We actually met on OKCupid. Gerard sent the first message, and we connected instantly. Our first date was at Seasons 52, and we love going back for anniversaries and special occasions.
Gerard and I were on vacation in Napa Valley, and after a day of visiting wineries we took a walk along the Napa River. We sat down on a park bench, and Gerard handed me a book, “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” filled with lyrics from the Elvis song and little handwritten notes on every page. When I turned to the last pages, which had the lyrics “Take my hand, take my whole life too,” Gerard got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! It was so thoughtful and romantic, and the book is such a sweet keepsake that we’ll treasure forever.
Our wedding day was very traditional. We had a beautiful church ceremony, and because our pastor knows our families, the sermon was so personal and meaningful. Our wedding was in October, so our bridesmaids wore burgundy dresses and groomsmen wore navy tuxedos. The flowers were pink and burgundy, and all the decor had gold accents, including our invitations and cake.
We had passed by the Grand Marquis countless times, and I was always curious what the inside looked like. Gerard and I had toured at least a dozen wedding venues when we started wedding planning, but the moment we stepped into the Dome Room at the Grand Marquis, we were blown away by the gorgeous and elegant ballroom. When we returned with our families for a tasting, everything was delicious and we knew we made the right choice!
Since we both come from big Italian families, good food was a must, and we were not disappointed. Our cocktail hour had several stations including antipasto, hibachi and a pasta station. Our dinner menu featured Chateaubriand, mandarin teriyaki salmon and chicken marsala. At the end of the night, Gerard and I waved sparklers in the air to invite all of our guests back into the cocktail room for the Viennese Extravaganza. Our family and friends were overwhelmed by all the options, including milkshakes and a chocolate fountain, a boardwalk station with popcorn and cotton candy, a donut wall and an ice cream waffle station. Our wedding cake from Palermo’s was four tiers. We picked two flavors: chocolate fudge and raspberry vanilla, and we already can’t wait to eat the top layer on our anniversary.
My mom, sister and I went to so many different bridal salons, and I must have tried on at least 50 different styles before we went to I do I do in Morristown. My consultant, Lex, picked out a gorgeous Martina Liana fit and flare gown. As soon as I tried it on and looked in the mirror, I knew it was the one! The silhouette was so flattering and I was absolutely obsessed with with the beading-it had the perfect amount of bling. I also loved the low back and gorgeous train with lace and beading-they were so unique and beautiful. I felt like a princess wearing it, and the gown fit the elegant theme and venue perfectly.
I know it’s cliché, but when my dad walked me down the aisle, and Gerard and I locked eyes for the first time on our wedding day, I was absolutely filled with butterflies. It felt like we were the only people in the whole church-it was such a special moment I’ll remember forever.
I’ve always had a creative side, and I was excited to incorporate DIY elements into our wedding day! I made each place card with embossed calligraphy, painted the table numbers and welcome mirror myself, and even made the “A” and “G” letters on the sweetheart table. Incorporating all of these personal details made the decor even more fun and special.
The day was absolutely perfect, from start to finish. We just wish it didn’t fly by so quickly.
Wedding planning can be an incredibly stressful time, but try not to get overwhelmed by all the decisions and caught up in all the details. On your wedding day, try to take some time to be present with your new Mr. or Mrs., and just take it all in! The day truly does fly by quickly, so try to find moments throughout the day to pause and enjoy it together.