Sarah & Chris’ Hurricane Sandy Wedding

* Sarah, Producer, Dark Ink Pictures and Photographer, Sarah Hoppes Photography & Chris, Writer, Dark Ink Pictures and Editor, Sarah Hoppes Photography * Photography: Kelly Prizel, Stan Burnett, and Tristan Wyatt * Soundtrack for reading: “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes *

One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: Not what we planned, but exactly what we needed; it was simple, intimate, and heartfelt.

The Info—Photography: Kelly Prizel, Stan Burnett, and Tristan Wyatt / Venue: Elizabeth’s Neighborhood Table / Officiant: Judy Guild / Makeup: Anni Bruno of NYC FacesSarah’s Engagement and Wedding Rings: Turtle Love Co. / Sarah’s Earrings: Bride Blue / Sarah’s Necklace: From her mother-in-law / Sarah’s Gold Ring: Her mother’s engagement ring / Sarah’s Veil: Tiffany Saxton Designs / Sarah’s Dress: Macy’s / Sarah’s Cardigan: Banana Republic / Sarah’s Shoes: Naturalizer / Chris’ Ring: Turtle Love Co. / Chris’ Suit: Men’s Wearhouse / Flowers: Done by Sarah and Chris’ moms / Invites & Website: Glö / Menus and Programs: e.m. papers

Other cool stuff we should know about: Our wedding was supposed to take place on Halloween 2012 in Central Park, but when Hurricane Sandy hit two days before, it became impossible to go through with the wedding we’d been planning for the better part of a year. Our choices were to either reschedule or to roll with the punches, and we decided we were getting married, “come hell or high water.” When we stressed about the enormity of re-planning a whole wedding in a day, Chris’ mom said, “Sarah, I know this is upsetting right now, but one day, many years from now, you will tell your children the story of how the two of you once moved heaven and earth so you could marry their father.”

Once we decided the wedding was happening, with as-yet-to-be-determined minor details (like where it would happen, and whether our photographer or officiant would even be able to get there!), Chris’ parents left for New York two days early to beat the weather.

For a bit, it was up in the air whether Sarah’s parents would make it to the wedding, because they were driving through the hurricane into Manhattan when the storm was at its worst. When they were turned away at the George Washington Bridge (for good reason!), they drove through the Lincoln Tunnel, and were among the last cars through before it was closed. We thought we were stubborn, but they gave the word new meaning!

With both our parents in New York safe and sound, we contacted the restaurant where we’d planned to have dinner after our Central Park ceremony, and they agreed to let us have the ceremony there. They even cleared out a section of the restaurant for us, set up chairs in rows for our guests, and made their bar into a makeshift aisle! Since the subways and busses weren’t running, both sets of parents braved the insane traffic to pick up our friends in Queens, New Jersey, and Brooklyn. We all gathered at a bed and breakfast in Harlem to get ready, and drove to the restaurant together in our wedding day finery. After our ceremony and delicious dinner, we went to a private Karaoke room to sing our hearts out in celebration.

Although the hurricane made it impossible for some of our guests to travel to New York (of the thirty people invited, only thirteen were able to come), the people who were able to be there were all so happy for us. Seeing our friends and family make the arduous trek to be by our sides only reaffirmed how important they are in our lives, and the depths of their unwavering love and support. By the end of the night, our faces were aching from so much laughing and smiling, and we spent our cab ride home alternating between crying happy tears and deciding that, if it feels this good, we should just get married every day.

Favorite thing about the wedding: Sarah: The ceremony. We worked with our officiant to make a ceremony that really reflected the two of us and what we believe, and we had friends and family do some beautiful readings. We also wrote our own deeply personal vows. We had no idea we’d feel such a change in ourselves when the ceremony was finished, but we did, and it was intense.

Chris: The vows. It meant so much to me to write and recite my own vows, and to hear what Sarah wrote for me. For the rest of my life, I will look back on Halloween of 2012 as the day everything snapped into place.

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  • Miranda VanZ

    I love your outfit, so much color!

  • Another Meg

    When we stressed about the enormity of re-planning a whole wedding in a day, Chris’ mom said, “Sarah, I know this is upsetting right now, but one day, many years from now, you will tell your children the story of how the two of you once moved heaven and earth so you could marry their father.”

    Any time I ever need to cry happy tears very quickly, I will reread this line.


    • kyley

      Yup! I cried even rereading it in your comment. What a beautiful sentiment.

      • KB

        Chris’ mom is one amazing and smart lady!!!

  • Red hair, purple cardigan, and teal shoes- what a great sense of style! Also: “if it feels this good, we should just get married every day.” An awesome sentiment to have on your wedding day.

    Congrats and best wishes!

  • Karen

    I’ve got to know: where did you get that dress? That is a perfect style for you. And having the wedding in the face of hurricane Sandy – talk about tenacity! So glad you stuck with it. Amazingly things have a way of turning out the way they’re supposed to.

    • Chris’ mom actually found it for me at Macy’s. She bought it for me “just in case” and brought it to me in New York, and I ended up loving it! It was this one:

  • This is such a great story, Sarah you looked great, and Kelly took fantastic photos. It all came together.

  • sandyliz

    Beautiful and inspiring!

  • Ahh this is amazing, and a great story. You look beautiful, Sarah!

  • Holly

    The pictures, the way you guys look at each other, the words –

    I read this and I cried. the. whole. time!

    Just… wow.

  • Awwww thank you all for the kind words. Chris’ mom’s little speech made me teary when she said it, and thinking back on it. She’s a wise woman!

  • KC

    You are *so gorgeous*. Wow. And I love how much expression and life are captured in the photos! (and your face!)

    Okay, also I can’t believe you guys made this happen around Sandy. Seriously, that is impressive. Nice work. :-)

  • “Sarah, I know this is upsetting right now, but one day, many years from now, you will tell your children the story of how the two of you once moved heaven and earth so you could marry their father.”

    Awwww, you guys! And reading that after seeing all the happiness and love in the pictures just underscores the feeling of awesome.

  • Oh, wow. What his mom said? That made me teary eyed. I’m so happy for both of you that you got married, superstorm or not– congratulations!

  • Lisa

    What a lovely story! I live right across the street from that restaurant so it was fun to see places I walk by every day in your pictures.

  • Beth

    so lovely both in pictures and the story behind it all. thank you for sharing!

  • This had me tearing up in a very good way. What a beautiful post, beautiful story. And such a perfect song choice–I think this song will always be connected to this story in my head now. ‘

  • Katrina

    Beautiful bride! I love that dress with so much passion it hurts!!! This is a beautiful testimonial to what really matters most for a wedding, the people you love, and the love they give you to make it happen.

  • Hey, those are my arms in the first picture!!! Lovely to see these shots featured on APW, what a crazy day that was! Sarah I’ll always remember you as my hurricane bride!

    • Anni,

      You were so awesome! And you were such a trooper, riding into the city with my parents, stopping at that random bodega so they could get flowers in case my bouquet wilted, and making me feel crazy glamorous!

  • DKTX

    I just pinned your outfit on Pinterest, with the note: “This. This is the style I want on my wedding day.” Congratulations to you both.

  • This whole story made me cry with the whole come-hell-or-high-water determination of the couple, the parents, and their community to celebrate this commitment. Congrats!

  • So beautiful. And really? Chris’ mom said it best and it is a huge testament to your love that you got married despite the weather getting in your way.

  • Denzi

    Oh man, that third picture down, with the bride’s (?) mom nearly crying: THAT is a g*dd*mn f**king wedding!

    • That’s actually Chris’ mom in that picture. My mom is crying in some other pictures, they just aren’t featured here. My mom is the one laughing at me while I got bossy pointy about something I no longer remember. (6 pics from the bottom.)

  • I loved reading this story and was surprised and delighted to find at the end that e.m.papers was a part of it! Thank you!

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  • leila

    I tried that exact same dress on at Macy’s (but it was in black)
    and I thought to myself, “This would make an excellent wedding/elopement dress”
    Form fitting and classy!

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