It was the middle of November, but you'd never guess it by the way the sun was shining as the couple posed for photos outside by the water. Michelle and Paul had a picture-perfect day for their wedding at the Venetian Yacht Club.
Guests arrived and we gathered inside to start the celebration! The ceremony began with a long processional that included their parents and a wedding party of fourteen friends and family. As Paul and I watched them walking in, I noticed he was shifting his weight from one foot to the other, swaying with excitement. Finally, Michelle appeared. From across the room, the bride and groom shared a loving smile that seemed to calm his nerves a bit. At the head of the aisle, she gave her father a kiss and took her place, and everyone settled in to listen to their love story.
The two were High School sweethearts, so I started with tales of typical teenage awkwardness that inspirited their guests with lots of laughs. I spoke of how their relationship changed through their years at different colleges. The miles between them allowed Michelle and Paul to separately mature and come into their own, and they filled the distance with a growing love. Being from the same town here on Long Island gave them a strong foundation and meant that they always came home to each other. The more time passed, the more their lives became intricately entwined. As I reflected on the reasons the couple had chosen to marry, the nods from their guests made it clear that they couldn't agree more - they were simply meant to be.
Perhaps the most moving part of the ceremony was when Michelle and Paul exchanged the vows they wrote for one another. So honest and sincere, they opened their hearts for all to see. Though in one sense, sharing such emotionally-charged words in front of 200 people was a very public display of affection, it was also a deeply personal and intimate moment. Their guests held a sacred space for them to express themselves with grace, and there wasn't a dry eye anywhere to be seen.
During that ceremony, I think we all felt the love between Michelle and Paul solidify for what is sure to be an everlasting marriage, and it truly was an honor for me to pronounce them husband and wife!
Kind words from the couple...
Q&A with the couple
Q. What was your favorite moment in the ceremony? A. Paul's favorite moment of the ceremony is when he first laughed during my vows, because it got him to stop crying. My favorite part of the ceremony were also the vows. Although I enjoyed sharing the smiles and laughs during the ceremony with all the guests, the vows were definitely my favorite part.
Q. What advice would you offer to couples that are planning their wedding? A. Paul's advice is to elope. Just kidding, he says not to stress too much- everything tends to work out. My advice is to try and start with an idea or vision of what you want- making decisions when you know what you want is much easier than going into each decision open to everything.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Venetian Yacht Club http://www.venetianyachtclub.com/
Photographer: Patken Photography http://www.patkenphotographer.com/
Flowers: The Little Flower Shop, http://www.thelittleflowershopoflindenhurst.com/
Hair: Dusti Napolitano, Fire Monkey Hair Design http://www.firemonkeyhairdesign.com/
Make-up: Sia Beohler, Metamorphosis New York, firstname.lastname@example.org, 516-234-2375
Limo: M&V Limousines http://www.mvlimo.com/
DJ: L.I. Sound http://www.lisounddj.com/