Real Wedding: Cynthia & Dana
Dana LePage & Cynthia Stallard
September 24, 2011
By Denise Oliveira
They met at SUNY Geneseo. Cynthia was president of the Pride Alliance. Dana was president of the feminist group on campus. Their first deep conversation took place in 2007, when Dana sought out Cynthia for advice on coming out. The two women had known each other for about a year, but it was when Cynthia’s then-girlfriend proposed that Cynthia realized she had romantic feelings for Dana.
On September 24, 2011, Dana and Cynthia married at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, the same place where Cynthia’s parents had gotten married 25 years earlier. Both women are 26 years old. Dana is a social worker, and Cynthia is a lawyer.
“We surrounded ourselves with family and our closest friends. It was a joyful day and everyone had a lot of fun,” Cynthia said of their wedding. The day went off without a glitch for their 80 guests, even though their officiant had to back out at the last minute because of a death in the family, and the ceremony time had to be changed to accommodate the new minister’s schedule.
Cynthia and Dana decided they would see each other before the ceremony. Everyone cleared out of the room except their photographer.
It was emotional and exciting for Cynthia, who remembers thinking, “This beautiful woman is going to be my wife in an hour.” They were ecstatic that the same-sex marriage law had passed two months before their wedding.
Their wedding was traditional. “Considering we’re gay, it was as traditional as it can get,” Cynthia said. They had eight people in the Bridal Party – 4 on each side – with Cynthia’s brother serving as the Best and Only Man. One was Dana’s closest friends was the Maid of Honor.
The brides walked down the aisle with their fathers, Dana wearing a dress and Cynthia in a tuxedo-stripe suit. They threw their bouquets, took off Dana’s garter belt, and cut a traditional cake.
They not only helped each other pick out their outfits, they also collaborated on planning. Dana felt strongly against numbering the tables, not wanting to upset guests who weren’t assigned to table One. Instead, they named their tables with New York landmarks. “We tried to come up with ideas that would be true to us,” Cynthia explained
They chose peach and white as their colors, but since their bridesmaids were scattered all over the country, the brides asked them to pick out their own dresses. They chose grey for the dresses, thinking that would be an easy color for all the girls to find. They purchase a peach sash for each bridesmaid to complete the look.
As for their bridal bouquets, “I kind of lost my mind,” Cynthia said. She made them herself, even though she considers herself “the least creative person ever.”
She ordered bulk flowers and stored them in her parents’ air-conditioned basement. She watched a You Tube video for instructions, and got to work the morning of the wedding. “I kept trying until they were perfect.”
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About The Writer
Denise Oliveira is a journalist in love with love stories. She is the co-founder of Prequels, where she interviews engaged couples to create wedding invitations and favors that incorporate their love story. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City and believes that sharing personal stories is a powerful way to create and deepen relationships. She blogs for Huffington Post Weddings and can be reached via email (email@example.com), Twitter or Facebook.
Denise Oliveira is a Brooklyn-based writer. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City and is the founder of Prequels, where she interviews engaged couples to create wedding invitations and favors that incorporate their love story.