Bride: Salimah El-Amin , 35
Groom: Ted Larkin, 44
Occupations: El-Amin, freelance film producer; Larkin, IT project manager
Homebase: New York City
Wedding Date: October 3, 2009
Wedding Location: Akwaaba Mansion Bed & Breakfast; Brooklyn, New York
Computer Love: Modern technology brought newlyweds Salimah and Ted together. The couple met back in 2004 on match.com and after a couple of dates their courtship got serious.
“My first impression of Salimah was that she’s a lovely, sweet woman who warms my heart. That is my first impression and last,” shares Ted. After dating about two years Salimah left her digs to move in with her beau. Salimah says of Ted, “We just fit so well together.”
Opposites Attract: While Salimah is quick to tell how well she and Ted fit, she’s also candid about their differences. “Ted is interested in making sure he has a steady paycheck and is saving up for retirement. I’m more free spirited. I was still acquiring student loans and working on my second masters degree [when we met],” she admits while adding that Ted thought very little of freelancers before meeting her. In addition, Salimah was raised Muslim and Ted comes from a Jewish background. Salimah even questioned her honey’s 80s sitcom knowledge. “I don’t understand why he never saw The Cosby Show,” she says with a chuckle. Ted sheds his light, “Our differences bring us joy. They emphasize how we come from different worlds and make our joining even more meaningful.”
Through Thick and Thin: The love affair between Salimah and Ted hasn’t always been a bed of roses. “We’ve had a lot of upheaval in our lives. Ted lost his mother the year we met. And then the recession hit and he lost his job,” she remembers. But the twosome didn’t let the challenges of life tear them apart. “I think when you’re willing to put a lot on the line and push for something greater that’s pretty special,” says Salimah.
Photography by Ben Correira
Bachelor for Life?: Sure their relationship had proven to be strong but getting this groom down on one knee wasn’t easy. “Ted was adamant about not getting married because [he didn’t agree with] the whole institution. He didn’t see the reason why,” recalls Salimah. She explains, “My parents have been married nearly 40 years and I know the value of that. I thought marriage was worth a shot and I thought he was worth it to take that shot with.” Ted confides, “Before Salimah and I met I thought I would be a lifelong bachelor. Eventually I realized I would rather spend the rest of my days with her.” In January 2009 during a surprise birthday party for Salimah and before her closest friends and family, Ted asked her to be his wife.
Brooklyn’s Finest: Salimah’s mother choose a quaint historical Brooklyn venue, the Akwaaba Mansion Bed & Breakfast for the couple’s nuptials. “We were looking for something that was kind of a home environment. Plus it is African American owned and has African related art in it,” says Salimah of the intimate space. “Doing anything in Manhattan would have been too expensive,” she adds. When asked about the most memorable part of his big day Ted answers, “Being in a room with everyone in the world who is important to us and seeing Salimah for the first time in hours, looking as beautiful as she could be and knowing we would be together forever.”
Salimah’s Money Saving Tips for Future Brides:
Riding Frugal: Many marrying couples secure luxury vehicles or limousines for
themselves and their bridal party. If you want to cut costs quickly and painlessly, trimming in the transportation line of the bridal budget is an excellent start. “We rented a [standard] car for our wedding day,” shares Salimah. She continues, “It was sixty bucks.”
Don’t Be Clothes-Minded: Salimah and Ted saved big time in the wardrobe department for their nuptials. Follow their lead to save some serious cash of your own. “I got my dress from a sample sale at Kleinfeld’s for $700. I found a tailor in Chinatown who altered the dress for $150. A bridal tailor would normally cost $300-500,” says Salimah. Of her hubby’s wedding day attire she reveals, “Ted didn’t buy a suit or rent a tuxedo. He wore a suit he already had.”
Nix the Peanut Gallery: The cliché is true: time is money. The more time you waste attempting to make every decision from your nails to your reception DJ by committee, the less money you’re likely to save. Salimah warns, “It was my mother, Ted and me who finalized the [wedding] details and that did not cause a lot of grief.” She suggests, “Keep the wedding decisions between a very tight group of people.”
Be sure to check out past Tie the Knot Tuesday couples.