I’ll try to keep this short but it’s such a cool story that I might not be able to. I met Allyson and Chick almost 4 years ago while shooting Claudia and Billy’s wedding in Wildwood, Georgia. That night Allyson confidently told me that if and when her and Chick were married, they wanted me to be the there to photograph their wedding. I stored it in the back of my mind and in March of this year I got the exciting news. Not only were they getting married but they had relocated to a fabulous Manhattan penthouse apartment and were going to have their wedding on the balcony with 360 degree views. Wait, it gets better. Only their family knew about the plans. Everyone else who was invited thought that they were coming to ‘say goodbye to the cool pad’ cockatil party as the year that they were offered as part of their relocation package was now up. (insert multiple sad faces and cries of protest) Approximately 60 guests flew, drove, taxied, and came for one thing and got a total surprise as they knocked on the door Saturday afternoon and were greeted by staff dressed in black with watermelon margaritas and peach/jalapeno cocktails accompanied by ‘read me’ cards that simply said, “Welcome to Our Wedding!”
Can you imagine?! Some people had a good idea about it but others were totally surprised. They came in casual clothes carrying their luggage, thinking they were going to crash at the apartment somewhere and walked into a fantastically catered and flawlessly orchestrated wedding. I loved it!
They met through their work as Veterinarians, Allyson was trying to save a dog that couldn’t pee and while all other input wanted to put the dog to sleep, she wanted to try saving him with a stint. “If we can use it on people, why not animals?” she thought. She was introduced to Chick as “another doctor who had been wanting to try the same proceedure.’ He asked her to assist him and the dog made it with flying colors and the rest is history. They work on every case together, they lecture to thousands of other vets to teach them to do what they do, and they now work at the largest animal hospital in the world. They set the pace in Non-invasive surgeries at The Animal Medical Center. You can read about what they do HERE.
As we rode around New York in a limo for a few hours taking photos before the ceremony, Allyson explained how they are together for about 23 1/2 hours a day. They never argue at home, she says. They might disagree about a case they are working on but at home it just doesn’t happen. “When I met him I had admiration and respect for what he did, he was smart and he cared about the things I cared about.” It wasn’t long after that she fell in love with him for who he was outside of the hospital. They really are perfect for each other. I felt like I was in a dream.
This is my absolute favorite shot of the entire day. We walked out on the Brooklyn Bridge with a bottle of champagne and not only did Chick pop the cork and we all watched it fly our over the walkway and peg a taxi square on the windshield but then when he saw that it wasn’t going to overflow he raised it to his mouth and got a delayed, bubbly surprise.
The famous Flat Iron building that I had previously associated with the movie Spiderman but that was a pale story compared to the one I was a part of with Ally and Chick.
This was the view from the rooftop of the Ceremony on 53rd Street.
The ceremony was performed by Uncle Ray, who, the night before informed me of why I was so lucky to be a part of this event. He said, “You’ll never meet a closer, more loving family in your entire life.” He went on to explain how growing up in wartime Europe, they had to uproot and move many times and while some families grow apart over the years, theirs only grew stronger through uncertain times. He also said that his own mother had the “compassion gene” and loved and cared for animals and everyone in his family have hearts that can barely fit in their chests. (I added the last part but I’m sure it’s true)
The evening continued at The Hudson Hotel with an after party and dancing till the wee hours. The next morning everyone headed to Pier 17 to board the Clipper City for a 2 hour cruise in the East River. It was amazing. I could go on and on but you’ll just have to watch the slideshow if you want to see more.
Chick and Allyson, thank you. My life is richer because of you and your family and friends. Until we meet again…..