venue: Inn on Peaks, Peaks Island, Maine
officiant: Gary Berenson, Etz Chaim Synagogue
coordinator: Kate Parker Weddings
caterer: Inn on Peaks
florist: Judy Bourgeois, Flora Fauna Designs
band: Flipside, Murray Hill Talent
cake: Nothing Bakes Like a Parrott
hair and make-up: Akari
videographer: Well Spun Weddings
gown: Priscilla of Boston
invitations: Gus and Ruby Letterpress
honeymoon: Turks and Caicos
"So far as we can discern the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of sheer being."
- Carl Jung, Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology
Melissa's younger brother Michael gave the most moving toast I think I have ever heard. I wish I had an audio clip of his words, that's how moving it was. His delivery was so eloquent, I will not do it justice, but to give you a sense, the amount of emotion that filled the tent at the Inn on Peaks was intense and 165 people strong. He quoted Carl Jung, explaining how he felt Melissa and Steve were each others' light in Jung's "darkness of sheer being." He recalled how he learned of his sister's engagement, returning to his dorm room to multiple excited text messages. He spoke of the joy that he felt when he learned this news, a joy that was so strong it caused pain in his heart. It was like nothing he ever felt and was truly happy for Melissa and Steve. Upon hearing Michael's words, I could feel that same joyful pain in my own heart and a tightening in my throat, surprised I actually had to hold back some tears as my eye still searched for moments through the viewfinder and my finger hovered the shutter button -- not the norm for me. Melissa couldn't hold back her tears. To catch her happy tears, Steve gave Melissa one of his grandparents' handkerchiefs that he carried with him that day in memory of them. I don't know if there was a dry eye under that tent. Even more amazing of Michael than his speech, as their father pointed out, is that he gave up a Fulbright scholarship to teach in South Korea in order to attend his sister's wedding. It just shows you how much love and respect is in this family, and in both families now brought together by the marriage of two special people.
Melissa and Steve saw each other in their hotel room at The Regency before their khutbah signing. Melissa said seeing him would calm her nerves for the ceremony. The two clearly balance each other and are at a quiet ease around one another. Photos around the Old Port pre-ceremony were so fun. Melissa was a stunning bride and Steve a handsome groom in his slick suit. Both wore stylish shoes -- Badgley Mischka stilettos with a bow for her and black textured patent leather boat shoes (sans socks) for him. Michael discovered he was the only one who wore socks when Steve asked to take a picture of he and his groomsmen's bare ankles. Samantha, Melissa's cousin, was a wonderful Maid of Honor, and Steve's Best Man, Zach, was tremendous, leaving his new baby and flying in from overseas from Asia where he lives. Again, these guests' actions and the many that attended were a testament to how special Melissa and Steve are and how they value their relationships with friends and family. The officiant, Gary, was funny at times at the khutbah signing and during the ceremony, moving things along a wee bit faster due to the sweltering heat and humidity. The sun was shining brighter than ever though, so guests still enjoyed the weather. Flipside, a band from Boston, played beautifully during the cocktail hour and later rocked the reception, packing the dance floor and performing their hearts out. Yet another little personal touch, Melissa handed out lobster and sailor hats for the last song of the night that guests went crazy for, all singing along, groom Steve probably being the loudest. Who knew Bel Biv DeVoe's "Poison" could instill so much passion in a group of people?
Melissa and Steve, I am certain you are soaking in the sun in the Turks and Caicos! Thank you for allowing me to photograph your wedding day. It was a memorable one for me.
How they met, in their own words:
We met while both working at MTV. Steve's last week was Melissa's first week. After Steve left the company, the couple continued to bump into each other through mutual friends. Then, at a Halloween Party in 2009, the two began talking and the rest is history! The couple still live in Los Angeles and work in the entertainment industry. Steve is the head of development for a music management company and Melissa works in casting at E! Entertainment.
The couple got engaged on May 14th, 2011. Early Saturday morning, Steve brought home bagels, cream cheese and lox. He told Melissa that there was something special that the store usually doesn't have. Thinking that the special surprise was capers or sliced tomatoes, she started to open up the containers. Hidden inside an empty cream cheese container was the beautiful engagement ring! It wasn't until Steve got down on one knee that Melissa really understood what was happening. And with a big "Yes!!" they were engaged!! After calling friends and family to tell them our big news, Steve then surprised Melissa with a weekend getaway to Santa Barbara. At the oceanfront resort, they celebrated the biggest day of their lives so far!