Frankie + Matt
Matt and I met doing a production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It" at the Cincinnati Playhouse. We were on the same flight from New York to Ohio. He noticed me when we boarded; I noticed him once we arrived. We introduced ourselves at the baggage claim and pretty much the rest was history. We had a mutual drama teacher that reached out to me and told me that he knew Matt from Juilliard and "that he was an absolute gem" so I made a point to introduce myself. I thought he was incredibly warm, and kinda cute.
Our first date was a little nebulous. It was folded into morning runs along the Ohio River, cooking breakfast together, sharing our favorite albums, and talking astrology, and of course watching each other work in rehearsals. We had our first kiss a little over a month later as we waited out a torrential downpour in a Whole Foods parking lot. Afterwards we shared a cart and did our shopping together like it was the most natural thing in the world.
I felt safe, seen, and at home with Matt. With him, I never felt like I had to marginalize my authentic self in order to feel cool, funny or chosen. Before Matt, I had been in relationship roller coaster rides that were both elating and devastating in equal measure. There was a time when we first started living together that he made it clear that he hated eating fish. He knew on the flip side that I love a pretty plate of salmon on occasion and I had tried to prepare it for him several times to no avail. One evening I came home and he had prepared it for me! Perfectly I might add! That was just one of several moments where I was like "oh boy....he's a keeper." During a nap, he whispered it in my ear "I love you". My heart exploded, I said I love you too and then for 15 minutes I pretended to be asleep because I was so excited, but didn't want to wake him up.
"What do you think about marriage...to me?" he asked on New Year's Eve after the ball dropped in 2013. We talked over champagne in the early hours of the morning about how the idea of marriage seemed daunting for different reasons — but that marriage to one another felt like the most natural thing in the world. Some months later, I came home from a long day of work and was greeted with a huge hug, a laundry list of ideas he had for dinner, a play by play of the day and if I'd like to go ring shopping. "YES!!!" I squealed.
He proposed on his birthday. It was a gorgeously bright and temperate July day. I was taking him for Brunch at The New Leaf at The Cloisters and he dropped to one knee in the middle of Heather Garden. I said yes before he could properly ask! My entire family was waiting for us to celebrate over breakfast. I'm not a traditionalist by any means, and really hadn't spent time dreaming about what my wedding day would be like until Matt asked me to marry him. It was important to both of us that our day was the most intimate, authentic expression of ourselves as a couple but we were determined to do it on a budget, as we're both artists, and wanted to keep it grounded and heart-centered.
We married in the garden at Frankie's Spuntino in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn with 42 family members and friends. It fell on the summer solstice, June 22, 2014, and was a crisp, cloudless day with bright sunshine and a hint of breeze in the air. Every detail had been prepared by myself and Matt, our family, friends, and the most incredible vendors and makers.
Matt is half Sicilian, and I wanted a space that would feel like a lush country retreat in the city. Many of our family members were meeting for the first time that weekend, so a nurturing oasis for us all to mingle was really important to us. The artistic director of the theater where we met officiated our ceremony. I quoted from Thoreau's "Walden" and Matt's vows took the form of a free flowing love poem. My father passed away in 2007, so I had him in spirit on one arm. On the other was my Uncle Robert who walked me into the venue and my mother gave me away to Matt. My sister was my maid of honor. She wore a vintage embroidered Hungarian peasant dress and a herbal floral crown. Matt's brother was his best man and he looked super dapper in a blue three piece suit. We had dear friends read poetry and contribute to the ceremony but we kept things very simple. Afterwards we had an Italian feast in a converted stable at these gorgeous long farm tables and danced to a homemade playlist under cafe lights. We gave away Tattly tattoos, repurposed our Kantha Quilt ceremony backdrop as a photo booth and gorged ourselves on coconut chocolate wedding cake.
Our guests lined the entryway to the garden holding candles and sent Matt and I on our way. We walked into the night to with "just married signs" pinned to our backs while our family and friends waved goodbye behind us.
Pics by Sarah Collins