Bold and Beautiful
A budding actress and NYC fitness trainer wed in a stunning Mexican beachside ceremony
By Sarah Gleim
It’s been nearly a year since Jessica Clark and Lacey Stone tied the knot in a February beach wedding on the island of Las Caletas off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. And like most other couples who are celebrating the first year of marriage, Clark and Stone are still basking in the glow of what they say was a day that bonded them in ways they never dreamed.
The women actually met four years ago while working out at the gym, which is ironic, considering Stone is one of New York City’s most sought-after fitness trainers. “I had seen Jessica running on the treadmill for a couple years, but we were nothing more than two people that smiled and said hello to each other at the gym,” Stone says. “And apparently after a couple years, she developed a bit of a crush on me.”
Finally, the two met at a party and it was Clark, who is a budding actress, that asked out Stone. And it was also Clark that first proposed, as well, and at one of New York’s most romantic restaurants: One if by Land, Two if by Sea. “She got down on one knee and asked for my hand in marriage,” Stone says. “It was a wonderful surprise.”
Of course Stone wanted to propose, as well, but knew Clark would appreciate something more personal. So rather than proposing on the beach like she wanted to do, Stone—who is a self-professed workaholic—knew Clark would love just spending an entire day together. So she surprised her one morning with breakfast, a walk through Central Park and ended it on proposing with an antique diamond ring with an Indian flair.
So after a 16-month engagement, and six long months of planning via telephone and e-mail with the planners at Adventure Weddings, the women finally married on Caletas, where gay marriage is legally recognized. Thirty of their closest friends and family from all over the world attended the wedding that combined all facets of their style, from traditional and elegant to funky and wild.
The setting was stunning and overlooked a rocky beach coastline, where guests sat in white-draped chairs wrapped in bold orange sashes. Stone, accompanied by her mother and father, was the first to walk down the aisle, wearing a chic white ensemble by Ports 1961.
Clark wore an elegant dress by Angel Sanchez and carried a bouquet of birds of paradise, orchids and roses as her mother walked her down the aisle to an awaiting Stone and officiant.
Photography by Elizabeth Lloyd
“We wrote our own personal vows and our guests said they loved them,” Stone says. “There was a lot of love in the air.” Both women’s mothers also participated and did readings during the ceremony, which was something Stone and Clark say was very special. “They are very supportive of our love,” Stone says.
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a festive reception with Mexican buffet was reflective of the women’s funkier side. Tables were topped in bold purple linens, and the same orchids and birds of paradise in Clark’s bouquet were repeated in the centerpieces. Bright orange paper lanterns lit up the night, as did a beachside fire, a fire-twirling dancer and sparklers for the guests. The night was topped off with a traditional vanilla wedding cake.
And even though the women had had a small ceremony with a justice of the peace in Connecticut to make their union legal because same-sex marriage isn’t recognized in New York State where they live, they consider their Las Caletas ceremony their real wedding because it was the one that was the celebration of their love.
“We chose Las Caletas because it is gay-friendly and same-sex marriage is legal in Puerto Vallarta,” Stone says. “The Connecticut experience was about a piece of paper, and we don’t think love is about a piece of paper.”
Of course there were nerves, jitters and hours of excitement, but after everything was said and done, both women agreed that the day was the most wonderful experience of their lives. “We feel remarkably different after the ceremony,” Stone says. “You feel more bonded to your partner. It’s hard to describe if you haven’t gone through it.”
And to those who haven’t experienced that commitment, but are considering it, they have these words of advice: A wedding is meant to be a day of celebration for the two of you. The only thing that should matter is that you are marrying the person you love. Everything else will fall into place.
“Our wedding day was wonderful,” Stone says. “I wouldn’t have changed anything.” Well, we bet they might change one thing if they had the chance: They’d take a honeymoon. Both women’s careers took off after the wedding so they never had a chance to get away, but are planning to honeymoon to Machu Picchu in early 2011.