Bowler hat, by Victor Helfand
VICTOR HELFAND Aroma Espresso Bar (500 Bloor West, 416 536-7750), to May 31. See listing.
Helfand became intrigued by the Manhattan Marriage Bureau when a friend described witnessing some of the state's first same-sex unions. New York State passed its Marriage Equality Act in 2011, inspiring couples to celebrate their unions with flair.
His Marriage Bureau show documents wedding ceremonies - not all of them same-sex - that cut across a broad swath of cultures, subcultures and orientations, all photographed against the backdrop of City Hall.
"The original inspiration was a comment about the wedding of ‘a gay dwarf couple dressed in tuxedo and bridal gown.' During my third visit, using a Canon SLR, I photographed behind families who were shooting the newlyweds in front of a painted backdrop depicting New York City Hall.
"I was eventually escorted out by the police."
Though the area is public and no signs are posted, Helfand decided to leave without a fight. More than a few newlyweds accosted him to ask for prints.