RACHEL + JUSTIN
NOVEMBER 2ND, 2019
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
ON WRITING WELL
Welcome to Rachel and Justin’s wedding site. They’re thrilled to be bringing family and friends, old
and new, together for this event.
The two of them met the traditional way — in their second-to-last semester at Purchase College in
TKYEAR. Justin was talking to a professor of Rachel’s at the campus Starbucks, when she came to say
hello. He noticed how her eyes matched her purple and green sweater.
They ended up in the same capstone class the next semester. For one of the first assignments, a peer
review, Rachel emailed Justin to say his was the only writing she found interesting. He wrote back
simply, “#?” (Justin is VERY direct.)
Still, they started as friends. They’d text through class, at one point planning to split a meal,
platonically. Justin paid for the whole thing. Another time, Rachel invited her classmates to Hillel for
brunch, but they ended up talking only to each other.
It all started to look a little silly, when they literally were assigned to see Romeo and Juliet. Their first
official date, at a Cajun restaurant near their apartments, was that night.
“They” started to feel inevitable quickly. It was scary, but it made sense. Two returning students. Justin
was anxious about an unsure career path; Rachel was learning how to trust herself.
“It was almost love at first sight,” Rachel says. “But we didn’t want to admit it.”
They spent the first weeks and months introducing each other to the important people in their lives and
traveling. On a trip they took to Ireland’s Aran Islands, Rachel sang for the “eccentrics” at the village
pub. Justin helped open Rachel’s family summer house in the Berkshire mountains, and they headed to
Boston, where Justin is from. He calls it “magical.”
“It was an exciting and a nervous time,” he says. “On some level, you really know that this is the
Justin took her to Crane Beach on the North Shore, where he told her he’d always thought he would get
“At that moment I knew, without him saying directly,” Rachel says. “Justin talked about the future in a
way that included me, and I talked about the future in a way that included him.”
In the three years since then, that future has included careers, friends, the move to New Rochelle, the
“snouts.” Rachel’s cat, Sasha, became their cat, and they adopted their dog, Paloma. Rachel soothed
angry customers at two online businesses, Justin grew his events and catering company. She brought
the love of music. He brought film and painting.
Justin’s “why can’t I do that” attitude prodded Rachel to see herself “as capable, as talented, as strong,
as valuable, to say that I am experienced, I am smart, I have something to bring to the table and really
In turn, with her smarts and social instincts, Rachel gave a rudder to Justin’s ambition, grounding him
in “introspection and self-care.” It was not always easy.
“Ultimately, that’s the stuff that really makes a big difference, that builds the relationship and the home
and is able to get us to this next level,” Justin says.
On Dec. 9, as she strode ahead with Paloma at the Ward Acres nature preserve, Justin knelt on the
frozen trail. He opened the box. The family stone she’d been waiting for was inside. He said her name.
They’re looking forward to the family, home, and careers they want to build. Justin compares planning
the wedding in the woods of the Berkshires to those early trips.
“It’s wrapped back around to feelings of that first summer,” he says. “Now it’s an exciting time again.”
for blocked rooms try the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
Briarcliff Motel is another local option which does not have a room block
The Red Lion Inn does not have a room block, they do have a discounted rate for our wedding which you must call for
the area also has very competitive airbnb options