Are you hunting for a box of tissues? Don't—because Whelan is so funny, and makes it so clear that these were all happy moments, that you'll end up grinning rather than crying. (On her husband's speech, for example: "[He] was talking about when we first hooked up and how I chose class over spending the morning with him having coffee. Argggh—too much information!")
Here are a few of our favorite images from the story. Click here to see the whole thing.
(All photos by Henry Leutwyler for New York Magazine)
One of Whelan's final bows
Pointe shoes from her last NYCB performance
A great big hug from her mom
Husband David Michalek talking early hook-ups at the after party