How did you meet?
Justin first laid eyes on Ashley when Diana, her best friend (and maid of honor) brought her along as her plus one to a company outing. Justin and Diana worked together as EMTs for an ambulance company in their hometown. It took Justin a couple of weeks to round-up the courage to ask Ashley out on a date, but when he finally did they went to a local shooting range, dinner, and frozen yogurt. The rest is history!
How did he ask?
They were taking their mothers out for a dinner in the city, and chose the restaurant right in front of the Rockefeller tree. At the end of dinner, Justin surprised Ashley with VIP tickets to go ice-skating. As they were skating, he suddenly asked Ashley for the time. She told him, “9:33”. Then he said, “2 years ago today at this same time, 9:33 p.m., and this location, I told you I loved you for the first time. Do you remember?” Then he got down on one knee, and pulled out a royal blue ring box; found inside was a 4.75 ct Tacori engagement ring. Ashley bawled her eyes out, and the crowd upstairs and on the rink surrounding them chanted “SAY YES ALREADY!” Ashley said “Million times yes, yay!” It was magical! The icing to the cake was that Justin took ice skating lessons for weeks leading up to the proposal to make the evening perfect!
Details of the day:
Weekends, hours, and miles were spent finding the venue of the couple’s dreams. Ashley, Justin, and her parents visited 21 venues in New Jersey, and it was not until the 22nd venue that the venue of their wedding dreams was realized. After a taunting weekend of venue-visits, Ashley’s mother shuffled the pages of New Jersey Bride magazine, and told Ashley, “the page I land on is the absolute last venue we are visiting.” That page happened to be The Rockleigh. They immediately called the venue and asked for a walk-in visit. Once Mel and Lucy of The Rockleigh opened the doors and welcomed them inside the lobby, they knew this venue was the one!The couple wanted a venue with big chandeliers, a big marble dance floor, a royal staircase, and water fountains. It was not until The Rockleigh that they found everything on their list and more!
The couple always dreamt of having a big, traditional, royal wedding, and their parents made it come true. Ashley and her mother alone took on the task in designing and executing the entire wedding themselves. It took them 2 whole years to put together this royal wedding – and every minute of planning was definitely worth it! From the romantic colors, the bride’s dress with a 6 ft train and a 12 ft veil, and a 36 inch cascading bouquet of orchids, to the mass at the cathedral with a 148 ft aisle, the venue with over 15 chandeliers in just the ballroom, and the hundreds of orchids that Pedestals and DKoran Events filled the Grand Pavilion Ballroom at The Rockleigh with – the whole wedding day undoubtedly highlighted the themes traditional and royalty. With a list of 230 guests, the ParisNY 12-piece band, the perfect ambiance lighting and music sets by Platinum Entertainment, a 10 ft gold-framed “Welcome” mirror, Ashley and Justin’s custom monogram, and gold-mirrored accents throughout the wedding – it all indeed seemed out straight out of a fairytale.
The day began with Moët champagne for the ladies, and Johnnie Walker Blue Label for the gentlemen as they prepared for one of the most fascinating days of their lives! The Groom’s only “high priority” request was to drive a Lamborghini to the cathedral, and drive-off with his wife to the reception – how could she say no? The Bride rode to the cathedral in a Rolls Royce Phantom with her parents. Surprisingly, Justin arrived late to the ceremony, as bridal party members rushed him out of the car so that he would not lay eyes on Ashley before she walked down the aisle, a tradition that was extremely important for them!
Ashley walked down the aisle with a custom, conservative scalloped bolero to match her beautiful gown, both designed by Stephen Yearick and fitted to perfection by Lucy at Jaehee Bridal; it later transformed into a sleeveless, sweetheart neckline for the reception.
Justin of Italian and Polish decent, wore a white, black & gold bow tie from Michael Costello’s Menswear collection, and surprised Ashley and her Spanish speaking family members by reciting his wedding vows in Spanish. This was a very special moment symbolizing the union of two families.
Ashley and Justin, and her parents paid close attention to every detail of this day. Wedding programs distributed during the mass involved fun facts, the day’s itinerary, and transformed into fans and exit-streamers. Guests staying at the hotel were greeted with welcome bags at check-in filled by Voss water bottles, Guylian chocolates, and “His” and “Her” favorite midnight snacks. Ashley’s mother and father spent endless nights putting together these welcome bags, as well as personalizing mini champagne bottles, cake slice favor boxes, dance-floor flip flops, and bathroom baskets that included over 500 little mints labeled one-by-one with gold-foiled stickers of the couple’s monogram!
A small touch, but very important to the couple, were the favors that guests found at their plates as they first found their seats at The Rockleigh. These favors were gold-foiled place cards with a Mending Kids pin attached. The couple made a donation to the organization of healthcare providers that devote their skills in providing medical needs in countries where medical procedures are scarce – an organization the couple wishes to work for in the future.
The couple had a vision of a royal wedding with endless surprises. The Rockleigh assisted them in surprising guests with butler-passed sorbets during Intermezzo, and an After-Hours party filled with midnight munchies. The surprises didn’t stop there! The couple’s first dance involved dancing on clouds and 8 pyrotechnic 6ft sparklers that lit up the dance floor as ParisNY Band hit a special note to the couple’s favorite song – All of Me. The wedding included an additional Dominican band during the the After-Hours party, a cigar roller, dancers on stilts, live drummers, and a 5 ft tall cake.
The reception lasted a total of 7 hours, and The Rockleigh definitely out-partied Ashley and Justin’s guests! The parents’ of the bride wrapped up the wedding weekend by hosting a morning-after brunch at the Hilton Pearl River. An excellent weekend for a beautiful couple!
Pyrotechnic sparklers that went off during the first dance – started the evening off on a magical note!
Detail you couldn’t live without?
The after-hours party! The couple wanted something other than a Viennese Hour for guests to end the evening with. Instead, The Rockleigh laid out a white dance-floor in a different room at the venue, and filled it with midnight munchies such as sliders, churros, a wing bar, and so much more! At this After-Hours party, the Bride’s family surprised the couple with a live Dominican Band, dancers on stilts, and a cigar roller!
Did anything go wrong?
The groom wore the wrong outfit to the ceremony! Instead of a black peak lapel tuxedo, he wore a navy notch lapel suit!
Favorite detail of the day?
All of the white phalaena orchids that flourished throughout the day, beginning with the bride’s 36 inch cascading bouquet! These orchids were the first flowers that the groom gifted the bride when they first began dating; it was only right to fill their wedding day with them!
Premier Digital Weddings from Staten Island, NYWhere did you go on your honeymoon?
Bali, Indonesia at The Royal Pita Maha in Ubud
Bayonne, NJ now Philadelpha, PA
Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart Newark, NJ
Premier Digital Weddings from Staten Island, NY
Father Philip Sanders from St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish
Stephen Yearick from Jaehee Bridal, Abby Paris from Castle Couture+ more