Riding off to happily ever after on a bicycle built for two

Published: Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 12:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 12:41 p.m.

Lindsay Levkoff & Stephen Ziegler

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K Gallery

Married Nov. 1, 2008 at Sweetwater Branch Inn

This hip couple tweaked tradition to reflect their individuality without sacrificing elegance.

How they met: Lindsay, now a post-doctoral student in cancer research, and Steve, who is finishing an engineering degree, met while working at a local bike shop in 2000. Against the warning of a mutual friend, Lindsay began dating Steve.

"I never listen to that kind of advice," she says.

The relationship lasted two weeks.

Lindsay eventually moved to Boulder, Colorado, to finish her undergraduate degree, but applied to the University of Florida for grad school. While in town interviewing, she stopped by the bike shop to see if Steve was still around. He happened to be working that day, and they realized they still had a connection.

Their (second) first date: Steve, 28, picked up Lindsay, 27, on his motorcycle for dinner at the Top. Afterward, they went to Durty Nelly's, making Irish pubs the unofficial backdrop to their courtship (see proposal, below).

Why they're great together: While they share a strong independent streak and both describe themselves as driven and passionate, Lindsay says Steve's more laid-back vibe is a perfect counterpoint.

"I had a really hard time with relaxation before I met Steve," she says. "Our relationship has really changed my ability to find that peace."

They also bond over music: Lindsay is a huge Beastie Boys fan, and Steve proposed after they saw them live for the first time.

The proposal: On vacation in Baltimore in August, Steve asked the band at an Irish pub to help him seal the deal. But when the singer asked for Lindsay from Florida, a different woman stood up.

"He had this look of terror on his face. There was a long, awkward pause," Lindsay laughs. But Steve convinced Lindsay that she was the one the singer meant, and popped the question. Lindsay gave the crowd a thumbs-up.

The wedding: The bride wore hot pink, but let go of some of her wilder ideas, like a "Nightmare Before Christmas" wedding cake. Working with their vendors and Lindsay's mother, they found a way to incorporate their vision in a way that blended elegance with individuality.

"Everyone we worked with really picked up on our energy," Steve says. "They realized we weren't the typical bride and groom, and we didn't want the typical wedding."

Steve's uncle officiated the ceremony in the garden of Sweetwater Branch Inn, which included a Robert Frost poem and vows borrowed from Paul Newman's wedding. They opened the reception with a dance to Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is," ending by departing, appropriately, on a bicycle built for two. But that wasn't the end of the festivities: The newlyweds welcomed wedding guests and friends to a house party that night, where their photographers set up a prom-style portrait backdrop on the lawn.

"It made for a long day, but the party was great, because you don't get to spend that much time with each person at the wedding," Steve says.

Their team

Catering: Steak and fish by Sweetwater Branch Inn

Dress: A hot-pink bridesmaid's dress from Solutions Bridal

Floral: Organic-inspired twig sculptures and orange orchids by The Unforgettable Event

Coordinator: Masterpiece Weddings

Bar: Dorn's

Cake: Publix

Photographer: K Gallery

DJ: Jay's

Makeup: Kacey Cielo

Their tips: Find room in your event budget for a planner. "I came to it late because a planner wasn't in the budget, but it was absolutely necessary," Lindsay says. "If it's not in your budget, cut back on something else. I can't imagine getting through the wedding without one."

Parents and vendors may not love your quirkiest ideas, but find a way to compromise. "Out-of-the-box doesn't mean it's not nice or elegant," Steve says. "Good vendors who understand what you want can take your ideas and make them beautiful."

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