Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Stephorrine Wedding: Ceremony

When I look into your eyes, it's like watching the night sky or a beautiful sunrise. -Jason Mraz

After having our pictures taken in Time Square, we realized that we were short for time. It was 2:30pm and we had to be at the venue at 3:30pm, a half an hour before the start of our ceremony and we still needed to gather the bridal party to take pictures at Madison Square Park. It seemed like we had plenty of time, but with NYC traffic, you could never be too sure. It could literally take you 30 minutes just to drive down a few blocks. Our driver brought us to the venue exactly on time. We made our way to the bridal suite to find our beautiful bridal party waiting for us. We were still waiting for Stephanie’s parents and Cori’s sister, Natalie, to arrive with our dog, Madison.

Cue Wedding Day Drama:
  1. Stephanie’s father was suppose to pick them up at the hotel, but ended up getting lost.
  2. Everyone had to cram into a taxi and beg the driver to allow Madison in the taxicab. Luckily, the taxi driver agreed. 
  3. Due to the late arrival of Natalie, Madison, and Stephanie’s parents, we were unable to take photos at Madison Square Park.
It wouldn’t be a perfect wedding without something going flawlessly wrong.   

On the other hand, so many things went flawlessly right. Time seemed to speed up and slow down at the same moment. We noticed the little things, such as stolen glances and nervous smiles. We held hands walking up the stairs, and then separated to be with our parents. Madison helped by keeping the nerves down and the laughter up. 

There were a series of deep breaths as we all piled into the small hallway that lead to the back of the rooftop. We weren’t having doubts or getting cold feet, but the immense feeling of excitement and the notion of the impending moment when we say "we do" was becoming more real by the second. We were about to step out into the 45 degree Fahrenheit weather with over 100 pairs of eyes focused on us, clothed in sleeveless dresses. It was utterly terrifying in the most beautiful way. 

And now I want to chase forever down with you around. -Yellowcard

Before we walked down the aisle in our recap, we want to reflect on the carefree moments we spent with our mothers and bridal party in our beautiful bridal suite.We posed in front of the gigantic and  gorgeous mirror, taking pictures and laughing. We weren't able to have our autumn-themed photos taken at Madison Square Park, but we were able to create photographic memories in our bridal suite. It didn't really matter where we had the photos taken, as long as everyone was together and smiling. 

We were so grateful that our beautiful sisters and best friends from high school were able to make the long trip to our wedding. We were also very grateful for our wedding planner, Lulu, for coordinating the entire day brilliantly, abolishing any signs of stress. Madison was too busy people-watching from the windows towards the busy city streets of Manhattan to truly participate in our pictures, but she enjoyed the belly rubs everyone was offering. We had some pre-ceremony drinks, water for the brides and wine for our mothers and bridal party. Everyone, including our mothers, looked absolutely stunning in their dresses. Our dads and brothers also looked wonderfully handsome in their tuxes. Not to mention, Corrine’s grandmother wore her best bright blue sequence dress, which she was saving special for our wedding day.

The greatest moment before the ceremonial music commenced was being able to sign legal marriage documents, indicating that we will be recognized as wife and wife in the state of New York. Our lovely officiant presented us with the paperwork and our two best friends from our bridal party, Yvonne and Andrea, signed as witnesses. Our hands were shaking as we provided our signatures because it felt like so incredibly dreamlike... the kind of dream that left you hoping it would last forever.

I'm wonderstruck, blushing all the way home.  -Taylor Swift

As the processional music started playing, we could feel the rush of emotion that we worked so hard to contain. Music usually has a way of awakening the soul and displaying your true self. Our bridal party entered the terrace first, starting with Corrine's younger brother, Patrick, and grandmother, followed by Andrea, Yvonne, Stephanie's older bother, Jason with Madison, and ending with Natalie, and then Debbie. 

As soon as the music changed, preparing for our entrances, we could have sworn that our hearts stopped for a split second, as if it caught us by surprise. Corrine entered first, and then Stephanie. We could feel ourselves almost floating down the aisle, our parents in tow. We saw all of our loved ones sitting patiently and waiting for us to enter the terrace. We could feel all the love and support surrounding with each and every step. 

The ceremony began with our officiant's beautiful Opening Words, followed by the "We Dos." Revisit our post entitled Religious or Secular Ceremony to read the "We Dos" and how we came to creating our ceremony HERE.

Afterwards, our officiant officially welcomed the guests, and then Corrine's younger brother, Patrick, came up to the alter and read an excerpt from Dive For Dreams by E.E. Cummings. We chose this reading because it speaks about following and trusting your heart.
dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)
trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)
honour the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at this wedding)
never mind a world
with its villains or heroes
(for god likes girls
and tomorrow and the earth)

In following, our officiant, April, prepared a reading about our life and love for each other:

As many of you know Stephanie and Corrine have been together for four and a half years and have known one another for almost twice that long. From the very beginning of their friendship there was a feeling that was more like remembering than meeting one another. They were and are best friends, who share a spiritual connection so strong that falling in love was inevitable. They knew, without reservation, that together was the only right and true way for them to proceed into their future. Their romance came in a “whirlwind” and brought with it a feeling that everything was falling flawlessly into place.

They have come a long way since those early days and attribute the success of their relationship to the openness and honesty of their communication, to their desire to always go to one another first with all the large and small happenings and decisions that the day brings, and to their ability to complement and balance one another. Where Corrine is logical and reasonable, Stephanie has a more whimsical nature. This allows them to dream and to plan, to go and do and achieve more than either would alone.

For Stephanie and Corrine the promises they make this day are a lifelong commitment to one another, to family and to community. To stand before all those whom we love most in the world, and promise to love another person openly, trustingly, without limit or precondition, and to do this for a lifetime… This is perhaps the bravest thing two people will ever do, for no one knows what the future will hold. It is a promise that they have made over and over again to one another in the privacy of their hearts, but it is also a promise to each and everyone of you here… A promise that the person you love will be well cared for. This is a promise that Stephanie and Corrine are prepared to joyously make, and that which we are truly here to celebrate with them. 

An invocation was done next, followed by our personal vows. We wrote our own vows and kept them a secret from each other. We are both writers and could not imagine not being able to speak our own words during such an intimate occasion. As we read our vows to each other, you could hear our voices cracking. Corrine read first, followed by Stephanie. This was a moment were we felt completely infinite.

Corrine’s Vows:

There are moments when I look at you that your beauty takes my breath away. Your strength empowers me to be stronger. Your faith helps me believe. I see amazement and wonder in your eyes. And I admire your quest for adventure and gladly join you in this journey called life. I promise to always encourage and support you. I promise to stay true to you and always keep open communication. Life is complicated and simple, beautiful and ugly, long and short depending on how you look at it and the only way I look at it is with you by my side. I am yours and you are mine until the sun rises in the west and sets in the east.

Stephanie’s Vows:

You’re captivating soul captured my heart, leaving me defenseless in the best possible way. Not only do you have my beating heart, but you also have the air in my lungs and the bones in my spine. Every muscle beneath my flesh surges with you. With every fiber of my being and every inch of my soul, I promise to love you feverishly and without reservation. I promise to light up the sky when the sun sets on your path, always holding your hand along the way. I promise to be your wings, helping you to stand tall and I promise to remind you how extraordinarily beautiful you are, inside and out, every single day. Holding true to my promises is the least that I can do because you, my love, have so much more than just my heart; you have everything that keeps me alive.

Trying so hard not to laugh even though we kept trying to make each other laugh so we would not cry.

The ring vows and the hand-fasting were done towards the end of the ceremony. We purchased our wedding bands from Brilliant Earth, the same place where we purchased our engagement rings. Corrine's ring is a platinum band with diamonds and Stephanie's ring is a platinum band that was designed to resemble bamboo. Symbolically, diamonds represent the strongest stone and bamboo represents the strongest grass in nature. Engraved in Corrine's ring is My Wings and engraved in Stephanie's ring is My Anchor. Our engraving choices were inspired by the Mayday Parade song, You Be The Anchor That Keeps My Feet On The Ground, I'll Be The Wings That Keep Your Heart In The Clouds. Corrine is Stephanie's anchor and Stephanie is Corrine's wings. 

Photo by stephyyrawr 

During our hand-fasting, we chose Stephanie's older brother, Jason, to deliver a reading, in which he read i carry your heart by  E.E. Cummings. We chose this poem because it's always been significant in both our friendship and romantic relationship.

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in
my heart) I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) I want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

The conclusion of the ceremony was commenced by the pronouncement of our marriage and sealed with a passionate kiss... 

 Plato once wrote that “Love is one soul inhabiting two bodies.” May you find there to be truth and beauty in this ideal today, and for all of your tomorrows.

It is my honor and privilege to now pronounce you Legally Married. You may both kiss your beautiful Bride!

 Stay tuned for our Reception post!

Read the actual Stephorrine Wedding Schedule complete with music guide HERE
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Photography by Erica Camille


  1. Amazing & had me close to years numerous times (on a London bus :)) the vows were beautiful and the readings were great choices! Congratulations again & having seen the location I can only imagine how nice it would be in autumn Sxo

    1. Thank you so much! It was emotional to write, but brought back so many wonderful memories! Aside from it being a bit cold due to the wind, the weather did hold up very nicely! xo

  2. Had me crying all over again. Love my little sisters xoxo

  3. I honestly think that was the most well written, beautiful and heartfelt post I have read. Loved it and for someone who doesn't cry much I was pretty choked. Loved it x

    1. Thank you! We were happy to share and we hope that everyone could feel as if they were there! xoxo

  4. So so beautiful..... The photos are stunning too. You both look radiant :) and so does Madison too :) and Corinne's grandma looks so adorable xxx

  5. Very beautiful and inspiring. Congrats!

  6. Ohhhh congratulations! I just stumbled across your blog today and will take time to read some more when I have a moment. My wife and I celebrate our first wedding anniversary in a few weeks :-) Your post makes me want to write about our ceremony, I do have some photos up but nothing more than that. It was such a special day - and yours looked just amazing too!
    I'm blogging over at www.pepibebe.wordpress.com but can't sign in using my wordpress signature on here for some reason.

    1. Thank you so much! Congrats on your celebration as well. We are looking forward to checking out your blog. xoxo

  7. This is so beautiful x

  8. Beautiful wedding!! I am in love with the wedding gown. Bride is looking princess. For my wedding at one of NYC wedding venues I and my sister purchased best designed bridal dress that was loved by everyone. Really liked that shop and its designs.