Real Aide-Mémoire Weddings: Reid & John August 20 2014
Names: Reid & John
Location: Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven, Connecticut
Date: Saturday, June 21st, 2014
What was the most memorable and/or favorite part of your day?
It would probably just be the magic of having so many people who are so important to us—from family and friends we'd grown up with, to the found family of our more recent years in New York City and Connecticut, and everyone in between—all there to celebrate with us. It was so wild and unreal to be out on this little beach we love out in New Haven, in the shadow of a lighthouse, surrounded by the people we care about. Being able to share that setting, especially knowing the effort so many had made to be there, followed by carousel rides, what felt like a metric ton of shellfish at dinner, and a night of dancing felt just as important as having everyone there to witness our exchange of vows and rings.
Any advice for other couples who are currently planning their weddings?
The one bit of advice we received from several couples was to take a few minutes for ourselves, just the two of us, immediately after the ceremony. We're really glad we did. Once we were pronounced the "most recently married couple in the state of Connecticut," as our officiant, Reid's cousin Margaret, put it, we walked back down the "aisle" (of sand), past the lighthouse, and kept on going. Taking a brief walk together gave us time to digest everything that had just happened before the craziness of the rest of the evening got underway. One other thing: It's all going to be fine.
If you could do it all again, would you change anything?
We only wish we could've spent more time with everyone who came—it was all over in a flash.
What was your wedding song?
We weren't even sure we were going to do a first dance for a while (having never really slow-danced in front of a big group before, let alone 150 of our closest family and friends). But we decided to, in the end, and we danced to "You Ain't Alone" by Alabama Shakes.
What surprised you the most about your wedding day?
"Are we going to be heckled at our own wedding?" was a question we asked ourselves a few times after we booked our venue. Since Lighthouse Point Park is a public beach, there's only so much you can control. But the answer to that question was "no," thankfully, and that extra layer of unpredictability and visibility actually ended up being one of the most special parts of the day. We weren't cloistered away on a private beach far from prying eyes—we were out in the middle of everything else that was going on that day. Prying eyes were everywhere! There are sunbathers, gawkers, and kids playing in the background of a lot of the photos from the ceremony, and we're so glad for that. It could have easily gone down another way, but as it was, all those people were cheering and clapping when we were pronounced officially married, and there was something extremely powerful about that show of support that we never would have expected.
Why was choosing an ethical and eco-friendly jeweler important to you?
When we found Aide-Mémoire, completely by accident, we knew almost instantly that they were the jewelers for us. Beyond the fact that the simplicity of the rings was exactly what we were looking for, the idea of recycled metals was very appealing to us. For environmental reasons, sure, but also because we value things with character, individuality, and history, both in our daily lives and as part of the wedding—we used mismatched chairs for the ceremony, thrift store plates for dinner, and shells, sea glass, and odd flea-market finds for decor. That Aide-Mémoire also donates to causes we ourselves believe in only cemented that this was the jeweler to go with. We're so, so happy with our rings.
Photos courtesy Christopher Ash and Kerry Long.