Tell us a little about yourselves.
J: We live in New York, and both work in the social services field. Meghan works as a care manager coordinating services for children with mental health needs, and Joanna works at a hospital in an adult mental health unit.
We like keeping our lives busy – we play together in a women’s soccer league, coach youth soccer, and enjoy spending time outdoors in our riverfront city doing things like hiking, tubing, and boating with our family. However, nothing beats when we find each other to share some quiet time at home.
How long have you been together?
M: We met in 2015 when we were coworkers and saw each other once or twice a week when our shifts overlapped. We had a very casual friendship in those first years.
In 2017, Joanna spent the summer in Michigan undergoing treatment for cancer, and when she returned to New York, there was a noticeable shift in the energy between us. She was only back for a few weeks, but we both found every excuse to text each other at that time. A few days before Joanna headed back to Michigan, I asked her out on what ended up being the best date ever. Neither of us wanted the night to end [which was made clear because we spent way too much time afterward walking each other back and forth to our cars].
By the end of that first night, I knew I was going to marry her.
J: Our story was really unexpected for both of us. Neither of us was actively looking for a relationship at that point. Meghan was busy raising three young kids, and I was recovering from surgery. But we connected at a time when we were both so content and individually filled with hope about our futures.
Aside from your elopement, what is your favorite memory together?
J: One of my favorite memories is from our first date. Despite knowing Meghan for a couple of years at that point, I’ve never had feelings like I had that night, sitting across from her at the bar, thinking, “YES! This is incredible. This is it! She is it”.
That night was only made better after walking her to her car and sharing a perfect kiss. Meghan had thought I said, “I want to kick you,” but it was actually “kiss,” which I didn’t find out until months later.
M: One of my favorite memories is from a month after we are starting dating. We were doing the long-distance thing at that point, but Joanna had flown back to New York so we could spend a long weekend together. The first morning, I woke up to find a post-it note next to my pillow with a simple message letting me know she had gone out to get us breakfast. It was such a sweet, simple gesture.
Two years later, I’m still waking up to post-it notes a few times a week with thoughtful messages that she leaves for me since we often don’t see each other in the morning due to our work schedules. Hundreds of post-it notes later, and my heart still skips a beat when I see one waiting for me.
Tell us about the proposal.
J: After just seven months of dating, I knew it was time to start the search for the perfect ring for Meghan. I teamed up with a custom jeweler and had the ring made and ready for the right moment.
I spent a few months mulling over the “perfect” proposal but ultimately settled with what was the least grand but most authentic.
In June of 2018, I proposed at home on a day filled with breakfast in bed, time at the lake, and a nice dinner on the riverfront. It made complete sense that the day we agreed to marry was spent feeling so at peace in the comfort of each other’s company.
Talk us through the decision to elope.
J: Right after the engagement, we had actually started to plan a “traditional” wedding. We spent time visiting venues and reception sites, budgeting, and making our guest list. A few months later, we realized that many of the decisions we were making for the wedding weren’t really for us, but instead, we were focusing on what we thought our guests would like to see at our wedding, and we were losing ourselves in the process.
M: I mentioned eloping very early on in our engagement, so we revisited that idea after we started losing interest in planning a big wedding.
After looking up destination weddings and finding Pink Iceland, deciding to elope became one of the easiest decisions to make. We were choosing to make our wedding about us, and choosing Iceland as our backdrop was the perfect way to connect us to the beauty of nature as we promised to spend the rest of our lives hand in hand.
And, how was that day in Iceland?
J: First, let me say that it was perfect.
Our adventure started with flying from New York to Iceland about 36 hours before our wedding day. Those 36 hours prior were spent horseback riding, swimming in the blue lagoon, frantically searching for the materials to fix a severe wardrobe malfunction [yikes!], and hardly sleeping at all! Without much sleep and without much time, everything leading up to it felt like a whirlwind.
But then the morning came when we got to wake up and get ready for our WEDDING. Everything around us seemed to take a deep breath.
Every moment felt special. From taking a walk that morning down the quiet streets of Reykjavik to pick up coffee and pastries, cooking breakfast in our hotel kitchen, enjoying the view off our balcony, and getting to meet and work with our excellent hairstylist and photographer – everything felt just right.
We followed our photographer to our first site, where we met our officiant and hiked to a hidden waterfall. It was breathtaking. Our officiant joined us together in a personal and intimate ceremony, and we knew that this moment in time would ground our love for every coming path life will lead us down.
We were privileged to be guided and photographed through some of the most beautiful Iceland sites that day. It was an incredibly life-giving experience to get to capture our love in such an inspiring environment.
After the wedding, we spent our honeymoon doing our favorite things. We saw a few matches of the Women’s World Cup in Paris and then spent some time in Santorini enjoying the excellent food and beaches.
What was telling your loved ones that you’re now married like?
J: Getting to share pictures and stories of our wedding with those who have loved and supported us from the beginning were so exciting! We’ve been told by so many of our loved ones how much happiness our relationship has clearly brought us both, and to have those feelings captured by our photographer was a wonderful thing.
M: Our kids were so excited for us and loved hearing about our big adventure getting married in Iceland. I’m really looking forward to returning someday with them so they can see all the beautiful locations in our pictures!
And lastly, what does the future hold for you both?
J & M: Everything about our journey and experiences has felt serendipitous up until now. We’re so grateful to have found each other and look forward to continuing to grow our family together in New York.
What else is life going to bring us? We have no idea. We’re just happy to be facing it together.
Photography by Kristín María Stefánsdóttir
Wedding Planners Pink Iceland