Elizabeth & Steven

How did Steven propose? I began to bother Steven about proposing in August of 2014. This was when I found my wedding dress (yes, the dress that I actually wore) skimming through bridal gowns for Summer 2015 on the Internet. It was then that I told Steven I wish he’d propose Sunday, the weekend after Thanksgiving because all my friends would be home from school. When that Sunday arrived, I had assumed the proposal wasn’t happening because we never spoke about it. We had very simple plans to do our work in my father’s office, a tradition we had started a few months earlier. When the elevator doors opened on the 9th floor at the office, rose petals were scattered everywhere. “What the hell is happening?” were the first words I dramatically blurted out like a child. Our cheesy song by Ed Sheeran was playing and Steven says, “It’s happening.” As we walked further into the room, roses continued to be everywhere, photos of us, and candles. There were also roses on the floor in the shape of a butterfly, an important element of our relationship; the first gift Steven ever bought me was a diamond butterfly necklace.Steven babbled a speech that he always reminds me was poetic, and when he was done all I could say was “I don’t know what you just said, but I can’t believe you pulled this off without my knowing! Yes!”

Standout Memory of the night: There were happy moments, funny moments, and beautiful moments, but my standout memory of the night was an emotional moment. As I walked down the isle arm-in-arm with my parents—my mother who gave birth to me and fed me, and my father who held me and danced with me on Sunday mornings—I reflected on my life and felt like a child. I felt like I was transforming, being reborn. Before the three of us reached the chuppah, we all stopped and I could tell we were all thinking the same thing, how bittersweet this truly is. My parents let go of my arms and walked toward the chuppah, leaving me alone in the aisle, tearing and scared. I thought I was prepared for that moment, but I wasn’t. In his white robe, Steven walked down to me slowly and smiling sweetly. He also looked like he was being reborn. When he reached me, he whispered the words, “I love you so much.” I felt safe again.

Honeymoon Location: As a little girl I always dreamed of honeymooning in Italy. For this reason, honeymooning there was a no-brainer. We spent a busy three days in Rome, touring and testing out all the gelato shops and restaurants with the best homemade pasta. We ate the most incredible burrata cheese we’ve ever eaten in our lives in Capri. We spent a day on a romantic boat, visiting the blue grotto and swimming in the ocean, eventually ending our boat ride in front of the San Pietro, the hotel we stayed at in Positano. To our amazement, one of the only ways to enter the hotel is down by the water, as the hotel is propped up on a cliff atop the ocean with unimaginable gorgeous views. We drove down the winding roads to Ravello, visited some of the most colorful gardens in the world, and took a cooking class in Bucco Di Bacco where we were given adorable hats and aprons to keep. We ended our luna di miele (the Italian way to say honeymoon) in Venice, the most unique and magical city in Italy.  Dancing to the song I walked down the isle to by Andrea Bocelli being played live in St. Marks Square, we said goodbye to our magical honeymoon. Upon opening our suitcases in our new home, we said hello to real life—our real life.

One piece of advice that you could give to other couples: It’s easy to get carried away planning a glamorous wedding. It’s easy to get caught up picking floral arrangements, deciding where candles belong, and choosing the band. With emotions running high and opinions running even higher, it’s easy to forget what matters most. But what matters most is that life begins after the wedding. Life begins when you wake up the following day and have breakfast in bed together. Life begins when you move into your house or apartment, when you show up to the same home every single day. Our advice would be to sweat as little as possible when planning your wedding. When all is said and done, the flowers will be beautiful, the band will play great and the food will be mouth watering because the room will be filled with passion for the bride and groom. There will be so much energy; no one will care about minor things like centerpieces and side dishes. Keep in mind what happens after the wedding, because life begins there, when at the end of the day, you both return to the same home.

Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier

Groom’s Tux: Sartoria Ambrosiana

Bridesmaids’ Gift and Groomsmen’ Gift: My aunt, Bonnie Young, a high-end clothing designer custom-made fur shrugs for all the bridesmaids. Each shrug had a different color butterfly; some were hot pink, some yellow, some green, some blue, and some purple. Bonnie also thought carefully about the butterfly placement. Wanting the bridesmaids to look whimsical, some shrugs had their butterflies on the back, some on the shoulder, and some on the front. The butterflies are detachable, by the way, so my friends will be able to wear these shrugs whenever they want! I also made the bridesmaids these cozy hooded monogrammed robes. One of my favorite parts of the wedding day was getting ready with my sister and all my friends in their matching robes. Brian, our photographer, captured some great moments of me and all the girls jumping on the bed and cracking up in the adorable little robes. Steven bought his groomsmen cufflinks and silver pocket squares.

Something Blue and Something Borrowed: Having something blue and something borrowed isn’t really a tradition brides in my family have upheld, but I still borrowed my mom’s diamond stud earrings. I never considered wearing dramatic earrings, as I didn’t want my jewelry to upstage my dress or butterfly hair accessory. The studs were so simple and elegant—the exact look I was going for.

Carly & Q

How did Q propose?  Q, an accomplished procrastinator, finally decided to do something about all those “Sooo, when’s the enagaaagemeeent?” questions. He’d asked about 50 of our closest friends and family to write little notes to Carly. On August 23rd, one of those friends covertly distracted her with brunch and a manicure. She never suspected that meanwhile, Q with the help of a few good friends, was posting those notes (painstakingly handwritten) to trees, fences and light posts in Central Park — altogether about a mile worth of notes. At the end, there was a picnic by the pond featuring many of Carly’s favorite snacks: Milanos, pounds of cotton candy jelly beans, fudge stripes, chips, cinnamon toast crunch, pringles, basically a 5 year old’s dream. Also present were friends and family who had been anxiously awaiting this particular day.

After being led to the first note, Carly, dressed in red, ambled through the park, reading the notes one by one, as strangers curiously peeked at their contents and asked what was happening. She read the last note by the shore of the pond, where Q had been waiting and shooing away tourists, and ran toward him with glee.

He simply said, “Marry me?”
She simply said, “Of course!”

Their friends and family stashed across the pond revealed themselves with an eruption of cheers. So did strangers nearby, who yelled, “Go Carly!” finally matching the face to the name on the notes. The newly engaged pair walked around the pond toward the picnic where they were greeted with tears, hugs, and grins. Carly describes the day as “perfect.” The rest of the day was spent floating around, dreamlike and with cheeks sore from so much smiling.

Standout Memory of the night: Carly: all of them! Saying our vows to each other, which we had each written and kept secret until that moment. They fit together beautifully, and his were so perfectly romantic. And of course, dancing nonstop with all our favorite people. The whole night was beyond perfect.

Q: Saying our vows, and having our friends and family understand just how deep our love is. Being moved to tears by how happy we felt. The feeling that our wedding fit us perfectly and that everyone around us felt it too.

Honeymoon Location: Bali

One piece of advice that you could give to other couples:  Don’t focus too much on what “should” be, focus instead on what you both want and what feels authentic to you. Make it your own. And in general, laugh often.

Wedding Dress: BHLDN, Anthropologie

Groom’s Tux: Bonobos

Groom’s Gift to Bride/ Bride’s Gift to Groom: Bridesmaids: Wary Meyers candles, Lost in Translation book, and an extra something special for each Groomsmen: Nice Laundry socks and Zelda Triforce cufflinks to wear with their suits

Something blue and something borrowed: Carly carried the handkerchief that my grandmother carried during her own wedding in my bouquet

What was the most surprising thing about the night? Q: I thought the wedding would be all about the party for me, but the ceremony was much more romantic and memorable than I expected; it ended up being the thing that stands out most for me. Carly: I was blown away by the tangible feeling of love and support from everyone around us. There was this beautiful energy in the room that I couldn’t have imagined.