Lauren & Sam, Brooklyn Museum, NY
What is your love story?
Ours is a classic story, really. Boy meets Girl, Girl makes-out with Boy’s friend. Four years later, Boy meets Girl again. Boy discovers that his father and Girl’s father were college roommates. Boy sees many old photos of his father that call into question his judgment and hears many old stories that his father probably wanted to remain unheard. Boy and Girl keep running into one another at dive-y New York City bars and poorly-catered work events. Boy and Girl go on a proper date. Boy shows up late. Girl goes on a second date anyway. And a third. Boy decides that sometimes, he thinks he might be falling for Girl. Girl has mild panic attack. Boy falls for Girl. Boy and Girl decide it’s a good idea to share a 300 square-foot studio. Boy and Girl decide it’s a better idea not to share a 300 square-foot studio. Boy goes to grad school. Girl follows him to grad school. Girl moves to California. Boy follows her to California. Boy finally gets his act together and decides that spending forever with Girl sounds pretty great.
What did planning a wedding teach you about your relationship?
We’ve known each other for almost 15 years. We’ve been together for eight. We’ve lived in nine apartments across three states. We’ve broken up. We’ve gotten back together. We almost got a puppy. We thought better of it. We got a fish.
This is all to say that after all this time together, wedding planning wasn’t necessarily a learning experience so much as it was a reminder of why we wanted to get married. We don’t always agree in our daily lives, and wedding planning was no different. But compatibility has been an achievement of our relationship – not a precondition for it. Over nearly a decade, we’ve learned to navigate the world as partners, growing for each other as much as we’ve grown with each other. So, even when we didn’t see eye to eye on the particulars of the menu, we never wavered in our shared vision of an event that felt like the life we’ve worked so hard to build together; warm and inclusive and joyous and celebratory.
What was the most unique detail at your wedding?
We’re pretty sure that most groom’s parents don’t hop in a taxi for a short 15 minute ride to the venue, only to have their cabbie take them on the scenic route which includes a detour through Sheepshead Bay and a stop at a bodega for directions. But we also recognize that on wedding weekends, travel mishaps are a dime a dozen. What we can say – unequivocally – is that we’ve never heard of another rabbi that processed down the aisle on the heels of a gospel choir, and that this was the first time the choir from St. Joseph’s of the Holy Family has ever had their songs greeted with a chorus of mazel tovs.
Describe a moment from your day that you hope never to forget.
Having spent the better part of a year making (and unmaking and remaking) an innumerable number of decisions, the most memorable moment had nothing to do with song lists or seating charts. The recession up the aisle – though it probably lasted only 15 seconds – felt like it went on forever, and we both would have been thrilled if it had. The happiness of knowing we had all our people with us, not just on that night, but as part of the family we’re building, was a feeling that neither of us will ever forget. When we look back on photos 30 years from now, we’ll talk not just about how much skinnier and younger we looked back then, but about the smiles on our faces at that moment and the exultant, unbridled joy behind them.
Do you have advice for couples that are in the throes of wedding planning?
You’ll have people tell you “Just have fun with it!” Those people aren’t your friends. The planning process is stressful. It reveals familial tension that you could never have imagined, about issues that you didn’t even know existed. But that’s not because anyone is being selfish or acting crazy. It’s because everyone involved is incredibly human, and they care beyond words about you. You know how a puppy gets so excited when its owners have come home that it runs around in circles until it falls over and vomits? That’s how everyone is feeling. Give them the benefit of the doubt. And, if all else fails, just have fun with it!
Planning: Vanda High Events
Cake & Catering: Great Performances
Dress: Oscar de la Renta from Bergdorf Goodman
Floral Design: Glorimundi
Hair & Makeup: Olivia Halpin and Ashlee Glazer
Music, Ceremony: St Joseph’s of the Holy Family Gospel Choir
Music, Reception: Rhythm Collective
Stationery, Invitations: Dempsey & Carroll
Stationery, Save the Dates & Ketubah: Rabbit Rabbit Design
Venue: Brooklyn Museum