Dan and I met in 2013 in Chicago where we both worked at Lakeview Pantry through post-college volunteer programs. Dan volunteered with Jesuit Volunteer Corps and I with Amate House. At first, I wasn’t so sure about “JVC Dan” because of his quiet demeanor, but thankfully things changed. During our year at Lakeview Pantry, we got to know each other, mostly through conversations during food pick-ups in a giant cargo van. After a year, I decided to spend another year volunteering in Chicago while Dan moved back to New Jersey. We stayed in touch throughout that year, when I moved back to New Jersey, Dan asked me to go on a date to Kane Brewing Co. Our first date was so great that we went on our second date the very next day.
Fast forward three years later on Sunday, July 1, 2018 when we were on our way to my parent’s house in Point Pleasant for a week-long vacation with my entire family. Dan wanted to stop at the beach in Sea Girt on the way down to get “a preview for the week”. As we walked along the shoreline, we stopped at the jetty where Dan got down on one knee and proposed!
We wanted to keep the colors in-line with the season but also wanted to keep it light. So we chose pink bridesmaid dresses, but pulled in the jewel tones with the wine colored shawls and ties and the blue suits. The flowers are what really brought everything together. I loved that we had three colors to work with.
The Oyster Point Hotel was a perfect combination of minimalist and classy. Plus, you cannot beat the views from the cocktail reception area and the ballroom. It also helped that the staff was amazingly accommodating and helpful.
First course: shrimp and saffron risotto, basil oil and lobster medallions. Second course: poached pear and walnut salad with a riesling vinaigrette, The intermezzo was a lemon sorbet. Our main course was grilled filet mignon and South African lobster, Béarnaise sauce or herb-roasted chicken breast with a morel madeira sauce or a vegetarian option. For dessert we served our wedding cake which was a chocolate cake with coffee buttercream filling and we had a Viennese table.
The designer of my gown was Pronovias, which was the same designer of my sister’s dress. I knew I didn’t want a ton of lace and I definitely wanted something with an open back. I wanted to keep an open mind so I tried on other styles too, which was so fun! The dress that I picked was actually the first one I tried on! I picked it out online and asked around to see which stores had it. As soon as I put it on, I knew it was “the one.” It was so feminine and classy and the back was gorgeous. I felt so beautiful on my wedding day.
It sounds really corny but my favorite moment was when I saw Dan waiting at the end of the aisle. I was so nervous, especially when the doors of the church opened and all eyes were on my dad and I. But then when we got closer to the alter, Dan gave me such a reassuring feeling when I saw him.
The flowers from Narcissus Florals were so amazing. I loved everything from picking them out to the moment they were delivered and then looking back at all the pictures. Narcissus did such an awesome job of pulling everything together. They are such artists.
Before the Wedding: When I went for my first dress fitting, the woman pulled out the dress to put in the fitting room and I saw a ton of lace and knew it was definitely not my dress. The wrong dress had been delivered to the bridal salon! I thought I was possibly going to have to pick a new dress. Luckily, the bridal salon rushed the real dress and everything worked out, but I almost had a bridezilla moment. The bustle on my dress was not supposed to be very complicated, but there were 16 tiny buttons and 16 tiny loops for my bridesmaids to find. This ended up delaying us quite a bit and Dan and I missed most of the cocktail hour. Luckily, our awesome maidre d’ at The Oyster Point extended the cocktail hour for a little to give us a chance to breathe.
“Mango Tree” by Zac Brown Band.
Don’t sweat the small stuff when planning. All things will work themselves out. I also would say to try and do the same on the day of. Once it’s the day of, there’s not much you can change so just go with it. As my mom kept telling me: “this will all be part of your wedding story.”
We went to Florence, Italy for most of our honeymoon and then rented a car and stayed at a vineyard outside San Gimignano, Italy. It was the trip of a lifetime!