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  • City Hall is beautiful. The rotunda is surrounded by big, bright windows, a giant white staircase winds around the upper-level viewing deck. The marriage office is a small room tucked along the southwest corner of the building. It has no interior walls, just a big, solemn counter where you stand to file your license. It's not breezy and light the way you'd expect a place to be that provides such a joyful service. This room is for the legal nuts and bolts, more business than bouquets.

    There are three of us: the bride (my best friend), the groom (my dear friend), and me. Our appointment is at 4PM -- really it is their appointment, but I like to remember it as ours -- and after we check in and show our IDs at the counter, we step into the hallway, waiting to be called. I fuss with the bouquet, tying and untying and and re-tying the ribbon. On the way over I'd stopped at a booth outside the train station that sold flowers out of plastic buckets. I bought a cluster of flowers that I hoped would suit the bride. I didn't know what colors she was wearing, so I chose bright yellow sunflowers. It turns out she wore yellow shoes that match.

    Just a little after four, their officiant comes out and asks us to follow him upstairs. I trail behind, carrying a box of cupcakes and the bouquet while the bride touches up her lip gloss, trying to take photos all the while. I am florist, caterer, photographer, witness, and so very lucky to be there. The ceremony is quick and sweet. We cry, they kiss, we hug and then tuck into the cupcakes. I mix up the peanut butter and salted caramel flavors, but it doesn't matter. We share them all anyway.
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