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Four lucky couples who won a Colin Cowie Weddings contest not only got to utter “I do” at that most romantic of locations—on top of the Empire State Building—on that most romantic of days, Valentine’s Day—they also got to seal the deal with custom-designed, Facebook-approved diamond wedding bling from De Beers. The couples first got to see their rings at a champagne cocktail event at De Beers’ New York City flagship on Feb. 10. Getting involved in the contest was “very organic, very natural,” says Selda Bensusan, De Beers director of public relations and special events. “We are all about love, so it was a perfect match.”
The winners of the “Wings of Love” contest were chosen from across the country after sending videos to Cowie describing their love stories. (At least one was recorded in De Beers’ New York City store.) Hundreds were submitted; a celebrity panel narrowed those to 16. After that, members of the public voted for their favorite couple via Facebook.
The four videos ran the gamut. Angela Vega and Lubin Masibay, both from San Francisco, aimed for the funny bone by casting Masibay as King Kong—a nice tie-in with the wedding locale. Paula Cubero and Enrique Catter, from Greenwich, Conn., shared what Catter calls “the only tragic story.” They had originally planned a wedding in Mexico, but lost all their money when it was canceled due to a swine flu scare. While saving for a second wedding, they were hit with hospital bills and didn’t have health insurance. “We figured we could get married in another 10 years,” says Cubero. “Then one of my friends said, ‘You should do the contest video!’” Two same-sex couples rounded out the winners. Phil Fung and Shawn Klein, both New York City residents, have been together 18 years and had been planning a wedding ever since the state legalized gay marriage. They were thrilled with the locale. The Empire State Building is “such an iconic building that signifies New York,” says Fung. Finally, there were Stephanie Figarelle and Lela McArthur, Alaska residents who met in anatomy class (and had never been to New York).
The custom rings were also voted on by Cowie’s Facebook fans. Since it was De Beers, all the bands included diamonds, with even the plain styles boasting a hidden diamond inside the band. Every piece was in platinum, save McArthur’s, which was set in white gold.
The $100,000 Question
On Valentine’s Day, the four sky-high Cowie-planned ceremonies went off without a hitch, even though orchestrating four events in one day would be enough to break even the most zealous wedding planner. And to make it all even more enticing, Colin Cowie added a contest on top of the contest. Following Valentine’s Day, his Facebook page let readers peruse albums full of photos and vote for their “favorite couple.” The Grand Prize winners, announced March 8, were Klein and Fung. They pocket $100,000, which would certainly finance a heck of a honeymoon, and really is icing on the (wedding) cake.
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