The Ktanya Codrington and Michael Schwartzberg Wedding, August 30, 2009



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Photography by Belathee Photography

In the spirit of seizing the moment, most of us have put the proverbial “cart before the horse” at one time or another in our lives. Such was the case with this lovely couple and, in retrospect, they are so very glad that they did.

It all began about four years ago when the two met by chance at an Upper West Side Manhattan restaurant, each out for the night with a large group of their friends, each waiting at the bar for a table. Sitting scant barstools apart, the two began to chat. Having noticed right away that they were truly clicking and not wanting to let a good opportunity pass him by, Michael asked for Ktanya’s phone number. Getting a good vibe herself, Ktanya happily obliged; Michael phoned her the very next day.

All sounds pretty conventional so far, right? One would think so, but not so fast.

You see, while most newly connected couples get their feet wet by embarking on the typical “” kind of dates, these two found themselves immediately discussing a potential vacation away together less than a month into their chance meeting. So, while Ktanya didn’t yet know Michael’s middle name, whether he preferred coffee or tea, or even his favorite color, she did know that he tended to pack light when he traveled. He, in turn, quickly learned that Ktanya loved the beach. So the two thought it perfectly natural to be traveling to the Puerto Rican island of Culebra just weeks after they first met. After all, dating does not come with a “how to” guide book, nor should it. That said, some people were incredulous (particularly their respective families), even shocked.

“Who is this Michael?” Ktanya’s dad wondered.

“Ktanya who?” asked Michael’s dad.

“In due time,” they patiently advised.

In due time. And, indeed, that time was meticulously planned while the two sipped margaritas on the beach in Culebra and, upon the couple’s return, they made firm arrangements to meet each other’s family. The introductions couldn’t have gone better. All parties were put at ease immediately and now everybody clicked, not just the happy new couple.

About a year later, Michael and Ktanya moved in together, living in Ktanya’s apartment in Harlem. On her birthday in October 2008, Michael gave in to convention and took Ktanya out for cocktails followed by a romantic dinner. Finally the typical dinner date—or was it?

After dinner, the two took a taxi back to their apartment. Tuckered out from all this date-night stuff, Ktanya quickly climbed the steps of their brownstone, anxious to get some sleep. When she got to the top, she noticed that Michael wasn’t there with her. Instead, there he was still on the street and down on one knee. “Will you marry me?” he asked.

You already know the answer.

Michael and Ktanya chose Westchester County as their wedding destination as Michael had spent his teen years living here and his father currently resides in Larchmont. They chose the Wainwright House for its beauty, tranquility, and spirituality. Their wedding was an interfaith one that combined elements of the groom’s Jewish religion with the bride’s Catholic religion. “It was important for the wedding to be spiritual and have Jewish customs [sharing wine from his ancestor’s Kiddush cups, standing under a chuppah, signing an interfaith Ketubah, the breaking of the glass],” says Ktanya, “and also African American customs such as jumping of the broom.” .

Ktanya’s parents are from Trinidad, so the breathtaking views of the water created a Caribbean ambience, enhanced by the wedding colors of fuchsia, ivory, and apple green.

The music combined contemporary music with calypso and Soca, which brought everyone out to the dance floor celebrating as if it was Carnival in Trinidad.

Immediately following the reception, the two flew first to Fiji and then off to Australia.

It was, of course, a dream honeymoon, but why wouldn’t it be? The couple already knew how well they traveled together!