Melissa Lynn O'Shea and Mark Stephen Fitzsimmons
The groom with his nieces: Grace Simmons, Katie Fitzsimmons, Iris Christensen and Nicole Fitzsimmons
Photographs: Steve Worth Photography
Melissa and Mark met while on a trip with Habitat for Humanity in Mozambique. Mark was a volunteer team leader and had been to Africa several times with the organization. It was Melissa’s first time on such a trip. After two weeks of building homes together and getting to know one another, Melissa returned to New York City and Mark to Atlanta. They exchanged dozens of e-mails and phone calls until Mark conveniently “found a reason” to visit New York. And so began their long-distance relationship. Eventually Mark moved to New York and after three-and-a-half years of dating, he proposed on Melissa’s birthday while on vacation in Turks and Caicos.
Reverend Julie Johnson Staples officiated the ceremony at Riverside Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. A gospel ensemble performed “Oh Happy Day” when the couple exited the church as husband and wife. In the spirit of their meeting, the couple plan to commemorate their wedding by building a children’s village in South Sudan in partnership with the Global Orphan Project. In lieu of presents, they asked guests to donate to the cause.
The bride, daughter of Barbara O’Shea and the late Francis O’Shea of Greenwich, graduated from Long Beach High School and Tulane University. Melissa works for Publicis Worldwide in New York City.
The groom, son of Eugene and Teresa Fitzsimmons of Des Moines, Iowa, graduated from Dowling Catholic High School and the University of Iowa. Mark is a senior manager of retail operations for Apple in New York City.
Mr. and Mrs. Fitzsimmons honeymooned in Brazil. They call Manhattan home.