While attending an online creative writing class, Jenn and Madeleine were drawn to each other’s inspiring work. After realizing they both lived in New York City they became instant friends. Their first time meeting in person was at the Guggenheim Museum. While walking through the exhibits they became so engrossed in their conversation that they didn’t realize they were the last remaining guests for the day. When COVID began, Jenn had been making elaborate plans to propose at the New York Botanical Gardens. During this time the couple realized that having each other was more important than a perfect plan. One day, Jenn dashed out of their apartment, telling Madeleine she would quickly return. Jenn found the nearest bodega, snagged a bouquet of flowers, and proposed in their apartment.

Inspired by the blossoming colors of the Queens Botanical Garden, Jenn and Madeleine were influenced by this urban oasis to fulfill their dream of being surrounded by flowers on their wedding day. The focus was on greenery, with tones of peach, lavender and blush. Botanical details marked their signage, guest book, and seating chart. They also incorporated Jewish wedding traditions while making space to create a few new traditions of their own. The couple designed a hand-written ketubah. Together, Jenn and Madeleine signed it privately under an outdoor gazebo, and also chose to read it aloud during their wedding ceremony. Outdoors, a procession through the garden and across a pond took guests to their seats. Each bride was escorted down the aisle by both of her parents, leading to a white pergola. Bridesmaids wore mix-and-match dress styles in the prettiest warm pastel color palette with coordinating bouquets. Both brides wore complementary wedding gowns, one in a simple chiffon, and the other, in an effortless floral motif. Dreamy moments were captured afterward, as the couple stopped to pose among the rose gardens.

We caught up with the brides to learn their love story in their own words. You’ll find those after their gorgeous wedding photos.

Equally Wed: How did you meet?
We met in an online creative writing group; we each thought the other was the best writer there. We realized we both lived in New York City and became fast friends. We met in-person for the first time at the Guggenheim museum; that night, we were so engrossed in our conversation that we were the last people in the exhibit when it closed. After that, we spent more time together, becoming best friends and falling in love with each other.

Tell us about your engagement(s)!
Jenn planned to propose to Madeleine at the New York Botanical Garden, but COVID-19 shut down New York City and made that plan impossible. After a week of social isolation, we were feeling scared about the virus and our futures.

Jenn: I knew in that moment that I had to ask her to marry me. I asked her to stay where she was and told her I’d be right back, and then ran out of the apartment and down two blocks until I found a bodega that sold flowers. I bought a bouquet of carnations and ran back, trying not to jostle them, up the stairs to our 4th floor walk-up and back into the bedroom where, out of breath, I proposed.

Madeleine: I stayed where I was and wondered if she was about to propose. I felt excited and eager for her to come back. When she came back a few minutes later and proposed to me in our bedroom, it felt like the perfect moment. I said yes immediately.

What were you inspired by while planning your wedding?
We were inspired by nature; we wanted to get married outside, surrounded by flowers. We were inspired by the color palette of the flowers in bloom at our venue and by garden weddings we saw online. Because Madeleine is Jewish, we were inspired by Jewish wedding rituals, and we incorporated elements of Jewish tradition into our ceremony and reception. We were also inspired by lesbian weddings that we saw online as we reimagined the heterosexual wedding script.

What were some of your favorite wedding day details?
Our bespoke wedding ceremony, which we wrote ourselves. Honoring both of our parents. We both danced with our moms and our dads, and we were each escorted down the aisle by both parents. Members of our wedding party read our favorite poetry during the ceremony. Our ketubah. We wrote the ketubah text ourselves. We signed it privately before the ceremony and read from it during the ceremony. And all of the flowers that were in bloom!

Did you have any DIY details? If so, please share more about them.
A member of our bridal party put together a photo display of polaroid and printed photos of us together over the years. The photos were hung on small clothespins and suspended on twine pinned to a cork board.

Tell us about your attire. What did you each wear and how did you choose it?
We both wore dresses purchased at David’s Bridal. We went dress shopping together; we tried them on for each other and bought them that day. Jenn wore a dress from the David’s Bridal collection; Madeleine wore a dress by Melissa Sweet. We also both wore pearl necklaces that belonged to family members; Madeleine wore her grandmother’s necklace and Jenn wore her mother’s.

What would you say are some of your favorite wedding day memories?
For Madeleine, walking down the aisle escorted by both parents and watching Jenn walk down the aisle towards her. Right before she stepped through the gate of the wedding garden and towards the aisle, a gray catbird landed on the gate just a couple of feet away. Seeing it land was so beautiful and serendipitous. It made her feel connected to nature as the ceremony began. For Jenn, walking down the aisle towards Madeleine, escorted by both parents.

Other favorite memories include signing the ketubah with our parents in the wedding garden gazebo before the ceremony; doing the Hora after dinner (being lifted on chairs by our strong, joyful family and friends was so much fun! It was the perfect way to celebrate.); family member’s toasts; seeing family and friends all dressed up, and celebrating in the garden with the people we love; our first dance together to Jackie Onassis by Sammy Rae & The Friends, a queer love song (we’d practiced some basics in the hotel room the night before!); writing notes to each other the morning of the wedding and reading them right before the ceremony; our friend Britt officiated our wedding, and having a friend marry us was very special; and toward the end of the night, we sang along with our guests to Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road,” a tradition in Jenn’s family.

What advice would you give to future couples planning their wedding?
Don’t plan a wedding while in law school if you can avoid it! Don’t try to plan the whole thing alone! Lean on family and friends to help out with the details. Consider videography if you can afford it. We saved money by not hiring a videographer, but we wish that we could watch video of our wedding day. Try to have all details planned at least one week before the wedding. It was very stressful to be printing signs and finalizing details at the last minute! Try not to stress about the little details, because things WILL go wrong. The day of our wedding we were just so happy to be marrying each other, and to be with our loved ones, that it didn’t matter when things didn’t go according to plan.

If you had a honeymoon, tell us where and describe some favorite parts of your trip.
We had a belated honeymoon in Costa Rica six months after our wedding. We spent time in La Fortuna, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio.

Our favorite parts include: relaxing on the beautiful beach & swimming in the clear Pacific ocean; seeing so much wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, and so many incredible tropical birds; going to the hot springs in La Fortuna together; driving through the country and seeing the landscape change through different microclimates; celebrating New Year’s Eve in San José; visiting a women’s artist collective in Monteverde and buying handmade art from them; and eating breakfast on the beach in Manuel Antonio.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your big day?
We had perfect early summer afternoon weather, despite our anxiety about having an outdoor wedding. We are extremely grateful for all of the help that our family and bridal party contributed, including setting everything up and handling problems in secret so we could enjoy the day. We had an afterparty at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, where we also stayed that night. The Equally Wed heart is a trademark of Palladino Publishing, LLC.

Search our directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors.


Photography: Catherine Johanna from Classic Photographers
Venue: Queens Botanical Garden
Catering: LCI Caterers
Cake: Bartleby & Sage
Flowers: Something Borrowed Blooms
DJ: Reachout
Hair & Makeup: Maria Miliotis
Officiant: Brittany Vicars
Jenn’s Dress: David’s Bridal
Madeleine’s Dress: David’s Bridal