Written by Melissa Woods
Images courtesy of Cherry Fitzsimmons
I was super excited to hear about this couple's marriage celebrations. Not only is it the ULTIMATE love story, but, it also captures the essence of The Un-Wedding, wholeheartedly.
Both cycling enthusiasts, Cherry and Lee first crossed paths in Patagonia, South America, as they were coming to the end of their respective cycling trips in 2015. In Cherry's case, this was a 2 year adventure that started in LA and 'Speedy Lee' who began his trip of a lifetime in Canada, 18 months previously.
''The bike touring community is fairly small and other cyclists are aware of who else is out on the road, and look for advice by reading blogs and sharing info with others out out there. Lee and I had been friends on Facebook for several months before we met. I had always been ahead of Lee by quite a distance, but, towards the end of the trip, he finally caught up. We rode together as a group of 5 cyclists for a while, and got together as our bike trips came to an end, whilst riding towards the most southern point of South America.''
Knowing they were onto something special, they decided to pursue their relationship back home despite Cherry being based in the UK and Lee in the USA. After a trip of such epic proportions, it's not surprising that these guys were not phased by the transatlantic barriers from London to New York.
After a subsequent bike trip to Colombia, they both decided that they wanted to be together forever, and as the majority of the world's emeralds come from Colombia, an emerald engagement ring seemed like the only way to seal the deal! Not wanting to waste any time, the engagement lasted a mere 3 months. They chose to have the wedding in New York.
''Planning a wedding from across the pond wasn't so hard, although we did have a few days of rushing around once we got to New York... Since it was a short time frame the wedding took shape fairly organically, our immediate family were there and the good friends that came were the ones who said "I have to be at your wedding", we didn't really have to invite anyone.''
The couple didn't feel the need to go down the usual route of selecting bridesmaids or a best man, 'everyone who came were best people'. In keeping with the laid back order of the day, they decided not to have a cake or formal photographer... all the images you see here are courtesy of the 'best people'.
The super-stylish pair wanted to dress accordingly for the day.... a relaxed, New York wedding in Spring. Cherry picked her stunning, belted dress from Joseph meaning she could accessorize with black and white. Lee opted for an equally simple black suit, tie and braces.
Going against tradition, Cherry and Lee didn't spend the night apart before the wedding, instead opting to share all the excitement, nerves and preparations, together. They stayed in an Airbnb with their friends so they could soak up the atmosphere. The next day, everyone walked up to the Cop Cot in Central Park, for the ceremony, a spot that they reserved for $25.
In keeping with Lee's heritage, the ceremony was conducted by a humanist Rabbi. The couple wanted to carry out the ritual of breaking the glass and shouting out 'Mazel Tov' (Good Fortune) as it would add an extra element of celebration to the service.
Keeping it real and engaging their guests in New York life, they traveled by subway on the day...
'It was more important for people have a shared experience than travel in style; American's are so enthusiastic and we were congratulated a lot during the journey.''
The reception involved a trip to NYC trendy eatery, The Fat Radish for delicious food and cocktails. Afterwards, they all headed to Karaoke in China town on the Lower East Side...
''We left when the place closed at 4am, we had a luxurious booth that offered plenty of dancing space,, with it being just close friends everyone there was committed to staying out and having a good time.''
''I didn't ever dream of being a bride, but, the day was incredible... so much happiness and love... a coming together of wonderful people we care about and celebrating hard. I didn't realize how making those vows to another person would make me feel so much more connected with him, the love just expanded into another realm.''
I could not have said it better myself Cherry! Congratulations to you both!
You could read more about Cherry's incredible adventure on her blog These Places In Between.
Anyone else planning a New York wedding? I'd love to hear from you! Find out how you can be featured here.
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