Real Weddings

Amanda and Gaston at Bear Brook Valley

Posted on February 01, 2021 by Ariana Baio

How did you meet?

We were introduced through friends on Labor Day weekend. We parted ways after dating for a year. After finishing up our bachelors’ degrees and starting our own careers, we decided to meet again for a date at the Shore. Moments into it, we knew our love and our connection was still there. We’ve been inseparable ever since.

Amanda and Gaston at Bear Brook Valley

Gaston planned the most perfect proposal, all a surprise. On Valentine’s Day, he picked a restaurant called Limani in Westfield for us to eat at. He planned a four-course menu, ordered a cake from our favorite bakery and bought flowers and déor. To top it all off he invited my family and his to meet for the first time, after he popped the question. As we sat down, Gaston seemed so nervous he started to tell me how much he loved me and then the moment came and he asked of course I said “yes!” After we hugged and kissed, and had one sip of champagne when both of our families popped out. I instantly burst into tears. We all had a beautiful dinner and celebrated our engagement together. It was a day I’ll never forget. I’m the luckiest girl.Amanda and Gaston at Bear Brook Valley

Our wedding theme was rustic elegance. Soft blush floral and greenery with pops of berries. We love lush open flowers, hydrangeas, roses and soft eucalyptus leaves. We felt the soft blush linen and the simple teacup candelabras with soft candlelight complemented it so well.Amanda and Gaston at Bear Brook Valley

Bear Brook Valley is a magical place—a beautiful venue tucked away in northwestern New Jersey. With a heart-shaped pond, a whimsical forest swing, a gorgeous farmhouse ballroom and a menu made for the foodies we are. From the grounds to each and every details, Bear Brook Valley is truly a hidden gem. We both fell in love with the beauty and elegance of this venue.Amanda and Gaston at Bear Brook Valley

Our wedding menu was a beautiful mix of both of our cultures. I am Irish and Italian and Gaston is Argentinian. We had a seafood bar filled with hot steamers, a corn beef and cabbage carving station, and a custom Argentinian station filled with grilled meats and homemade empanadas. We also had a pig roasting on a cauldron with all the fixings for a taco bar. Passed appetizers included chicken and waffles with bourbon glaze, lobster mac and cheese bites, and of course lobster tacos. Our entree selections were: braised lamb shank, filet mignon, grilled salmon, chicken rossini and a portobello Wellington. Our wedding cake was a duo of alternating layers: carrot cake with cream-cheese mousse. The other layer was french vanilla cake with dulce de leche mousse and fresh strawberries. We ended the night with a pastry bar, donut wall, ice cream truck and a s’mores station.Amanda and Gaston at Bear Brook Valley

I dreamed of going to Kleinfelds my whole life. The second I walked through the doors, I felt the magic of this place. We were greeted by Paula our consultant. She truly understood my vision and helped me find the most perfect dress for my rustic elegant wedding. The gown is whimsical, romantic and above all else, blush! I have always wanted to be the blushing bride.  The whole experience was perfect. My dream came true, and we said yes to the the dress! I’m so happy and honored to be a Kleinfelds bride.Amanda and Gaston at Bear Brook Valley

Our ceremony is something we, nor our guests, will ever forget. Our wedding was rescheduled from April 2020 to October 2020 and our guests and vendors joined us on this journey every step of the way.  Everyone finally got to feel the love, the magic and the joy we both feel for each other, each day during our ceremony. We all prayed for this day to finally come. Gaston and I wrote our own vows. We were able to thank our mothers with roses, and I finally got to walk down the aisle with my father. We truly were present in each and every moment of this perfect day that God finally gave us.Amanda and Gaston at Bear Brook Valley

Our vendors. Vendors are the heart and soul of your wedding, from the beautiful flowers to the unforgettable pictures. Each place card, each detail is handcrafted by them. I have been blessed with the most amazing vendors. Their love, support and encouragement meant the world to us both. Pick your vendors wisely, do your research, invest in them. They will invest all of their time to you in return. I know they have each touched our hearts, and if you’re lucky they will feel like family when your day is over.Amanda and Gaston at Bear Brook Valley

We lost our original date—April 10, 2020—due to Covid. Since I am a nurse, I had to work through the pandemic. The entire world changed and sadly our wedding just couldn’t happen. We lost the choice or the opportunity to host it entirely as planned. Looking back, although there was a lot of heartache, April 10th wasn’t our day. October 15, 2020, was truly our day. The weather was perfect, along with the food, the floral, the music. The whole tone of the day came alive, finally. People needed, and wanted, something to celebrate. We are so thankful it finally all came together and we got the day we dreamed of. Everything truly happens for a reason.Amanda and Gaston at Bear Brook Valley

“I Get to Love You,” by Ruelle.Amanda and Gaston at Bear Brook Valley

My best advice for other couples is to just embrace each and every moment. Grow together through the wedding-planning journey. There will be good times and there will be bad moments, so embrace them both. Laugh through them, cry through them and become stronger because of them. The only thing that matters is you and your fiancé. Let whatever day it may be come alive, and don’t let anyone or anything change your vision. Make it completely your own!Amanda and Gaston at Bear Brook Valley
 Cape May.

the details



Reception Location

Bear Brook Valley


Monika de Myer


Reverend Michael Savage

Bride’s Gown

Kleinfeld’s Bridal, Maggie Sottero

+ more