It was a drizzly week day in late November. Wayne and Phil, their close family and friends, one photographer (Konrad Brattke), and one officiant (Mirelle) gathered under the Ladies’ Pavilion. You could feel the patchwork of memories—all the highs and lows and in-betweens—that had led them to this day. And the city outside carried on completely oblivious to this moment in time – surely multiple New Yorkers were hemming and hawing about the weather, stepping in puddles, squeezing onto crowded Subways, going to work, leading meetings, taking their kids to school – just another day in the city.
But under our pavilion, there was so much joy, and positive energy, and emotion radiating from Wayne and Phil, it was as if they lit up that gray day, illuminating their bubble in the middle of Central Park, with so much love. Stopping time, making everyone tear up big time (yes – even me—and that never happens!) at their handwritten vows. Saying ‘yes’ to their future together. Becoming a family. It’s in these moments—when nothing else matters because you are in a force field of love—that make this job so incredibly magical.
A particularly special moment during the ceremony was Wayne and Phil’s exchange of 3 small Mason jars. The jars themselves were symbolic of Wayne’s Southern roots, and each contained symbols from both their past and future. Inside one of the jars was some coconut oil, and in another was some rice. In Saipan, where Phil is from, there is a wedding custom of giving coconut oil because it’s valuable, and rice because it’s sustainable. The third jar was filled with dirt from the foundation of the home they were building (and now live in) – a symbol of their future. Phil is a pilot and to this day, takes the little pouch of these three jars with him whenever he flies for work, that way he will always have a piece of home with him wherever he goes.
A few months later, Wayne and Phil brought their kids to New York City to show them where they got married – they were so excited, as you can see by their adorable smiles!