Lesbian couple weds atop Empire State Building on Valentine's Day

Fabiana Faria and Helena Barquet tied the knot on the iconic New York City building's 86th Floor Observation Deck.
Image: Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria following their Valentine's Day wedding ceremony at the Empire State Building in New York on Feb. 14, 2019.
Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria following their Valentine's Day wedding ceremony at the Empire State Building in New York on Feb. 14, 2019.Brendan McDermid / Reuters
By Ben Kesslen

A lesbian couple got married Valentine's Day morning on the Empire State Building’s iconic 86th Floor Observation Deck, the highest open-air observatory in New York City and arguably the most famous in the world.

Fabiana Faria and Helena Barquet were one of two winning couples in the landmark's 25th annual Valentine's Day Wedding Contest.

More than 1,000 couples from around the world entered for the chance to wed at dawn on top of New York, Jean-Yves Ghazi, the senior vice president of the observatory, said in a statement. Ghazi officiated the service on the cold but bright and sunny day.

The Empire State Building held its first same-sex wedding on Valentine's Day in 2012, according to Reuters, when Phil Fung and Shawn Klien won the same contest. Faria and Barquet are thought to be the first lesbian couple to marry atop the iconic building on Valentine's Day.

The two women have been dating for almost seven years and co-own a home design store, Coming Soon, on the Lower East side of Manhattan. In 2016, Faria told Racked she and Barquet opened the store together partly because they "wanted to be together all day." Faria proposed to Barquet at New York City's Plaza Hotel.

Each bride was offered a free dress from Kleinfeld Bridal, and the couple may also receive free flights and hotels for their honeymoon.

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