Wedding | New Haven | St. Mary's Cathedral | Yale Cabaret

A Marriage Made in New Haven

If on May 9, 2009 an intersection of true love, theatrical pageantry, and earnest authenticity existed anywhere in the universe, it would have been Kay and Justin’s wedding in New Haven.

A motley assortment of souls (inclusive of a high concentration of classical scholars and theater majors – What sentence structure! What Homeric toasts and revelry!) gathered to well wish and celebrate with Kay and Justin as they embarked on a new journey together.

Decidedly against artifice, but yet with a nod to the conventional, Kay and Justin decidedly went forth in their own take on a traditional wedding. Recently baptized into the Catholic faith, they chose an early morning High Mass in Latin at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in New Haven to officially begin their wedding day. A candle processional from the church then wound through campus to the Yale Cabaret.   The upstairs theater was transformed into a drawing room for toasts. Which proved to be a series of impressively verbose, thoughtful and considered salutations, drawing tears and trembling lips throughout the guests, as glasses clinked and champagne drunk.

And downstairs we were brought, into the luncheon where three long tables awaited under a canopy of lights and votives.  It was here that the bride, groom and their united families broke bread, lingered over food, beer, and wine as the afternoon progressed. Later it was upstairs to the drawing room again which became a tango dance hall and dessert buffet.

Kay wore a white silk embroidered ao dai and the two bridesmaids and flower girl wore coral silk custom ao dai made by Kay’s family’s longtime seamstress Kim Pham. Justin and the thirteen groomsmen were clad in contrastingly somber full black. They chose simple and elegant florals: white calla lilies for the bride and rough branches of cherry blossoms for the drawing room.

Admittedly there is a tendency to mythologize love, and weddings in particular. But I did witness a heroic love on Saturday. Each time, every time, Kay and Justin embraced there was a palpable rush of emotion, a near visible spark of joy, a transformation of spirit.  It was obvious, their love.  They found the path they sought. In God. In each other.

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Rehearsal Dinner: The Study Hotel

Ceremony: St. Mary’s Catherdral

Reception: The Yale Cabaret

Attire: Kim Pham

Hair Design: Moria Clinton

Caterer: City Winery

Photographer: Ars Magna

Videographer: Eric Stonikas