From the beginning, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's wedding plans have played out on a very public stage: Last year, she interrupted a news conference to announce the passage of same-sex marriage legislation and said it would make her own nuptials possible.
But the celebration itself will be mostly private. The media isn't invited to the Saturday evening wedding, when Quinn — the city's first openly gay council speaker — marries her longtime partner, Kim Catullo.
In the days leading up to the ceremony, happening a short walk from their home in Chelsea, City Hall has been a backdrop for a flurry of wedding preparations. Earlier this week, Quinn's father interrupted a news conference to hand her a bag containing a hair comb. A question-and-answer session with reporters was dominated by queries about the couple's plans.
Quinn acknowledged that, with four days to go until the ceremony, there was at least one important detail that she still had to take care of.
"I have not yet written my vows. But I have stressed over them a great deal," she said. "Kim has, she's way ahead of me on this."
Among the guests expected at the event are Gov. Cuomo — who pushed through the law that makes the wedding possible — as well as Mayor Bloomberg and New York Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer.
Both women lost their mothers to cancer when they were teenagers, and they have established a women's cancer research fund in their honor in advance of the ceremony. Bloomberg, a billionaire who lobbied for the marriage legalization along with Quinn, has said he will make a donation.
The wedding comes 10 days after President Barack Obama voiced his support for same-sex marriage. After his announcement, Quinn — who is expected to run to replace Bloomberg next year and currently leads the pack of presumptive candidates in fundraising — said it made her feel that the president himself would be walking her down the aisle.
"It makes you stand a little taller. It makes you carry your head a little higher. It makes you feel better about who you are," she said.
Last June, tears welled in Quinn's eyes as she described how New York's same-sex marriage law would change things for her and Catullo.
"I was never sure this bill would pass," she said. "Even this morning as I stood in my apartment getting ready, I was so nervous, because I had begun to plan the wedding in my mind. And I thought, 'What if it doesn't happen again,' the disappointment will be so tremendous."
"It's hard to describe the feeling of having the law of your state changed to say ... what you know in your heart is true, that you are a full member of the state, and that your family is as good as any other family," she said.