Porter – Rochon Wedding
Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, NY
Jaclyn and Dennis were wed on a sunny Fourth of July afternoon at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Rosyln, NY. Like many couples in 2020, their wedding plans were derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the large wedding they planned on, they had to change venues and throw a much smaller, but more intimate celebration. The Formal Garden at NCMA provided a perfect spot for the couple and their closest friends and family for the beautiful ceremony, which was lovingly officiated by the bride’s brother. The Formal Garden, along with the Sculpture Park, was a great spot for the couple’s photo session. We met an hour before the ceremony to capture their photos.
Along the way, Jaclyn and Dennis were sure to get photos taken by Allen Bertoldi’s sculpture Redbank 31 as it has taken on special meaning for them.
Jaclyn says: “Two years ago I was in a creative writing class, and for an assignment, I picked Redbank 31 as a piece of art to inspire my writing. I likened it to the experience of moving in with Dennis, because from far away the sculpture didn’t really seem like art to me, but as I got closer to it, it became more interesting, and it looked different with every step I took. To me, it became art as I got closer to it, just like doing little things that previously wouldn’t have interested me (arranging furniture, growing a garden, cooking meals, etc.) became “art” to me once I started doing them in a home I now shared with Dennis.”
Jaclyn also shared with me a portion of her vows:
Two years ago, I came to this museum as a student in a creative writing class. Our assignment was to roam the grounds, take photographs, and pick one piece of art that would serve as the starting point for a writing assignment. I picked “Redbank 31,” the series of 16 reddish rectangles arranged in varying angles on the museum lawn. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of the sculpture when I saw it from a distance. As I approached it, then walked in circles around and through it, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it. I loved how the experience changed with every step I took. Inspired by that sculpture, I wrote a piece about moving in with you two years prior, and about all the little things we did to create our home together, like arranging furniture, staining a wooden cabinet, and growing a garden. In it, I wrote (in the third person):
She would be driving home from work and remember that “home” meant him, and suddenly she’d catch herself smiling to no one in the car. She didn’t know what to expect from this adventure that was just beginning, but she hoped it would bring clarity as she delved into it. It was a blurry picture that had not yet really come into focus.
Two years later, the adventure continues. What was never art to her before has become art. A stained cabinet, a meal made almost entirely from the backyard. A “great unfinished symphony” twisting and turning but not too much. Just subtle enough. It’s different now that she’s delved into it, now that she’s closer to what it was when it was just an idea.
And now, two more years later, here I am, standing in that very sculpture garden, marrying you. The blurry picture that once existed continues to come into focus. It is clearer than ever. I have loved the art we have made together, and I cannot wait to create more with you.
Around her neck on a chain, Jaclyn wore the wedding bands that belonged to her grandmother and grandfather. And, the ring placed on her finger during the ceremony belonged to her great-grandmother.
In lieu of gifts, Jaclyn and Dennis asked guests to bring flowers or greenery to contribute to the bride’s bouquet. While guests arrived with their floral offerings, and the couple were with me taking photos, Jaclyn’s bridesmaids, Kara and Stacey, assembled what turned out to be a stunning arrangement. Even though I knew that they were going to be working on it, when I first saw it, I thought for sure it was purchased from a florist. They did an amazing job with it, and the bouquet fit perfectly with Jaclyn’s dress, accents of purple in her heels and veil, and the garden theme.
The ceremony was officiated by Ryan—the brother of the bride. He did a wonderful job. The couple then read personal, heartfelt vows they wrote for each other in front of the small gathering of their loved ones. Dennis and Jaclyn were so happy during the entire event and grinning ear to ear. Their love and caring for each other is so clear. Baby Caleb—nephew to the groom—delivered the rings to the altar. One final surprise was when Ryan tossed peas from the couple’s garden into the air after asking for those with objections to speak now or forever hold their “peas.”
Group photos followed the ceremony.
The reception was held in Jaclyn’s parents’ backyard. It was a fun, relaxed evening, and everyone was in a great mood following the beautiful ceremony. Dennis and Jaclyn entered the event to confetti poppers and cheers. The uncle and cousin of the groom provided a couple of tunes on trumpet and euphonium—closing with a rendition of The Office tv show theme song (one of the couples favorite shows). Similarly, spot the Office-themed gag gift!
While COVID-19 changed their original wedding plans, it was a truly beautiful and fun wedding. The couple was very happy and surrounded with love. A July 2021 reception event is planned at the couple’s original wedding venue.
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