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Wanting a simple wedding, Chris and Eddie sign the register before their civil marriage, conducted by the City Clerk in NYC's Municipal Building. After a short ceremony, they will receive the marriage certificate, being signed by her father who is their witness.
Katrina Thomas's notes: Whether newly arrived in the U.S. or American citizens, resident for generations, the greatest number of marriages adheres to the Anglo-American model, promoted by a powerful wedding industry. Wedding coordinators and bride guides are consulted. With nothing left to chance, planning often takes months. The wedding can be officiated by anyone licensed to marry -- a member of the clergy, an interfaith minister, a civil marriage celebrant. The bride usually wears the most extravagant white dress she or her father can afford. Wedding party attire is color coordinated with the floral decorations -- bridesmaids in matching dresses, groomsmen in ties of the same color, even the two mothers often agreeing to something similar. The marriage may demand a fairy tale wedding, which seeks to be memorable and unusual in a climate of sameness, often incurring considerable wedding debt. In contrast, the procedure of an upper class Anglo-American wedding, held most often at the bride's home, recognizes family traditions. Most of my pictures depict the varied customs kept by this group, the sons and daughters of my WASP or Jewish friends and other couples to whom I have been recommended.