Angel and Alex are both from the Bronx, New York City. They met at High School in 1999 when Angel was 17 and Alex just 15. Angel’s family are religious so he had some concerns about coming out as a young gay man, but within days of meeting Angel and Alex were certain they were in love.
As they grew older and left High School they agreed they one day wanted to be married, and they exchanged rings. They didn’t know at the time how long it would take before same-sex marriages would be recognized legally, so it wasn’t quite official back then. By June 2011 Angel knew the Marriage Equality Act was about to be passed, so he sneakily asked Alex if he could borrow that ring he had given him back in 2001, so that he could get the right sized ring to surprise him with!
They contacted the fabulous Raquel, who is the officiant for Wed in Central Park. She has performed the ceremony for Alex’s sister some years before, and she had recommended her. When they contacted Raquel they were intending to have the ceremony somewhere upstate. They live in the Bronx, Raquel lives in Lower Manhattan, so she suggested they meet in Central Park to talk through how they wanted the ceremony to be.
Raquel had suggested Central Park because she thought it would be a convenient place to meet, she didn’t realize that Angel and Alex had never been to the Park. She said that meeting ended up taking three hours – she gave them a tour of the Park! Not surprisingly, they fell in love with the place, and decided they wanted to have the ceremony there. They had taken lots of photos and found the right location for them, the Shakespeare Garden. They agreed that Central Park would be very easily accessible for all their guests. They set their date for July 24th, the first day that same-sex marriages were legally recognized in New York. They were both thrilled that this momentous day would be their wedding anniversary.
Both Angel and Alex wisely chose linen shirts and pants for their wedding day, and wore sandals on their feet. They are locals they knew the humidity in the city at this time of year. They both carried red and white roses. Their guests were family and friends from High School from all those years ago when they met.
After their photos were taken Angel and Alex took their guests, and Raquel, the officiant, to The Whym restaurant on 9th Avenue at 58th Street, conveniently close to Central Park. Raquel has become very close to Angel and Alex, she says they both remind her of her brother in many ways. She recently introduced them to another part of New York City that they did not know, Fire Island, they loved that almost as much as they loved Central Park, so they’re all going there this year to celebrate their first anniversary!