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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