Melanie and Dean brought a small group of their nearest and dearest over to New York from Australia for their July wedding in Central Park. They had been together for eight and a half years when they got married. They met in Fiji on what the Aussies call ‘Schoolies’, “a week long party/holiday that Aussies traditionally take to celebrate finishing high school – definitely not a place you would expect to meet your future husband/wife!” Melanie told me. “Our two groups of friends met on the beach and we spent the night talking until sunrise,” she said.
Melanie and Dean feel that they have grown up together. “Since we met just as we finished high school, we were really only just children. We’ve matured into adults together and helped shape each other into the people we are today,” she explained.
They were in town from the 3rd to the 12th July and they got married on the 8th. The sun is high and bright and hot, and not too flattering for photos in the middle of the day in July in New York, so they opted for a later afternoon ceremony. The Shakespeare Garden is lovely in the summer, but there’s no cover or shade there.
Our officiant met the groom and guests in the Shakespeare Garden and our photographer met the bride at the 81st and Central Park West entrance to the park and walked in with her. Our photographer was able to let the officiant know when the bride was nearby, so she announced her and that was Melanie’s sister Mardi’s cue to perform a song on acoustic guitar for Melanie as she made her entrance.
Their sister-in-law Joanna read the poem ‘The Union’ by Robert Fulghum. It’s a popular one for weddings, and I think it’s very lovely, so I’ve put the text at the end of this post. They had the traditional vows, which end with them saying “I do”. After that, they put in some light-hearted promises that were private and public jokes about their characters, such as “Do you promise to always nod and smile politely when listening to her boring teacher stories?” and “Do you promise to learn sign language when his eardrums burst from listening to too much heavy metal?” which they also answered “I do” to. I love it when couples are able to show their personalities this way, when they only have a small group in attendance, so they feel comfortable saying quite personal things, that distant family and acquaintances just won’t get.
They requested photographer Andy Mars, after seeing her photos on our blog. They took lots of fun photos around the Shakespeare Garden, and Belvedere Castle, which is very close by. They had a little bit of rain while taking the photos, but they took it in very good humor.
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‘The Union’ by Robert Fulghum
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.