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Juka & Jonathan|NYC City Hall wedding

Juka & Jonathan’s wedding was full of firsts. It was my first wedding of 2012, the first City Hall wedding I’ve photographed and my first same-sex wedding. For Juka & Jonathan, who traveled from Northern California, it was their first time ever in New York City.

Before we get to the photos, a little bit about their story…

The couple met on line and after talking on the phone for hours, they arranged their first date.  It was scheduled for the day Jonathan was runnning the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco and he told Juka he’d run extra fast because he was so excited to meet him. Because he had run so hard, Jonathan proceeded to… promptly fall asleep on Juka’s couch… on their first date!

Jonathan managed to stay awake for their second date: a four hour hike and picnic, after which they both knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with each other. They moved in together and here’s the killer… three months after meeting the love of their lives Juka & Jonathan had to say goodbye.

Jonathan, who is on active duty with the US Air Force, was deployed to Kurdistan. This was before the end of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, so you can imagine the scene when Jonathan departed. Families and spouses embracing and bidding their loved ones a safe journey, and Juka and Jonathan leaving each other with a awkward “bro hug” and a wave.

OK… the sad part is over! After the DADT policy was repealed, Jonathan couldn’t wait until he returned home, and proposed to Juka… over email, from Kurdistan.

Juka began planning their trip and making arrangements for their wedding ceremony… just the two of them at City Hall in Manhattan. Jonathan returned from his deployment on New Year’s Eve and less than two weeks later the couple was headed east.

NYC city hall same-sex wedding, lgbt friendly photographer delaware, new jersey

En route to City Hall…

NYC city hall same-sex wedding, lgbt friendly photographer delaware, new jersey

We were all mildly amused by ticket number they received…

NYC city hall same-sex wedding, gay friendly photographer delaware, new jersey

The wait…

NYC city hall same-sex wedding, lgbt friendly photographer delaware, new jersey

It is impossible to pass up a photo at this set up in City Hall…

NYC city hall same-sex wedding, lgbt friendly photographer delaware, new jersey

It was truly an honor to be asked to be the official witness for their ceremony. As jovial and excited as Juka and Jonathan were throughout the day, there was an incredible feeling of quiet passion, sincerity and seriousness as they said the words “I do”.  Then it was back to fun…

NYC city hall same-sex wedding, gay friendly photographer delaware, new jersey

NYC city hall same-sex wedding, gay friendly photographer delaware, new jersey

NYC city hall same-sex wedding, gay friendly photographer delaware, new jersey

Kudos to Jonathan who suggested the pose for this one…

NYC city hall same-sex wedding, lgbt friendly photographer delaware, new jersey

And the goofiness continued…

NYC city hall same-sex wedding, gay friendly photographer delaware, new jersey

Love this portrait from inside City Hall…

NYC city hall same-sex wedding, lgbt friendly photographer

Juka & Jonathan, I had such a great day with you both and hope you have many years of love and fun together. Best wishes for a healthy and happy family!

www.lesliebarbarophoto.com

1st date, john fell asleep, ran bay to breakers, wanted to run as fast as he could so they could meet.
2nd date: 4 hour hike and picnic lunch and they both said they knew.
3 mos later, john was deployed to Kurdistan w Air Force.
Had already talked about marriage,
John proposed over email... John didn't return until NYE and today they were in NYC getting married.

1st tim in NYC for either, plan is to return each year for anniversary 

Ceremony officiant, awesome!

City hall digs really nice, efficient. 

Honored to be witness, felt weird asking, didn't know me. 

Fun, goofballs 

More relaxed after ceremony. Met, can't describe the feeling in the room when the words were said, "I do".

John married before, just to seem legit to peers and bc didn't want to be dishonorably discharged. To a friend... 

Conversation: sex & city to c-5 airplanes
January 4, 2013 - 8:26 am

Mark & Aaron|NYC City Hall wedding « New Jersey and Delaware Wedding Photographer serving Philadelphia and New York – Leslie Barbaro Photography - [...] started 2012 with the NYC city hall wedding of Juka & Jonathan so it was the perfect bookend to finish the year photographing Mark & Aaron’s ceremony. [...]

February 15, 2012 - 12:59 pm

Karen - These are absolutely incredible! I don’t think I have ever seen a couple so happy and genuinely excited to be married to one another. Their happiness is infectious – I smiled right along with them as I scrolled through the images! :D

February 15, 2012 - 12:39 pm

Danielle Richards - I especially love all the little details and the b/w portrait. They look like they had a wonderful time, too!

February 5, 2012 - 11:09 am

Crissy Everhart - Leslie, these are AMAZING! I love them! Your clients must be thrilled!

February 4, 2012 - 3:32 pm

sarahdavies - I am so in love with these pics! Beautiful!! I’m so happy for Juka and Jonathan!

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