Colorful, Whimsical Backyard Wedding in Pomona, New York
Ariel Dannis (36, director of strategy and operations at New York City Department of Education) and Golden Moise (37, accountant at Fendi) had what would seem like the perfect love story: they met and became high school sweet hearts during their senior year. She was the captain of the varsity tennis team and Golden was the captain of the varsity football team. But there were deep social issues embedded in their relationship—she was Jewish and he was Haitian. "Interracial dating was not common where we grew up," says Ariel. "Although Golden and I did not see a problem, our families most certainly did—especially mine. It was us against the world." Ariel and Golden dated in secret through college and long distance for the years after. Then, when they were 28 years old, Ariel started feeling pressure to get married. Knowing her parents would never approve of her marrying Golden, she ended their relationship. Although she went on to date "a nice Jewish boy" she couldn't forget Golden. Three years later Ariel and Golden rekindled their relationship for the last and final time. No longer able to deny their connection, Ariel's parent's gave their approval. Finally, after a romance that spanned nearly 20 years, and with her parents' blessing, the unconventional couple planned an intimate wedding full of bright colors and whimsical details in Ariel's parent's backyard. "It was incredibly meaningful to have the wedding at my parents’ home,” says Ariel. “After everything that went on between us, it all came full circle.” From Ariel's blue wedding gown to the steel drum ceremony music, every bit of their long-awaited nuptials mirrored the day's celebratory tone.