My first conversation with Robin lasted close to two hours. She was completing her degree in psychology and had become fascinated in the science of love—what makes two particular people fall in love and how that bond forever changes us. She wanted her wedding to feel relaxed, fun and intimate while communicating the powerful connection that she and Alex had to their family and friends.
As a singer-songwriter, Robin found inspiration in authentic language; during the ceremony writing process, she shared with me, more than 50 literary quotes and passages about love she resonated with. I shared with her a set of 10 research-based vows written by Samantha Joel, based on attributes of healthy relationships, that I had come across in The Science of Relationships.
And Robin used this same intense passion when putting together all the details of her wedding celebration. Robin and Alex were married in amazing and thoughtful style at Terrain at Styers in Glen Mills, PA on a perfect spring day.
Here’s an excerpt from their Love Story told in their ceremony:
“In the fall of 2010, Robin and Alex were both in the middle of serious life transitions. During this exciting time, they found themselves working right down the street from each other, Robin at Starbucks and Alex at the Apple Store. Alex would come in 3-4 times a day to order a hot chocolate, he’d hang around the bar to chat with Robin during his breaks. After one and half months, and about 100 cups of hot cocoa, Robin told Alex that she was leaving her job. Determined not to let Robin slip away, Alex wasted no time in securing all of Robin’s contact information.
Not long after Alex’s thorough fact finding expedition, they went out on their first date. They call it their first-date-and-a-half, because they spent over 24 hours together. And it was a night of adventure that set them both apart from any other person they had ever met before. They traversed the entire city, saved a strangers life in the T station, met part of Alex’s family, and…fell in love.
Three days after their first official date, Robin was traveling back home here to Pennsylvania to spend the Christmas holiday with her family. Alex felt the urgency to solidify their relationship. There in the bustle of Boston’s South Station, he asked Robin to be his girlfriend.
Robin says she couldn’t argue, “Despite my doubts about how we hadn’t known each other for very long, he told me that he thought ‘we should take a leap of faith together, and if things weren’t going well down the road, we would figure it out.’”
“He’s brave and courageous, adventurous and kind. He’s intentional and relentless in pursuing the things he knows to be right, the things he believes in. He’s your perfect counterpart–a man who’s animated storytelling and inside jokes can make your cheeks hurt from laughter. This is the man who delights in kissing you every single morning before heading off to work.”–Alisa Tongg, Celebrant
Alex and Robin clasped hands and took that leap of faith together. But it wasn’t always easy. Polar opposites in almost every way, Robin and Alex spent a lot of energy in those early days, simultaneously getting to know each other and learning the intricacies of partnership. A few months in, Robin told Alex that she thought they were both meant to be with people more similar. So, they took some time apart.
But Alex refused and went into full wooing mode. Robin says that, “his incredible, seemingly irrational persistence in winning me back, and his commitment to me from literally the first week that we knew each other, is the most comforting and inspiring thing to me…”
It wasn’t long before their undeniable attraction for the other and their best friend-like connection put this couple on a serious track. At the end of that year, they were planning their wedding.
Alex says that, “the two most opposite people can make something beautiful work. We work very well being two completely different people.”
Over the past three years, side-by-side, they’ve experienced moments of grief and loss, broken bones, the accomplishment of completing graduate school, the challenges of unemployment, the uncertainty that comes with starting out in a career, and the joy that comes from planning their future together.
When it came time for Alex to propose, he could hardly contain his excitement. While Robin was at home one day, Alex went to “work” taking the engagement ring on a parade to show it to all of their friends before coming home to surprise Robin.
Through it all, Robin says, “that no matter what comes up in our lives, choosing love will always be a constant, it’s made us stronger.”
“She’s passionate, loving, creative and thoughtful. This is a woman inspires you to be more and accomplish greater things through her unshakable faith in who you are. You can’t imagine a more “perfect mix of beauty and brains” being embodied in one person.”–Alisa Tongg, Celebrant
Robin’s surprise serenade for Alex during the ceremony, right before they exchanged their vows.
From Robin: “One of my strongest memories from the ceremony was performing the song, and knowing all along while I was practicing that what would really get me choked up was the line, “Like the river flows so surely to the sea, darling, so it goes: Some things are meant to be.” This sense of everything in both of our lives leading us to that moment, as though divined by fate, was so profound to me that I could barely finish the song. Seeing the picture taken from behind me, where Alex is watching me perform, never fails to bring me back to that moment.
I had kept this a surprise from Alex, as I did with several things throughout the day; I wanted to show him in as many ways as I could how grateful I was for his total dedication to our relationship since the moment that we met. The song was the culmination of that.”
And in honor of their first Valentine’s Day together, they included the following reading Robin says, ”applies even more now than it did then…”
“Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do.”
“Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.” –Louis de Bernieres
These beautiful moments and portraits were captured by Lauren and Matt Morrissey, the husband and wife photography team of The More We See.
If you’d like to see more of photos from their wedding (or if you just need more beauty and lifestyle inspiration in your life), I’d recommend following Robin Y. on Pinterest here.