First couple to get married live on TODAY celebrates 20th anniversary

Peter and Melanie Ginsberg celebrated a milestone anniversary after having been the first couple to get married live on TODAY in 2000.
/ Source: TODAY

The first wedding to ever happen live on TODAY celebrated a love that was built to last.

Peter and Melanie Ginsberg, who were selected from nearly a thousand couples in 2000 for a "TODAY Ties the Knot" special, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary on Sunday.

Peter and Melanie Ginsberg celebrated their 20th anniversary on Sept. 6 after becoming the first couple to ever get married live on TODAY in 2000. Courtesy Peter Ginsberg

"We're one of the lucky ones that seem to have a really amazing life together," Peter Ginsberg told TODAY. "It was a great way to start the journey that day."

"It does grow sweeter with time," Melanie told TODAY.

Peter made a special montage of the footage for Melanie to celebrate their 20th anniversary, which he also marked with a sweet message to his wife on Facebook.

"The start of our 'official' great adventure with my best friend and with the best person I know," he wrote. "You stole my heart and helped me to be the best version of myself. I am forever grateful to you for sharing your life with me."

Since that 15-minute wedding ceremony on Rockefeller Plaza, Peter, 48, and Melanie, 47, have raised a family together. The couple from Bayville, New York, has two children, Jack, 17, and Emma, 15, who have enjoyed hearing how mom and dad got married.

"You know we're old because the video we have of it is on a VCR tape," Peter joked. "I think the kids are amazed by it. They've been hearing a lot about it throughout their life, and they think it's cool. They can't believe how young we were."

Being selected to have their wedding in front of hundreds of spectators and family as well as 6 million people watching at home seemingly came at the perfect time for the couple.

Peter's father had died from cancer at 60 a few months before Peter saw the callout on TODAY for couples looking to be selected. He and Melanie were engaged but were overwhelmed at the time between not having much money to pay for a wedding and not wanting to ask their parents to foot the bill following his father's death.

"It was one of those things that very quickly in the process, we were disheartened by the sheer cost and the planning," Peter said. "We never expected or anticipated we would've gotten that far (in the TODAY selection process), and to win — that was never something we actually expected.

The Ginsbergs were selected from nearly a thousand couples to have their wedding on TODAY. Courtesy Peter Ginsberg

"We were overjoyed. I felt like my father was looking down on me and helping me out."

Not only did TODAY handle the wedding, the show tried something new for that time: online voting.

Viewers voted on TODAY's website for things like which gown Melanie would wear (Carolina Herrera), what type of wedding rings the couple would get (Tiffany), and where they would go on their honeymoon (Hawaii).

"A lot of people thought, 'How could you give them the power to pick all that stuff?'" Melanie said. "But it was so beyond whatever we were able to do on our own, there were no bad choices.

The happy couple still lives in New York and has two children, son Jack, 17, and daughter, Emma, 15. Courtesy Peter Ginsberg

"Our kids don’t have as much of a lens for this because so much now is online voting, but this was like the first time anyone had any interactive voting like this."

The Ginsbergs say their 15 minutes of fame "were all positive." Courtesy Peter Ginsberg

Peter, who is a lawyer, and Melanie, who is director of people services at Schechter School of Long Island, are now used to people doing double takes when they tell them about their wedding.

"Most people are shocked," Peter said. "They're intrigued by the whole process."

Live weddings on TODAY have become a staple since the Ginsbergs tied the knot all those years ago.

"It seems like the love stories and the backgrounds behind the couples have gotten more incredible over the years," Peter said. "Mel and I had our 15 minutes of fame, and it was all positive. That's a rare thing these days."