Michael & Simone -- a story of wine, hot dogs and Manhattan


I had such a lovely time making Michael and Simone's ketubah, and felt like I had gotten to know them a little bit via Facebook (Simone and I even have the same birthday!), so I was extra excited to learn more about their love story and share it with you. 

How did the two of you meet?

It depends on who's telling the story. In the more romantic version, we met at a meetup.com meetup of different meetup groups. Michael was there for the Digital Photography meetup group and Simone was there with a friend for the Wine & Cheese group. It was a large, noisy and chaotic get-together and Michael was about to leave after only 10 minutes because of this. But he still had a glass of wine in his hand that he was not about to waste and decided to sit in the only empty seat in the packed venue while he finished his wine. 

Photo by  Alberto Lama

The seat happened to be next to Simone and her friend Gisella. We all started to chat and Gisella discretely decided that Simone and Michael might hit it off so she made up an excuse and left. Simone and Michael ended up leaving to get some dinner after a while. That was over five years ago. In the less romantic version of the story we met at The Sky Room Bar in midtown :-)

Photo by Alberto Lama

How did you know that he/she was the one? 

We simply got along and treated each other well and with respect. That can go a long way.

Photo by Alberto Lama

What did you want your ketubah to tell about your love story?

We chose the tree of life because it signifies growth, change and evolution but with roots firmly planted in the earth. We sought a beautiful and inspiring image to provide a vision for our future together. The humanist text also strongly reflected our values and goals for a future together.

Photo by Alberto Lama

What do you see as the most important value as a foundation for your marriage?

We come from very different backgrounds and see our lives as an amalgam of what each of us brings to our relationship. But the overarching value that we each wrote into our vows was this: kindness.

Photo by Alberto Lama

What advice would you give to other couples just starting the wedding planning process?

Don't forget to make it fun. There are no mistakes.

Photo by Alberto Lama

What was your favorite moment of the wedding day?

We kept our vows secret from each other until the moment when we each recited them to each other in front of our guests. The remarkable part was how similar they were. Perhaps not in the specific words but in the values we wrote about and what each loved in the other. It was very moving for us and our guests. Quite a few tears were shed. Afterward, we (and eight of our family and friends) signed our ketubah which was written to reflect a shared vision. The ceremony came together perfectly in that way.

Photo by Alberto Lama

Tell me something that happened at your wedding or wedding planning that you wouldn’t want published in the New York Times

Of course we didn't have a bite to eat at our reception. After the party, at around midnight, we were so hungry that we went out walking in midtown Manhattan looking for an open hot dog stand. But couldn't find one.

What a treat working with Michael and Simone was for me -- and after reading their wonderful story, I can see why. Mazel tov, you two, wishing you a lifetime of happiness! 

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