LISA + RAJ
THE MARITIME HOTEL // NEW YORK, NY

Lisa and Raj spent months planning a large wedding in the mountains of North Carolina. What they didn’t plan for was that Raj would become suddenly ill and need a liver transplant. I received the email from their Nicole (their planner) a few months out from their wedding that they were postponing the festivities until Raj was back in good health.

I can only imagine how trying the next 365 days were. Test results. Labs. Surgeries. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Pain. Healing.  It was a significant life event that brought them closer together.

Thankfully, Raj made a full recovery. It was a difficult year, but they were ready to move forward. 

Priorities shifted, and Lisa + Raj decided to elope a few blocks from their apartment in the West Village. This time around, it would only be family and close friends. 

I walked into the hotel suite and found Lisa and her best friend getting ready. They were giggling, reminiscing and nervously anticipating the next few hours. Raj was at their beloved apartment and putting the finishing touches on his suit. They met around the corner on one of their favorite streets. Tears fell instantly, and I can only think that it was such a relief to make it to this moment.

We walked around the West Village until it was time to return to the hotel to prepare for the ceremony. Friends and family gathered while Lisa hid in her room. Lisa’s birth mother presided over the group and led the ceremony. It was an incredibly heartfelt experience to have her be a part of their day. As the ceremony closed, everyone came up to the couple and put their hands on them. It was a beautiful gesture of a community coming together to support their marriage. 

Raj’s mom held him close with tears in her eyes, simultaneously wiping the water from her son’s face. His family embraced him, speaking that they were so happy to have made it to this day. A year ago, they didn’t know if he would live to get married.

Toasts were shared, and the entire room was in tears. My favorite toast was from Lisa’s dad. He celebrated the newlyweds and also thanked Lisa’s birth mother for bringing Lisa into the world so that they could be her parents. It warmed my heart to see the entire family come together for their union.

Champagne was popped, and everyone mingled until it was time to head to dinner at Freeman’s Restaurant. They sat around a large table like a big family, sharing stories and appetizers until the candles were the only lights in the room.

 

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