When Ricki and Stuart first met each other at the University of Pennsylvania, Stuart stood out from the collegiate crowd by his insistence on communicating in a somewhat outmoded way: by phone. “I was both enamored and confused by this approach,” admits Ricki, though the couple proceeded to launch what she terms an “old fashioned romance” that led seven years later to the soaring spaces of Cipriani Wall Street. Flanked by no fewer than 14 bridesmaids and 13 groomsmen, the couple were in good company.  In fact, making their way en masse from Federal Hall down Wall Street to the venue, the wedding party was joined by the couple’s family—resulting in nothing short of a parade. What greeted them inside Cipriani was Lawrence Scott Event’s transformation of the Greek revival landmark into a veritable park lined by living trees and plants. (Some guests even noticed the unintentional inclusion of crickets in the trees!)

If the sound of Ricki’s voice over the phone during their courtship was sweet to Stuart’s ear, imagine what it was like when he heard her vows that day. “It was the most emotion I have ever felt,” says Stuart of the moment they exchanged vows. “I will always remember listening to Ricki.” After the ceremony was over, Marianne Bennett’s band lifted their voices to celebrate the couple’s big day and even planned a surprise appearance by a gospel choir to serenade the party with the Rent hit “Seasons of Love.” Whether or not the spectacular staging of Ricki & Stuart’s wedding took 525,600 minutes to plan, one thing is for sure: every second was a feast for the eyes—and ears.

Filmmaker: Reuben Hernandez

Location
Cipriani Wall Street
Date held
Sat Oct 7th
In a generation defined by open relationships, dating apps and casual texting, we had a somewhat peculiar courtship. Stuart went out of his way to call me on the phone to ask me out on dates—a tradition that is sadly almost extinct. I loved the old soul in Stuart and we became best friends throughout the school year and ultimately made it official.

Ricki

Q1

How and when did you meet? What were your first impressions of each other?

Ricki: Our relationship started at the University of Pennsylvania when I was 19 and Stuart was 21. We lived on the same street and first noticed one another on move-in day at a café near our respective houses. In a generation defined by open relationships, dating apps and casual texting, we had a somewhat peculiar courtship. Stuart went out of his way to call me on the phone to ask me out on dates—a tradition that is sadly almost extinct. I was both enamored and confused by this approach. I loved the old soul in Stuart and we became best friends throughout the school year and ultimately made it official. Since then we have continued to have an old-fashioned love affair, which strengthened over the next seven years.

Q2

What was the easiest wedding planning decision you made?

Stuart: Music was so important to us. Marianne Bennett’s original band Starlight was the entertainment at Ricki’s Bat Mitzvah when she was 13 so we knew we wanted to have her band play at the wedding. The fact that Ricki was Marianne’s first Bat Mitzvah Girl and Bride was hilarious to us.

Q3

What was the most difficult?

Ricki & Stuart: We found narrowing down whom to invite very difficult. We love so many people and have shared such diverse experiences so wanted to include everyone. Luckily, we ended up at Cipriani Wall Street!

We found narrowing down whom to invite very difficult. We love so many people and have shared such diverse experiences so wanted to include everyone. Luckily, we ended up at Cipriani Wall Street!

– Ricki & Stuart

My most vivid memory was turning the corner to walk down the aisle. Although everyone was staring at me, I was exclusively focused on Stuart, who was desperately trying to withhold his tears. When he finally lost control and started crying, I was so overwhelmed with emotion.

– Ricki

To me, reciting our vows to one another was most impactful. Our wedding provided us with the unique opportunity to share how we felt in front of the people who mattered most. I will always remember listening to Ricki.

Stuart

Q4

Did you learn anything about yourself or your relationship throughout the planning process?

Ricki & Stuart: We learned that no matter how much time and energy goes into the wedding process it’s always important to stay focused on each other. We particularly loved our meetings with our Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, who provided us with spiritual wedding guidance. Meeting with Rabbi Buchdahl enabled us to stay connected to the greater meaning of our day.

Q5

What memory of each other on your day stands out the most in your mind?

Ricki: My most vivid memory was turning the corner to walk down the aisle. Although everyone was staring at me, I was exclusively focused on Stuart, who was desperately trying to withhold his tears. When he finally lost control and started crying, I was so overwhelmed with emotion.

Stuart: To me, reciting our vows to one another was most impactful and memorable. Our wedding provided us with the unique opportunity to share how we felt in front of the people who mattered most. I will always remember listening to Ricki. It was the most emotion I have ever felt.

Q6

If you could choose only one memento other than photos from your day to keep, what would it be?

Ricki & Stuart: Our wedding trailer! There is no better way to look back on that special day than to relive it through this succinct but somehow all-encompassing five-minute film.

Ricki & Stuart
A film by
Reuben Hernandez
play-video
Marianne Bennett’s original band Starlight was the entertainment at Ricki’s Bat Mitzvah when she was 13 so we knew we wanted to have her band play at the wedding. The fact that Ricki was Marianne’s first Bat Mitzvah Girl and Bride was hilarious to us.

– Stuart

We are so fortunate to have such supportive family and friends. Encouraging them to be a part of the wedding process was a way to show our love and get them equally excited about the celebration.

– Ricki & Stuart

Q7

What details of your day capture your personalities best?

Ricki: Having different handpicked china at every table.

Stuart: Dance floor shot carts!

Q8

What is the best relationship advice you ever received?

Ricki & Stuart: Keep things simple and put each other first.

Q9

What wedding planning tips would you offer to a newly engaged couple?

Ricki & Stuart: Trust the experts, they didn’t become experts by chance. We wanted to do things our own way, but ultimately realized that having the help of family, vendors and planners was invaluable. Also, include the people you love. We are so fortunate to have such supportive family and friends. Encouraging them to be a part of the wedding process was a way to show our love and get them equally excited about the celebration. It’s also important to not lose sight of the meaning and significance of why this is all happening. Most of all, have fun while wedding planning. Your night goes by so fast, so it’s important to enjoy your engagement as its own entity.

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Credits

  • Photography

    Ira Lippke
  • Filmmaking

    The Day

With a distinctive ability to capture the timeless substance of events in images marked by elegance and exuberance, The Day founder Ira Lippke is one of the country’s most celebrated event photographers. Using photojournalism as a starting point, he infuses every shoot with a distinct artistic sensibility—an approach he has come to term “fine art documentary photography.”

Ira Lippke