Getting Married Where the Catering Is a Pretzel Vendor


The photographer Daniel Arnold spent the month of May camped outside the New York City Clerk’s Office, documenting couples getting married in irreverent, wild, untraditional — and sometimes very traditional — ways.

CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

“A great microcosm of the city’s very diverse population,” is how Daniel Arnold describes the swirl of people around City Hall in downtown Manhattan. “You get representatives from every economic class, every race and religion, every gender and gender preference. The whole gamut is there.”

There is also a cottage industry of people Mr. Arnold befriended during his time shooting who make their living selling flowers, pretzels and sodas, and by offering their services as photographers and witnesses to the couples. “We’ve got all kinds of characters, and it really made for a nice microcommunity for me to go to every day,” Mr. Arnold said.

CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

This was the big moment where this couple stepped out as newlyweds and were greeted with confetti. “There are so many different brides passing through, so many marriages happening a day and so many of these mini on-the-street receptions that you get a crazy collage of all these different kinds of confetti on the ground: rose petals, glitter, sparkly stars, paper.”

CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

“I thought it was such a charming thing that had never occurred to me before,” Mr. Arnold said of the identical outfits worn by this couple.

CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

“How often do you see two unicorns in one place? Kind of rare,” Mr. Arnold said. City Hall’s many elevated spaces make for irresistible jungle gyms, one of which was used by the child in the background.

CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

The complementary patterns of the women’s head scarves and the marbled side of the building caught Mr. Arnold’s eye, as did the humor in this moment. “Any time I see…

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