LGBTQ Couples Receive Dream Weddings at Rockefeller Center During N.Y.C. Pride: 'We're Thrilled'
Love is in the air in New York City!
In honor of Pride Month, five LGBTQ+ couples were selected by the Ali Forney Center, a non-profit organization to support LGBTQ+ homeless youth, to receive a complimentary wedding at Rockefeller Center.
Set to be held on Saturday, the "Love Above All Weddings" event offers each couple a private, 10-person ceremony at 620 Loft & Garden, Rockefeller Center's rooftop garden, which overlooks St. Patrick's Cathedral and 5th Avenue.
The lucky couples will also be treated to a champagne and wedding cake toast in the Rainbow Room, a photoshoot at the Top of the Rock Observation Deck and a special performance by a star from RuPaul's Drag Race.
Edward "Eddie" Ryan Rosenbaum and Don Cummings are one of the pairs who were selected — and they tell PEOPLE they're beyond thrilled about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"When we first started dating, we never imagined we'd be able to celebrate our own marriage, much less in such an iconic New York location," the couple says. "This opportunity could not have come at a better time and be more aligned with our dreams of how we wanted to celebrate our love."
According to the pair, they first met ten years ago while Cummings was in medical school at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland.
After their first date, life took them in separate directions, with Rosenbaum joining the Peace Corps and traveling to Africa, while Cummings went on to pursue an internal medicine residency at the Cleveland Clinic.
"We both left that first date with such a profound impression and admiration of one another," the couple says. "As we parted ways and were separated by international borders, we still would think about each other as we were both embarking on new stages and journeys in our lives."
"We lost touch, but not the memory or the feeling for one another," they note, adding that despite their feelings, "we never would have imagined reconnecting."
Three years later, fate brought the couple back together when Rosenbaum got stranded in Cleveland after a tropical storm hit the destination where he was preparing to do another campaign with the Peace Corps.
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With the mission postponed, Rosenbaum and Cummings had a chance to reconnect, spend time together and finally go on their second date.
"We felt very fortunate and it was exhilarating to look into each other's eyes again," the couple says. "Our lives had drastically changed from our first encounter, but we both still had that same spark towards each other, which had only grown stronger over the years."
"If there was ever more of a sign to pursue this relationship, this was it," they add. "It felt like the universe was giving us a message."
The rest, they say, was history. After dating long-distance for two more years, Rosenbaum and Cummings moved in together in N.Y.C. and later proposed to each other in Puerto Rico.
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All the while, the couple has held Rockefeller Center close to their hearts.
"Rockefeller Center has been home to so many special memories for us, from when we stood in line for hours on standby in the winter and made it into Saturday Night Live, to bringing out of town guests to Bar 65, our annual tradition of seeing the Christmas tree light up every year, and to the holiday brunch at the Rainbow Room," they say. "We're thrilled to create a new memory here, for such a special milestone in our lives."
"We are so honored and privileged that the Ali Forney Center selected and invested in our love," they add.
"Love Above All Weddings" is part of Rockefeller Center's annual "Love Above All" series, which aims to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month.
Previously, the center held a "Love Above All Ball" in 2019 at the Rainbow Room and a "Love Above All Virtual Auction" in 2020, which raised over $42,000 for The Ali Forney Center.
"Rockefeller Center is a place that has always celebrated equality and love, and we are overjoyed to participate in this year's Pride festivities and have the opportunity to help New Yorkers create their most incredible experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives," EB Kelly, the Managing Director of Tishman Speyer, which oversees Rockefeller Center, said in a statement.
In addition to Rosenbaum and Cummings, four other couples were selected by the Ali Forney Center to be recipients of the "Love Above All Weddings" event.
Christian O'Brien and Robert "Bobby" Furler, Chelsea Powell and Mia Ibrahim, Marco Antonio Garcia II and Cole Murphy-Hockett, and Argenis Payamps and Julio Payamps Gutiérrez will also receive complimentary weddings on Saturday.
Like Rosenbaum and Cummings, each couple's unique love story and personal connection to Rockefeller Center was what made them perfect recipients for this joyful event.
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