Alex and Ileana, New York City, August, 22nd, 2011 - Tobin Photography

I discovered just what extraordinary human beings Alex and Ileana are during our engagement shoot last month, but even that didn’t prepare me for just how special their wedding would be.

Set at the southern tip of Manhattan in gorgeous Battery Park, facing New York Harbor, Alex and Ileana joined their lives together in an act so glorious that the sight, sound, and romance of it all stopped tourists in their tracks.

As Alex and Ileana declared their promises to one another I found myself swept away as well, thankful for great auto-focus functionality as I wouldn’t have been able to focus my camera through my tears without it.

Given his passion for music and drama, it came as no surprise that Alex created a living soundtrack to mark each new act of the ceremony — an explosion of music created by exquisitely talented vocalists and some of New York’s finest musicians.

And while every part of the setting of their wedding fit together perfectly to create a stunning visual and auditory spectacle, they were a mere backdrop to the smiles and the love that radiated across Alex and Ileana’s face as they stood across from one another and promised their lives to one another.

And their community of friends and family!  Never could I imagine a more talented, authentic, joyful bunch of people gathered in one place at one time. Peppered with fiery first and second generation Cubans and some of the greatest theatrical and musical talent in all of New York, their party pulsated with dramatic jubilation, some of the hottest dance moves I’ve ever seen, and speeches that brought tears to my eyes and lit up the room with laughter.

Thank you, Alex and Ileana, for who you are in the world, for loving one another so well, and for allowing me to count you among my friends.