After all the intense planning and preparations, the joyous wedding day is finally here.
And the bride and groom, Justine Puco and Russell Kaye of East Meadow, couldn't be more delighted.
What, you thought Kate and William were the only ones getting married Friday?
The royal wedding, with horse-drawn carriage, cheering crowds and souvenir mugs, tiaras and canapes at Buckingham Palace in London, will naturally grab the headlines. But plenty of Long Island couples will be tying the knot Friday as well, a day every bit as special to them.
Puco, an administrative assistant, and Kaye, a car dealership service writer, don't mind sharing with the royals. In fact, "It's an honor to have a wedding day on the same day as something that will be remembered around the whole world," said Puco, 33. "Other than that, it's just a coincidence."
Melissa Grace, 29, a graduate student at Hofstra University, will be marrying attorney Anthony Yorio, 38, of Connecticut Friday afternoon at a Queens church and following the ceremony with a reception at The Inn at Fox Hollow in Woodbury.
"It's just exciting to know we're sharing our day with the prince and a day in history," she said. "We felt privileged and honored."
Grace was planning to be up before dawn Friday morning to watch the royal wedding that precedes her own. "I want to see Kate's dress and what she's wearing," she said.
Prince William's mother, Diana, married Prince Charles in 1981 in a tiara and enormous, puffy ball gown, now an iconic image of modern royalty.
Grace said she was so taken with Diana's 25-foot-long train that she had her mother make her veil 22 feet long. And her gown's train is almost as long.
It didn't occur to her to emulate the horse-drawn carriage, however. "That's kind of hard to do in Queens, but it would have been a very nice touch."
When Lauren Cioffi, 22, and her fiance, auto service adviser Matthew Brachio, 37, exchange vows Friday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Ronkonkoma, they'll be enjoying the moment, along with the fact that sharing the day with the royal couple might just be a sign of good luck. "It's really sentimental," said Cioffi, of Selden. "My wedding day is a national holiday in England. It's really cool."
But let's be clear about one thing, she joked: "To be fair, Matt and I picked the date first, so they copied us."
Not everyone would have shared the date so happily. Phil DeFalco, 36, of Putnam Valley, who will marry Marisa Goodman, 34, originally of Great Neck, at another castle -- Oheka in Huntington -- Saturday night, said, "It's nice that we'll have our own day in history. We keep saying all the media attention is focusing on the wrong castle," Goodman said.