Their relationship started with a pinky-swear, progressed to a coffee date and ended up with a Memorial Day wedding. Emily Chovanec Schappler and Stephen Schappler were married on May 28, 2011 at Church of the Assumption in Brooklyn Heights.
The pair met at a party in college. “Our dorms were across the street from each other, so I made Stephen pinky-swear to walk me home at the end of the night,” Emily explains. “Once we got there, he asked me out to coffee the next day. We’ve spent every day together since.”
These days Emily, 26, works at the Museum of Chinese in America as visitor services manager. Stephen, also 26, works as an audio engineer, and records music and does post-production for film and TV. They share a passion for board games and crossword puzzles, though both bring out Emily’s competitive streak. They possess complementary culinary interests–Emily likes to cook and bake, and Stephen is an excellent amateur bartender, making for lots of cozy times at home when they’re not out exploring the city together. “Our best weekends always involve Saturday bagels and coffee,” Emily says.
Just before the wedding, while Emily was getting ready in the hotel room with her mother and bridal party, the groom called to check in. “I put Stephen on speakerphone only to have him remind me that I ‘cannot be late to our wedding!'” Emily remembers. “My mother, bridal party, and photographer laughed and laughed–I am notoriously late.” The bridal party arrived on time without a hitch. “The priest even remarked that we were the only wedding he’d ever done that started on time,” Emily says. “So there!”
Post-ceremony the guests waved ribbons as the newly married couple exited the church and made their way to the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, where they enjoyed gorgeous weather for a garden party reception. Emily and her mom put together all the paper goods and decorations, including the programs and favors, tissue paper poms, paper flags, and floral arrangements which the bridesmaids had helped construct the day before the wedding.
Though they didn’t set out to have a specifically Brooklyn-themed wedding, the Schapplers ended up getting their bouquets from Graceful Gardens, the cake from Nine Cakes (strawberry lemonade!), the catering from Betty Brooklyn, the photography from Jordan Van Aken, and having the ties for all the men in the wedding party by Supper Club–all Brooklyn designers and companies.
Stephen and Emily chose to have a traditional ceremony, personalized by reading and poems. One of their favorites was by the Persian lyric poet, Hafiz.
our union is like this:
you feel cold so i reach for a blanket to cover our shivering feet.
a hunger comes into your body
so i run to my garden and start digging potatoes.
you ask for a few words of comfort and guidance,
and i quickly kneel at your side offering you a whole book, as a gift.
you ache with loneliness one night so much you weep,
and i say,
here is a rope, tie it around me,
i will be your companion for life.
Emily and Stephen look forward to being companions for life.