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A Brooklyn ‘Wedding Watcher’ Has Watched Wedding Parties Celebrate in the Same Spot for 40+ Years

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Bailey Fountain

Bailey Fountain is where the ‘Wedding Watchers” have been gathering for 4 decades.

Few things in life bring the kind of joy that a wedding does. It’s a happy occasion. Most everyone involved is filled with love and hope. That’s why Rhoda Hill is one of the ‘Wedding Watchers”, a group of people who congregate on Saturdays in a Brooklyn park to watch and share the joy.

Hill has been visiting Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn since the 1970s. She and a group of others gather every Saturday for the sole purpose of watching the wedding parties gather at the park’s fountain, known as Bailey Fountain.

Bailey Fountain is named for Frank Bailey and his wife Mary Louise Bailey. The original fountain was erected in the early 1870s. It was later replaced by an electric fountain in 1897. That was dismantled in 1915 to allow for construction of the city’s subway. The version that stands today was completed in 1932. The bronze sculpture depicts “male and female figures on the prow of a ship, representing Wisdom and Felicity, surrounded by Neptune, his attendant Triton, and a boy holding a cornucopia” according to New York Parks.

Hill says she keeps coming back because it’s something nice to watch. Everyone there is friendly and she enjoys it. She looks forward to Saturdays so she can watch the wedding groups arrive, set up for their photo shoots with the fountain and the nearby Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch and then climb back into their limousines.

When the group first started meeting, there were upwards of 25 members. Some have moved away. Many have passed on. Only a few still come to watch the beauty and pageantry of the wedding parties. As for Hill, she intends to keep coming as long as she’s physically able. Why? Because, she says, there is nothing like the beauty of watching two people start their journey in life together.

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