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What it's like to get married at the courthouse where Trump's trial is happening

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Well, we now have a verdict in former President Trump's hush money trial. The last four weeks have wreaked havoc in one small corner of Lower Manhattan. In all of this madness, business is continuing as usual - the business of getting married. The office of the city clerk where people go to get married is right next door to this trial - or has been. ALL THINGS CONSIDERED producer Jordan-Marie Smith spoke with one of the newlyweds as well as the Washington Post reporter who first interviewed this couple.

JORDAN-MARIE SMITH, BYLINE: Sam Alcoff and Anna Gold put off getting married for 18 years until yesterday. But there was just one hitch to, well, getting hitched.

SAM ALCOFF: It was the same day that the jury was out deliberating on the Trump trial. So Anna picked up our daughter, and I picked up our son. And it was a real circus when we got down there, but we got married.

SMITH: Their kids are 9 and 13, and Alcoff says they were still eager to see their parents get married despite it being an especially hectic day.

ALCOFF: So when you get off the subway and you're walking towards the courthouse and you see all of these satellite trucks, metal barricades. There's people with big flags and big signs and shouting and a bunch of reporters waiting.

SMITH: One of those reporters was Amber Ferguson. She originally reported on the marriages and interviewed Sam Alcoff. Side note - she's also my friend. She found herself drawn into the story in an unexpected way.

AMBER FERGUSON: OK, so I was just standing outside. So I saw these two brides, Yelitza Colon and Arbelys Pina, and they, like, ran out of their cab and, like, ran up. And then they come back out, and they said, hey. Are you working right now? We need a witness.

SMITH: You see - journalists aren't usually supposed to get involved in these stories, but Amber couldn't resist.

FERGUSON: And the security guard is like, no, no, no. You can't come in. Like, he knew I was press. I took off my press badge, and I was like, but I'm a witness. It was just, like, a beautiful sight to see.

SMITH: Both Alcoff and Ferguson said that even though there was chaos outside, there was only good vibes inside the marriage bureau.

ALCOFF: I think there's a temptation to focus on the craziness of the unending Trump trials, but we can't schedule our lives around what Donald Trump is getting into next.

SMITH: Alcoff is committed to finding love and community wherever he can, even though, he says, this is an increasingly scary world. Jordan-Marie Smith, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF CELTIC HARP MUSIC'S "HERE COMES THE BRIDE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Jordan-Marie D Smith
[Copyright 2024 NPR]