*Originally published on Offbeat Bride
Melissa and Rey eloped back in 2016 and wanted to recapture the magic of that day, this time with their baby boy, Aion, to oversee all the festivities. They had a gorgeous and colorful vow renewal at New York's Prospect Park followed by a picnic of traditional Dominican and Chinese sweets. Let's hear from their officiant who captured the spirit of the day super well…
"In 2016, Melissa and Rey had an intimate elopement ceremony with Buddhist touches on a warm Fall November day in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Rocking the cutest baby bump, Melissa walked through the bright autumn foliage towards the modest waterfall that was their romantic backdrop, to marry her great love, Rey. A few of their closest friends gathered around to celebrate their new chapter as newlyweds and as soon-to-be parents. With excited smiles all around, the love in the air was palpable. Originally from opposite corners of the world, Melissa from China and Rey from the Dominican Republic, they first met one summer through a mutual friend in the heart of Brooklyn. It took some time for them to open up to each other, but once they did, they became fast friends and fell madly in love. Their shared creative passions for art and dance, interest in metaphysical documentaries, deep conversations, fiery debates, and love of Buddhist teachings brought them closer together. They knew that they found in each other someone whose differences opened up their hearts and broadened their horizons. They chose to remind themselves of the beauty in their contrasting worlds with an engraved Buddhist mantra on their wedding rings: “the jewel is in the lotus." It is believed that reciting this mantra over and over again, with the right intention, will transform one to become as compassionate and wise as the lotus flower itself. Inspired by Melissa and Rey’s real Prospect Park elopement in 2016, a team of Brooklyn wedding vendors– including their original wedding officiant Once Upon a Vow — collaborated to create this elopement inspiration full of color, delicious sweets, bursting florals, and lots of baby snuggles. The imagery of this styled shoot depict the strength of who Melissa and Rey are as individuals, as parents, and as a union built on the beauty of their different heritages."
Photographer: Impressenshi • Planner & Stylist: Together Events • Videographer: Sojourner Society • Officiant: Once Upon a Vow • Baker: Samantha Bakes Cakes • Hair and Makeup Artist: Shanee Danielle • Paper Goods Designer: Song & Pen • Dress Designer: Loulette Bride • Florist: Ember Floral Co. • Bridal Accessory Designer: Alyson Nicole • Balloons & Confetti: Knot & Bow • Venue: Prospect Park • Models: Melissa Wu & Rey