Details of the day: Bernie and I were engaged in December 21, 2013 in Spring Lake, NJ. Despite a secret elaborate plan, it happened to be the most perfectly sunny (& warm!) day in what turned out to be a very cold winter and Bernie’s plan to propose on the Jersey shore went off without a hitch! We met over 5 years earlier at his college graduation party (ok…I crashed the party and did not expect to be meeting my future in laws) and the rest is history. We were both born and raised in New Jersey so it’s pretty comical that despite leaving for college in two different states, we both ended up back in the garden state and falling in love at just the right time in our lives.
We picked July 24 for many reasons but the most notable was that it’s very close to that first day we met in August 2008. The weather was an absolutely perfect 80 degrees and sunny with low humidity. A dream in July! Our families played a very important role in making our big day a success as my sister served as maid of honor, Bernie’s brother served as best man, and his sisters served as bridesmaids. Our mutual friends who introduced us (and my friend of 20+ years from St. Paul’s School) served as matron of honor. We knew right away that the Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge was the perfect place for our wedding reception and have nothing but great things to say about everyone who worked with us to make our day perfect! Every detail was just as we had imagined it and the food was delicious! They worked with us to create a gluten-free friendly menu which was imperative to the success of our day. Our cake came from Palermos’s Bakery and selecting it was one if my favorite activities (I am a cake lover!); our guests did not stop raving about how delicious it was!
We wanted to create a warm and inviting atmosphere at the Olde Mill Inn so each table was decorated with mercury glass candle holders of varying heights with white candles and a beautiful floral centerpiece with greens and light pinks. The flowers were very important to both me and my mother. We had a family friend, Bernadette, who owns Edgemont Flower Shop, make our vision a reality and she knocked it out of the park. I was calm and cool on the morning of the wedding until the flowers arrived and the tears started flowing! They were absolutely gorgeous and I could not have dreamed of anything better. My main request: succulents in my bouquet! We selected Vera Wang charcoal grey tuxedos for Bernie and the groomsmen and an off-the-rack emerald lace Tadashi-Shoji dress for the bridesmaids. The one thing I knew I wanted for our wedding was green bridesmaids dresses and it was not an easy feat but these dresses turned out wonderful! Who knew green dresses were so hard to track down? Shout out to Nordstrom for being so helpful in tracking down sizes across all of the US!! I tried on a million bridal gowns and finally selected the winner from Say I Do Bridal, a blush lace David Tutera with a sweetheart neckline.
Your favorite part: The entire day was perfectly suited to us but I have to say my favorite part was walking down the aisle to the man of my dreams. I was pretty nervous beforehand because the Church where we were married was the same one where I had made my first communion and confirmation, sat during countless masses as a child enrolled in St. Paul’s School next door, and practically grown up in. We were also lucky enough to have Msgr. Walter Nolan, the priest whom I grew up with, come back to St. Paul’s and marry us, an immeasurable gift for which I am so grateful. If you’ve never been, St. Paul’s has extremely long aisle! In the weeks leading up to the wedding, my father tore his achilles tendon and ended up having emergency surgery to repair it so the doctors could get him into physical therapy as quickly as possible. Just a week before the wedding, it was unclear whether my dad would be able to walk me down the aisle. Despite the initial heartbreak at the timing of this injury, his team of doctors pulled off a miracle and made it possible for my father to walk (with a “skinny” boot that fit under his tuxedo!) on our wedding day, just weeks after the injury. I can’t thank Dr. Dinesh Dhanaraj and the PT staff at Princeton Bone & Joint enough for everything they did for our family to make this happen!
After all the stress leading up to our big day, I could not have been happier to standing at the back of the church with my dad waiting for our turn to walk down the aisle. When the doors opened and we made our way down the aisle, I finally laid eyes on my groom. He looked incredibly handsome and was surprisingly quite emotional, tearing up when he saw us (though he hates to admit it!). I cannot explain how utterly happy and blessed I felt in that moment with the two most important men in my life, surrounded by all my family and friends, in a place that helped mold me.
If you could change one thing about your wedding what would it be? Hindsight is always 20/20 but in the end, our day was perfect for us! I wish I would have stressed less about every decision and enjoyed the process of planning more. It is such a special time in your life that you will never have again.
Advice for other brides: Don’t be afraid to ask people for help, especially when they offer it!