It’s Official

Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Michael Bonomo, 34, Interior-Design Director, and Eric Bacolas, 41, Digital-Marketing Executive

What’s your plan for the rest of the day?
Eric: We actually had a double wedding with my sister and her partner. We got married at the same time with the same judge. Now we’re having a reception together at Double Crown.

Sounds like quite a party.
We put together a reception for 85 people in under 48 hours: Crazy.

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Jeanette Harris, 41, Homemaker, and Kawane Harris, 36, Health-Care Worker

How does it feel to be married?
Kawane: Spiritually, we’ve been married since August 14, 2010, the date of our commitment ceremony.

Did you wear the same outfits last time?
Jeanette’s dress is the original. I had rented a tux on that occasion, but legalizing it felt more official, so I bought a suit. Even in triple-digit heat, for my wife I will be in a three-piece.

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Ruthie Berman, 77, and Connie Kurtz, 75, Both Retired

You’ve been together how long?
Ruthie: We’ve been engaged for 36 years.

How does it feel after all this time?
Connie: Beautiful. The community put themselves out—water was waiting for us, a chair was waiting for us. And we had people calling out our names and they threw sparkles.

Ruthie: Confetti.

Connie: It was a delight.

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Adam McKew, 30, Surgical Technician, and Dave Lewis, 38, Celebrity Concierge; Both Volunteer NYPD Officers

Why’d you decide to get married on the first day?
Dave: Today is our seven-year anniversary. And two years ago we had a commitment ceremony on July 24. So 7/24 holds a special meaning for us.

Do you often dress alike?
I wouldn’t say that. Sometimes we’ll mistakenly put on the same kind of shirt.

And then what?
We have to change.

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Michael Charles, interior designer, and Michael Margolin, semi-retired/adjunct professor

Seersucker, nice!
Michael Margolin: We’re ushers at Saint Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue, and the ushers all wear seersucker during the summer months. We ushered at a church service at this morning and then we came down to City Hall.

Did you put a lot of thought into your ties and boutineers?
All spur of the moment. We decided to throw our names in the lottery and got the call on Thursday, so we had to put this together quickly.

What made you put your name in the lottery?
We thought maybe we’d wait until September or October to see if the church would do us. But then we said, “Let’s just do it, let’s be history.”

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Cate Smith, art director, and Sasha Stim, social worker

How’d you meet?
Cate: We met online.

What site?
Not Grindr.

Did you make an instant connection?
Yeah, I think we fit together perfectly. We’re both from California, we both have same sense of humor and the same ideals.

What’d you do to prepare for the wedding day?
It was Sasha’s birthday yesterday so I had a surprise birthday party for her and we stayed up too late drinking wine and then had to wake up at 6 a.m.

Oof. Well, you don’t look hungover.
We brought a lot of water.

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Sebastian Barleben, investment banker, and Johnny Lee, entrepreneur

Way to go all out with the tuxes.
Johnny: Yeah. We got here kind of early and as people started trickling in we realized we’re among the few people so dressed up. Sebastian’s a traditional kind of guy and he wanted us to represent ourselves appropriately.

Was it difficult to focus on each other amid the first-day frenzy?
When we got here, there was so much excitement in the air. But when we finally got to the chapel after we signed our judicial waiver, there was a moment of calm and quiet. And we got overwhelmed as soon as the judge started speaking. We were his first wedding that day, he was really emotional and effusive about presiding. Once it got to that point it was hard to speak.

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Jeannette Marquez Jardine, administrator, and Kerry Jardine, radiation therapist

What made you decide to take Kerry’s name?
Jeannette: Our son has her last name so it just works.

Where’s your son right now?
He’s down for a nap with grandma. He’s going to be turning 3 and his name is Angel.

Does his outfit coordinate with yours, too?
Absolutely. We all have the same colors—we rocked it. We put all the time we had since we heard on Thursday night into coordinating our outfits, the flowers, and the two-tier cake that we ordered. It was all just so magnified, like a volcano erupting once we found out. God was on our side.

Have you felt nervous at all?
It’s not really being nervous, it’s like being a kid a Christmas. That feeling is hard to come by as an adult. I took it and ran with it.

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Gina Patterson-Martin, attorney for New York State Supreme Court, and Pauline Patterson-Martin, music publisher

Do you have a romantic engagement story?
It was important for us to have marriage as opposed to domestic partnership or one of those other options. So when New York State passed the law, I was like “You want to do it? Let’s get married!” So no rose petals up the stairs, none of those stories. It was like, “Oh my God, we can do this!”

And you’re expecting?
I am three and a half months pregnant. So when the law passed, I was already pregnant. Timing could not be any better.

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Seongman Hong, restaurant manager, and Patrick Plain, ACLU development administrator

You’re so formal!
Patrick: It’s a special day. We want to be part of history. I think we were among the first to register. And then we got here at 6 a.m. We were probably the fourth couple in line.

What time did you go to sleep?
I don’t know that I went to sleep, actually. Seongman came straight from work. He manages a 24-hour restaurant in Koreatown and had gone to work at 9 p.m. last night. So he hadn’t slept a whole day before that.

But you’re pulling through?
We have the adrenaline high.

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Dinah Mark, school psychologist, and Lina Zerbarini, rabbi

Biggest surprises of the day?
Dinah: A cop stopped us on the street, congratulated us, and wanted to photograph us and put it on Facebook! A New York City cop! Also, what surprised me was how emotional I got. Because when were married in October, that was the big shindig with the family and friends and dancing and the works. But I didn’t cry that day. But when the judge said “I now pronounce you …” It just hit me with so much emotion. I couldn’t believe it. I’m not on cloud nine, I’m on cloud 1,250-something.

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Damian Ross, graphic designeer, and Gary Cosgrove, president of a nonprofit

What’s the story with the king get-ups?
That’s part of the Imperial Court of New York, where Damian works. It’s based on the European royalty system. You join as a lord or a lady (most of the ladies are drag queens), and you rise through the ranks as you raise money for LGBT charities.

And I presume you’ve gotten to the highest rank?
Yes, I was made an emperor eleven years ago, and D became an emperor ten years ago.

Those outfits have to be hot.
We’re soaking. My robe weighs about 100 pounds; it probably weighed twenty this morning. But we just figured if we were going to do it, let’s do it all the way.

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Tiffany Peckosh, documentary-film producer, and Meredith Soffrin, social worker and musician

You are so stylishly coordinated. Like J.Crew models or something.
Actually, Tiffany is wearing J.Crew. We didn’t coordinate … Okay, yeah, we coordinated a little bit. We wanted not to match but to be in the same color palette.

How’d you get together?
We met through mutual friends and then ran into each other in Union Square and it was just immediate magic. I hugged her awkwardly, like, twice in a row. And then a month later we became exclusive.

Do you plan to have kids?
We would like to add to our family, absolutely.

Such a businesslike response!
Well, I don’t want to say too much because if family hears, we don’t want the pressure and the questions! But yes, we want kids.

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Photo: Spencer Heyfron

Amber Weiss, physician assistant, and Sharon Papo, social worker, with Skyler, 11-month-old

So you two were already married before today?
We got married on June 17, 2008, the first day we could be legally wed in San Francisco. We came to New York to celebrate liberty and justice.

And how did you celebrate?
We passed out eight-inch Statue of Liberties that had rainbow sashes, rainbow lollipops, and little cards that said “Congratulations … Thank you for being love warriors … ”

What was the response?
At first people thought we were trying to sell them something. But I think they were very touched that we were just here to celebrate. I was surprised there weren’t more Statue of Liberties walking around. It felt like an important part of all this.

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Dr. Mary Jo Kennedy, physician, and Jo-Ann Shain, freelance medical editor

Tell me about these leis.
You know, we just wanted to get something that was really visible to celebrate the day. So we went to, and found the leis.

Will you go on a honeymoon? Hawaii?
No plans yet, but we’re talking about it.

What will you do tomorrow?
We’re still both very high, but tomorrow it’s back to our lives. MJ will go to work, and I’ll work from home. But we are planning a wedding reception—a big blowout party in October. We are putting together a play list. We love the classic disco music. We’re from the seventies and eighties, what can I say!

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See Also
Video: Same-Sex Couples Wed in Manhattan
Slideshow: Images From the New York City Clerk’s Office

It’s Official