I know many of you have been holding your breath as we choose the finalists in our wedding contest. Inhale, please! Margaret and I are very happy to announce that, after much hand-wringing and heated discussion, our judges have selected three couples for your consideration. I'd like to extend our thanks and best wishes to all of the beautiful couples who entered the contest. We hope your weddings are crazy fun and we’re sorry we can’t be there to shoot them all!
And now let me introduce Julie and Thomas, Jesica and Daniel, and Regina and Nikolai. We’re asking you, readers, to tell us which of their weddings we should shoot for free. Check out their stories and photos below. Their tales take us to Prague and Poughkeepsie and Paris and Park Slope. How perfect! We are twitterpated with these three couples and we think you will be, too.
Instructions for voting are located HERE. Voting will be open for one week. Let your friends and family know where to find us so they can vote, too. Post a notice on your own blog or your facebook page. Put a flier in the elevator or paste one to a telephone pole. Maybe get an adorable Unusually Fine tattoo.
JULIE + THOMAS
Language classes usually leave you without any real conversational ability. You can state your name and count to 10, but when faced with a French dreamboat these fall a little flat. Luckily, my French was impressive enough that I could proudly say, “Je suis un petit ananas.”
“I am a small pineapple,” said the Long Islander to the Parisian as they sat in a Prague bar. Not a common pick up line, but effective. This French stranger -- my future husband -- had no idea what to think of the girl whose first words to him were “So, what are we drinking?”
I was told Thomas was a present, a vacation fling for my post-collegiate backpacking trip. My exact thoughts were, “Yes, please!” Some things need no translation, and alcohol easily resolves the rest. We spent the night making out in the bar, then saw each other briefly the following day before he went home to Paris for graduation. We didn’t exchange email addresses or phone numbers; he just said, “If you come back to Prague, get in touch.”
Three weeks later, I returned and, with the friend who introduced us, went to a party at Thomas’s flat. I couldn't have known then that this would lead to us saying “I do.” We spent three days together staying out until sunrise with friends, watching the World Cup, and holding hands. We exchanged email addresses and promises to keep in touch. As he put me in a cab to the airport, I stared alternately at the scrap of paper and out the cab window, trying to talk my confused self out of crying over leaving a man I barely knew.
Once home, we emailed every day. One of the first things we talked about was how long distance relationships never work. We made it clear that we were just getting to know each other. Of course, it was more than that, and after a month he suggested I visit again.
When I arrived, he met me at the airport with every variety of my favorite European chocolate bar along with seven roses, one for each day we’d spend together. After that week, I knew we would get married.
Since then, I’ve lived in NY, London, and DC while he’s waited in Paris. We’ve spent summers and school breaks together, and have never doubted that our relationship would work. I’ve studied French so that I might share less fruit-focused conversations with his family. He’s supplied me with cheese, champagne, and chocolate.
Our wedding will be the first time that our cross-continental families and friends will be able to meet. Of course, a wedding that spans two continents has many challenges, and having Unusually Fine handle the photography would make planning it just that much easier, allowing us to celebrate the culmination of an unlikely love story that has resulted in this small pineapple moving to Paris, ready to spend her life with that French stranger who became so much more.
JESICA + DANIEL
In a city of strangers, two lovers had to wait their whole (admittedly short) lives to meet. Yes, Poughkeepsie, NY can be a difficult place to find a friend. Nearly every workday, Daniel could be found at the local art supply store, honing his craft of making large format and high volume copies for only the most discerning of contractors, architects and city officials. His days were punctuated with a soundtrack of his own making -- a musician at heart, his melodies filled the spaces between. Meanwhile, Jesica lived out her crazy years next door, first as a not-so-studious student and then as a free-wheeling farming machine. Having no musical talent whatsoever, but mildly creative with a brush, she hummed out of tune while perusing the shelves of same said art supply store, looking for new paint and paper to play with. They ate at the same restaurants. They knew the same people. Daniel played open mics at the coffee shop while Jesica attended the poetry slams. And never the twain shall meet…at least not in Poughkeepsie.
Years later, on the other side of the mighty Hudson, after the dust of various tumultuous relationships had settled, our two lovers found themselves on OKCupid -- a free online dating site that kicks E-Harmony’s scrawny, non-existent ass…ahem. Jesica and Daniel no longer lived in the same town, but they were still neighbors in that they lived just down the road from each other -- by 19 miles. Luckily, the internet knows no distance and allowed iammydogshero and NYtractorgirl to meet in the ectoplasm of cyberspace. On a hot, bright September morning Daniel and Jesica met in person for the first time. At the farm’s annual art auction fundraiser, they whittled away the day with instant inside jokes and conversation powered by fluttering heartbeats. He said she was the most beautiful girl there. She said that the sheep flock was kind of like a pack of walking cheeseburgers. And the next evening they ate cake for dinner and talked of their smoking habits. And the next evening they snuck onto private property and huddled by the river. And the next day they knew the world was not the same. And several months later…
Daniel paces in the hallway. He knows that if he doesn’t do it now, he won’t ever. Jesica is in the bathroom taking her evening shower. She is softly singing off-key. He knows she will say yes, but that doesn’t make him any less nervous. He opens the bathroom door, strips completely naked and pulls aside the shower curtain. He steps in, holds his guitar pick with both hands and gets down on one knee.
REGINA + NIKOLAI
My fiance's name is Nikolai and we have been together (off and on) since 1996, so it will be 14 years come our wedding date, which is September 25, 2010. We live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and have always envisioned a NYC or Brooklyn wedding with a landmark involved, so we have decided to hold the reception at Bubby’s in Dumbo, which has amazing views of the Brooklyn Bridge, and to have our ceremony in the Library Room at the Brooklyn Historical Society. The Library Room is not used all that often and is truly unique and magical.
Nikolai and I met our freshman year of college at the University of Maryland (actually we met during Orientation weekend the summer before school started). We met up again the first day of school when his dad was moving him into my dorm! We dated for a few years in college and then went our separate ways but always stayed in touch. We rekindled the flame in 2004 and have been together since -- so it's about time! We got engaged when he proposed to me in Miami this past May and here we are trying to plan our wedding now!
Our wedding will be very DIY and many friends and family will be involved. Nikolai's father is a Brooklyn judge and will officiate the ceremony for us. The wedding will be in a library, so we plan to recite some poetry with our vows and ask key family members to do some special readings about love and marriage. The reception will just be a big party: there's a photobooth at Bubby’s and southern cooking, along with a dj, so we hope there will be lots of dancing too!
Anyway, thank you so much for the opportunity and hope to hear from you soon! Again, you do amazing work. Keep it up and please continue to share on the blog. We love it!