It's that time of year when brides and grooms everywhere walk down the aisle to get hitched. And often, the man waiting for them at the end of the aisle is the Rev. S. Samuel Bass.
Rev. Bass has had a hand in some 3,000 weddings since 1977, personally presiding over 1,000 and dishing off another 2,000 to colleagues.
The Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, pastor, who specializes in untraditional ceremonies, has seen it all during the past 20 years.
"I did a wedding at the Cyclone (roller coaster) once," said Rev. Bass from his All Wedding Chapel at 3119 Coney Island Ave.
"The couple was dressed in Gay '90s costumes. I went on the coaster with them. I was in the second car. It was enough to do it on the Cyclone but in top hat and tails?"
The good reverend also got a chance to swing on the trapeze with Cirque du Soleil in Battery Park City when a high-wire act decided to take the matrimonial plunge.
The most hectic period came during spring 1997, when illegal immigrants by the hundreds were making mad dashes down the aisle wearing Americans on their arms· More stringent immigration laws were about to go into effect on April 1, and for many, it meant getting either married or deported. "For a few weeks, I hardly had time to eat or sleep," Bass said. "I'd carry three couples at a time and ad double weddings. These people were terrified they'd be sent out of the country.
Individual wedding costs depend on how far Rev. Bass has to travel. He will incorporate any culture into the ceremony. For instance, Filipinos have a tradition of the bride and groom being loosely tied together with a rope. Black couples might participate in the old custom of "jumping the broom," a tradition that signified marriage when it was forbidden for slaves.
Bass said his knot-tying numbers might have been higher if couples didn't weasel out on him. "I got a call the other week where the groom called and said the bride hit him in the face - and he was bleeding - they called it off," said Bass.
"And sometimes, I'll get a call the next day. They ask me if I can uncancel it."
The Rev. Samuel Bass has had a hand in 3,000 weddings. N.Y. Post: Spencer Burnett