Hartford Park: RayShawn & Avery
Ray & Avery met when they were both students at the Atlanta Police Department Academy. They were married on June 26, 2013, in an intimate ceremony at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford, CT.
Neither of the brides had been to Connecticut before, but both dreamed of visiting a lighthouse someday, so they combined their wedding with a dream trip.
Their photographer recommended that they hold the ceremony at that particular park because of its rose garden. “The roses were in full bloom, which added a special touch to our special day,” Ray said.
The brides invited two couples who are close friends to participate in their day. They also ended up having passers-by stop to watch. “They also took the time out to personally congratulate us after the ceremony ended and during our photography session,” the brides said. Ray and Avery were delighted with their officiant. “She did a wonderful job of lending words of love, comfort, wisdom and hope. Her passion for what she does made our ceremony very personable.”
The marriage proposal had taken place on Ray’s late grandmother’s birthday. With Ray napping in the bedroom, Avery set the stage in the kitchen. She uploaded pictures of Ray and her grandmother, and of Ray and Avery, onto a digital frame. She also picked up an Edible Arrangement that was especially significant because it had several Morning Doves, and Ray refers to Grandma Flossie as her Morning Dove.
When Ray awoke, the digital slideshow began. The last picture to appear on the frame was of the engagement ring. Ray turned to find Avery on her knee with an open box, displaying a beautiful ring. Avery said, “I know this day usually brings you sadness, but I want to replace your thoughts of sadness with thoughts of happiness. I want you to have a reason to smile on this day. Will you marry me?” Ray said YES, as tears flowed down her face.
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.