Four lucky couples that won a contest sponsored by Colin Cowie Weddings will not only get to say “I Do” at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day—they will get wedding bling from De Beers Diamond Jewellers.
The custom-designed bands were unveiled to the couples at a champagne cocktail party at the company’s flagship store in New York City 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. “If it’s a bridal event, it should be De Beers. We are all about love, so it was a perfect match.”
The winners were chosen from across the country after submitting videos to Colin Cowie describing their love stories. After 16 semifinalists were selected by a celebrity panel, the public voted for their favorite couples.
The four winners:
- Phil Fung and Shawn Klein, both New Yorkers, have been together 18 years and will be the first same-sex couple from New York State to marry at the Empire State Building. Fung is thrilled with the setting, noting the Empire State Building is “such an iconic building—that signifies New York.”
- Angela Vega and Lubin Masibay, both from San Francisco, won the judges’ hearts after by making a video where Masibay appeared as King Kong. Vega recalls when she found out she won the contest: She was working as a nurse in the emergency room. “It was a hard day, with a lot of very sick patients,” she says. “I got the phone call, and ran out in the hall and started screaming. My patients even heard.”
- Paula Cubero and Enrique Catter, from Greenwich, Conn., had originally planned a wedding in Mexico that was canceled due to a swine flu scare. The couple lost all the money they put toward the ceremony. And while they were saving up for a second one, 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!’ It is hard to get better than this.”
- Stephanie Figarelle and Lela McArthur, both from Anchorage, Alaska, have been a team since meeting in an astronomy and physiology class. They say they planned to get married in New York ever since the state passed same-sex marriage.