sun really began bearing down.
Even in the heat, which was considerable in New York City in August at any time of day, Reverend Woody was able to juggle many elements, including the elements while performing what turned out to be his first wedding services.
"I have been ordained for a few years but I was saving myself for gay marriage," the Reverend said after he was finished with his ceremonies.
Unbeknownst to us, Reverend Woody performed his first ceremony for two men that had been waiting to get married. Dressed casually, they beamed as Reverend Woody read a short but poignant service that marked the end of a long wait for marriage equality, not just for the couple but for Woody as well.
Had he never mentioned it, we would have thought that he had been a celebrant for years and these were his fiftieth, not first, weddings. Not one to be bothered by tradition, Woody skipped the Latin and performed a civil ceremony for two Latinas from the Bronx in both English and Spanish, that way their Tia Amanda who spoke no English would be able to share in the day they had waited been waiting for.
Showing nothing but confidence, Woody had the added pressure of performing his services in front of a crowd that had either come to watch or were stopped upon seeing the commotion. "I am a New Yorker, I do public speaking for a living," Wood said when ask whether or not he was nervous.
This ceremony also included children, the least predictable part of any wedding. Using their names, and calling them to bring the rings to the altar, Woody smiled as their son needed to retrieve the ring from the ground and resumed the ceremony without missing a beat.
"They actually asked their moms why they weren't married like all the other parents."
Thanks to Woody, now they are.
The Universal Life Church is overjoyed to congratulate Woody on his first ceremonies and we are looking forward to hearing about many, many more in the future.