Stories of 8 Real Couples Getting Married at City Hall

Stephanie Marquez and Mehdi Arma recently got married at City Hall. Stephanie Marquez and Mehdi Arma recently got married at City Hall. It's 8:30 AM at New York's City Hall and the party is in full swing. Hundreds of couples are about to get married in tuxedos and gowns, cowboy hats and prom dresses, flip flops and jorts. The mood is radically happy-like being at the DMV if everyone was on ecstasy.

I chatted up eight different couples about the one thing that every person on earth wants: Ryan Gosling, I mean, true love. Grab a box of tissues and find a place where you can ugly-cry because these are some seriously romantic stories.

By Rose Surnow

1. Stephanie Marquez, 27, sales assistant & Mehdi Arma, 28, facilities for Showtime

How did you two meet?
Stephanie: We met via an app for the iPhone called MiUMeet.
Mehdi: It was meant to be.

Were you nervous on your first date?
Stephanie: I wasn't nervous, but I was getting to the point where I was like, "If this guy is not decent, I'm gonna stop dating for a while." But then he turned out to be amazing.
Mehdi: She was perfect. She wasn't a psycho or a stalker.

Interesting definition of perfect! Tell me about the proposal.
Mehdi: I put the ring in a plastic bag and I threw it on the floor and I said, "Look at this mess, you should pick that up."
Stephanie: It was midnight. I was like, "I'm tired, I wanna relax, what's your problem?" He went and picked it up and then he got down on one knee and pulled the ring box out of the bag. I was so happy!

What's your favorite thing about each other?
Stephanie: I could just talk to him and be myself and not have to think about what I'm gonna say or worry about how he's gonna react.
Ahmed: Everything. She makes me happy.

Related: Love Apps We're Loving

2. Sophie Marchessou, 30, consultant & Matthew Tolliver, 30, energy efficiency developer

How did you two meet?
Sophie: We met two and a half years ago. I moved to the United States from France to go to Harvard Business School...
Matthew: We were assigned to sit one person apart in the first half of the year and then we were assigned to sit exactly one person apart again in the second half! It was fate. Actually the one person that sat in between us is here as one of our witnesses.

What did you think the first time you saw him?
Sophie: He was wearing very casual clothes, like flip flops and a large t-shirt and I was coming from France and I thought, "Oh my god! Showing up in class in flip-flops? That's terrible!"
Matthew: And she was very formally dressed and very attractive. I noticed that she had a hurt hand. It turned out she had a bike accident. She bikes everywhere, stereotypical French person!
Sophie: I even biked here!

And how long did it take you to start dating?
Matthew: It took us a full year of business school. We started dating pretty early on in our second year.
Sophie: After a week, I knew we were going to get married.
Matthew: After 12 weeks of dating we decided to move to New York City together.

That's so romantic!
Sophie: I was going to go to France after business school but now I'm getting married in the U.S.

What is your favorite thing about him?
Sophie: He's so handsome!
Matthew: (laughs) This will fade, remember.
Sophie: He's probably the most patient and kind person I know.
Matthew: She is incredibly strong and she pushes herself and she pushes us to be better people. Sometimes I can be easy on myself or lazy with myself, and I know that with her, I'll always push myself to be a better person.

Okay, I'm gonna cry all over the place. Why did you decide to get married at City Hall?
Sophie: This is just the civil ceremony. The religious ceremony is going to be in a castle in France over the summer.
Matthew: I grew up in South Florida dreaming of a castle in France, so it's perfect for me.

3. Jyldz Williams, 30, management consultant & David Williams, 32, microbiology researcher

How did you two meet?
Jyldz: On Match.com.

How did your first date go?
David: Well, we're getting married.

Good point. Had you gone on any horrible Match.com dates?
David: She was actually my first Match.com date.

Your first Match.com date was the woman you married?
David: Yes.
Jyldyz: He was my first date, too!

What is your favorite thing about him?
Jyldz: I just love him. I love him because he can always listen. He listens and he sees me, you know?
David: We just get along really, really, really well. It was exciting at first and it still is, but we just get on so well.

David Grille, 43, talent scout & Mark Hilton, 38, energy consultant

How did you guys meet?
David: (laughing) At the David Barton Gym, in New York. So cliché!
Mark: I approached David.
David: But I had been watching Mark for a while...
Mark: We were in the stretching area. I asked him out and we went on a lunch date. David: We actually ended up going on a lot of lunch dates over the course of six months.
Mark: I was a little reluctant because I found out he was working in the fashion industry and I thought that would be really shallow. (They both laugh).

What was up with six months of lunch dates?
Mark: I was still living with somebody at the time, but the relationship was basically over. It was a friendship.
David: It was a bit more frustrating for me than Mark, because I realized early on that I really liked him and I couldn't quite figure out if he liked me the same way. We would go on a lunch date and then I wouldn't hear from him for a couple of weeks.
Mark: I didn't want to jump immediately into something else right after something that had failed.

Do either of you have a most romantic memory of something you've done?
David: Moving to Europe is the most romantic thing we've done because it was something that we really did for each other. We live in England because of lack of immigration rights for same-sex couples. This is a really important day for us because we had to leave the U.S. about nine years ago because he lost his ability to stay here. So we came back this weekend in order to get married here in the U.S.
Mark: David loves New York. Even though he's originally from Chicago, he considers New York to be his home, so that was a big deal for him to move.
David: I always say my home is wherever he is.

What's your favorite thing about each other?
David: He's not influenced by other people. He goes in his own direction. He's also very close to his family, which is important for me because I am too. It's not easy to find that nowadays.
Mark: He's the most genuine, nice person I know. Everybody loves him. He's a talent scout so he works all over the world and whenever his name comes up anywhere on the planet, people always say "David Grille is such a nice person!" Which always makes me feel like, "Uh oh" because I'm not quite as nice as him.

5. Corbie Lucaburns, 30, human resources at American Express & Rob Gault, 37, installs AV systems

How did you guys meet?
Corbie: We met in 2001 at a friend's birthday party. He was the cute across-the-hall neighbor. As soon as I saw him I moved in on him immediately. My dorm room quickly became storage because I was always at his place. We officially moved in together the next year and we've been together ever since.

So you met in school?
Corbie: Yep! On my first day of college.

Wow! What was the first thing you thought when you met?
Corbie: I just thought he was super hot.
Rob: I thought she was very cute. She's very cool. As she likes to say, we're like two straight guys hanging out. (laughs)
Corbie: I guess we realized that we had so much fun together, it would be stupid not to become boyfriend and girlfriend. I agreed to marry him after a couple asks.
Rob: She said "no" a couple of times.
Corbie: I didn't say "no". I said "ask again later."

Why did you say that?
Corbie: The first time (he proposed) was right after college and I wanted to make sure we would grow together, not apart. And the second time we were living apart and I was afraid he was asking because he was nervous about us not being in the same location. One day I just said to him, "If you ask again, this time I'll say yes!"

What's your favorite thing about each other?
Corbie: He's so smart and he can do everything. He builds computers for fun, he knows things about outer space, he's got so many different interests and he's always teaching me new things.
Rob: Her sense of humor. She can always make me laugh no matter how bad of a mood I'm in. That's something I've always liked about her.

Why did you decide to get married at City Hall?
Corbie: We just felt that a big fancy wedding ends up being about the guests, and the food and the flowers, and making sure that everyone was happy. Ultimately, we wanted the day to be about the two of us. The easiest way to do that was to invite no one. I'll be the third generation of women in my family to make that choice. Besides, we could spend the money one might normally spend on a wedding on a honeymoon or a house.

6. Yvonne Ablythe, 61, nurse & Tina Russo, 53, park ranger

How did you two meet?
Yvonne: We met in 2007 on Match.com.

Do you remember your first date?
Yvonne: Oh, yeah! She came to the apartment and we walked on the beach and just talked for hours. The next day we had a dinner date and I knew then and there that she was my soul mate.

What did you think the first time you saw her?
Yvonne: She has a pair of sunglasses that she wears and I thought she was incredibly sexy in them.
Tina: I kinda knew right from the beginning that she was the one. It was just this instant connection of feeling comfortable and at peace.

What is your favorite thing about her?
Yvonne: Her heart. She has a very good heart.
Tina: I call her my hero because she's a nurse and she cares so deeply about people.

Related: 7 Creative, Out-of-the-Box First Date Ideas

7. Carolina Stuardo, 34, assistant director of admissions at the Art Institute of NYC & Uros Plavsa, 35, bartender

Where are you guys from?
Carolina: Santiago, Chile
Uros: Montenegro/Serbia

How did you meet?
Carolina: It was in 2012 and we were both just hanging out late at night at a bar. I was drinking with my best friend and we were about to go home when my friend said, "One more drink?" I said, "Sure, one more drink." And that drink turned into him.

Who approached who?
Uros: I did, but she was looking at me the whole time.
Carolina: He was looking, too!

How soon did it take you to realize that you were in love?
Uros: Not that long.
Carolina: I was actually separating with my ex when I met him and I was like, "No more boyfriends!" But he kept saying, "I'll wait." And then my mother came to stay with me for three months and he said, "I'll wait." And he did. Next thing I knew, every living second I had that I wasn't working or with my mother, I was with him.

What is your favorite thing about each other?
Carolina: (tearing up) He has this kindness. He does anything and everything for whoever needs it.
Uros: She's super smart, super fun and she's a very good person, especially to me. She takes really good care of me.

8. Scott Lin, 34, relationship manager at HSBC Bank & Jenny Liu, 28, mortgage consultant at Wells Fargo

How did you meet?
Scott: We actually met in 2011 through work. I gave her my business card and said, "Let me know if you need help with anything."

Who decided to make the first move?
Jenny: He invited himself out with me. I said I was hanging out with a couple of friends after work and he said, "Sure! I'm free."

Tell me about the proposal.
Scott: I was looking for a ring online and I forgot to delete the history and she caught me. So I had to change the date around to surprise her. I changed it to midnight on Dec. 21st, 2012, when the world was supposed to end. So midnight hit and I got down on my knees and said, "It looks like the world is not going to end, so there is no better way to celebrate than to propose."
Jenna: It was really sweet. He got me teary-eyed.

What is your favorite thing about each other?
Scott: She has a really good heart.
Jenny: He's really sweet and pays attention to the details. When I forget to zip up my jacket, he's there to zip it up for me.

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