Martha, Public Relations & Jonathan, Finance
SUM-UP OF THE WEDDING VIBE: Coming full circle in Long Island City, New York.
SOUNDTRACK FOR READING: : “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys
FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE WEDDING
Seeing our vision for a magical day that our friends and family would enjoy come to reality after a year and a half of planning!
OTHER COOL STUFF WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
Jonathan grew up in Long Island City, New York in the 1980s, and the wedding marked a return for both the groom and his family to their humble Long Island City beginnings. As you can imagine, the area has changed dramatically and has undergone quite a transformation through the years. Similarly, both Jonathan and Martha’s families went on their own journeys of growth, and Long Island City provided the perfect backdrop for a wedding celebration with family and friends, allowing everyone to reflect on the past, but also look forward to a bright future.
How We Met (His Story)
The first time I met my future wife was at a New York City dive bar that provided everything someone in their twenties needs—cheap beer and chicken wings: the diet of a true NYC bachelor. My good friend was having his going away party, since he had joined the army and was leaving for training camp. It was mid-March and still somewhat cold, so I chose to keep my jacket on. Having settled at a prime spot, I noticed that my friend walked in with her co-worker and that’s when it began. At the time, I didn’t think much of it, but as soon as Martha was introduced to me and she responded saying, “Nice to meet you, I’m Martha! Why don’t you take off your coat and stay awhile!” I knew my life wouldn’t be the same. I was going to have my hands full for the rest of my life, but I wouldn’t pick any other person for this journey. We talked for hours and laughed at old stories but during all that, all I thought was how awesome it was to be sharing the same space with someone like her. Very witty, smart, and easy on the eyes, which is always a plus. Since there were drinks involved, I can’t recall all that happened that night, and I have often found myself driving myself crazy to remember those early moments, when we were just two strangers that met at a West Village dive bar. Regardless, I know that we had a great time that night and shared a lot of laughs, which taught me that two people can fall in love in a city that can kick you down—but not out!
In total we had about 130 guests join us, which included a good number of out of town guests, who came in from all corners of the globe—the Philippines, England, and Texas—as well as all five boroughs! Both of our parents are still married and had been married to one another for over thirty years, so it was important to make them part of our special day and say “Thank You” for being such great role models in our own relationship.
I worried during the lead up to our wedding that I’d get caught up with emotions and let the tears flow at some point during the ceremony or during the father-daughter dance, so I tried to prepare myself to avoid this from happening. When it came down to the big day, Jonathan was the one who led the waterworks, crying (hopefully, tears of joy!) as he danced with his mother. Despite really making every effort to make it a tear-free day, that moment ended up being one of the highlights of the wedding. We were lucky that our photographer was able to capture the moment and the whole family embracing, which showed me that I was lucky to be joining such a loving and supportive family!
About Planning Our Wedding
As someone who works in the PR and marketing field, who has worked on coordinating a number of events with my clients through the years and has dealt with my fair share of vendor contacts, I went into planning the wedding thinking that it would be a piece of cake and chose not to hire a planner. Of course, I was proved wrong, since planning your own event (with your own money!) totally changes the game. Luckily, Jonathan was very involved every step of the way in partnering up to meet with every vendor, so we were able to handle the planning together and he did a good job of keeping me in check! Little did I know going into it, Jonathan had his own vision and a flair he wanted to shine through during the event—he totally took control in designing the cake! With the help of our shared Apple iCloud and the Numbers App, were able to handle planning pretty seamlessly. There were some bumps along the road and we had some epic fights along the way (fun fact: our biggest disagreement was about whether or not to have a card box), but I think it helped us learn to communicate and talk through our differences to prepare us for married life.
We’re a little embarrassed to admit that we only walked through one venue, since part of the planning experience is usually taking a look at several options and choosing the one that speaks to you; however, considering how competitive the wedding landscape in New York City is (similar to the rental market)—we booked our venue in August 2013 for a November 2014 wedding. It helped that we had a pretty solid vision of how we wanted the day to look and what type of experience we wanted our guests to have, so there weren’t too many factors to weigh in the decision-making process. Our venue, The Foundry, only hosts one event on-site per day and hearing that another couple that was doing a venue walk through immediately after us was interested in the same day added to the feeling of needed to make a decision pretty quickly! Needless to say, we confirmed our venue immediately after our first and only walk through.
Also, St. Patrick’s Church (in Long Island City—not the Cathedral!) was the parish that Jonathan’s family were members of during the 1980s when they first moved to New York City. They’ve moved since, but his younger sister was baptized there and his grandmother heard Mass every Sunday there. We selected the church because of that familial connection. While his grandmother couldn’t make the trip to New York from Ecuador to join us for our wedding due to health reasons, it was great that we got to exchange our vows there because it allowed us to feel as if she were there.