Real Weddings

Carson and Tristan at the US Equestrian Training Center

Posted on April 16, 2019 by New Jersey Bride

carson-tristan-equestrian-centerHow did you meet?

In August 2010, Carson arrived at Dickinson College as a freshman, while Tristan returned as a Junior. As Carson and her family were on their way to pick up some essentials at Target, she looked out the window and saw a young man in a Michigan swimming shirt filling his gas tank at a station. At Target later that day, Carson’s mom, Bonnie, also saw the same young man in the Michigan swimming shirt. Bonnie assumed he was on the swim team and thought about introducing the two. Fortunately, Bonnie saved Carson and Tristan the embarrassment of a “Target” introduction that might have followed them for the rest of their lives!
carson-tristan-equestrian-centerLater that night, Carson went to her first swim team function, an event that had been organized by Tristan and their teammates. When Carson arrived, Tristan, still dressed in the Michigan swimming shirt, saw her and immediately introduced himself, hoping to make a lasting impression …and the rest is history. The couple spent two great years together at Dickinson—n the classroom and in the pool. They endured the frustrations of long distance dating as Carson completed her degree and Tristan began his career, ironically close to Carson’s home in New Jersey. After Carson’s graduation, Tristan and Carson both landed jobs in Washington, DC, and continued on their exciting adventure that included travel, monuments, and making new friends.

carson-tristan-equestrian-centerHow did you get engaged?

I knew that Tristan would be getting the ring from where he grew up in Upstate NY, which wouldn’t happen until we parted ways for Thanksgiving and he headed to his hometown.Tristan didn’t have plans to go to New York before the holiday, so I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary before then.

carson-tristan-equestrian-centerOn the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we were getting ready for work and Tristan was ready surprisingly early. I was exhausted, but was incredibly happy when he offered to go grab us coffee down the street. When he came back to the apartment, I still wasn’t ready, so he patiently waited for me to gather my things since we drove together to work. I was finally ready; I grabbed my coat, bag, and to-go coffee. Tristan quickly suggested that I check that there was enough cream in my coffee (he never puts enough in!). I looked in the cup through the small hole on the top and saw it was black…so I opened the cup to lighten it up with cream, only to find that the black I saw was from a ring box.  Turns out that he didn’t want me knowing the engagement would be coming after Thanksgiving, so he had the ring shipped to DC. I was so surprised to find the box in my coffee and then a ring in the box and then was in total shock when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I continued to say “what??” over and over until everything clicked that this wasn’t a dream as a result of snoozing my alarm before work, but that my boyfriend of 8 years and best friend was asking me to spend the rest of or lives together. Don’t worry, he had my coffee waiting outside!

carson-tristan-equestrian-centerAll about your day!

We searched high and low for a venue that was unique: something that had character, allowed for a good flow, and was picturesque! The US Equestrian Training Center checked all of those boxes; it wasn’t cookie cutter and the space provided the ability to be creative. In addition, the building had historic charm and was well-maintained, so it only needed minimal decoration and some personal touch.

carson-tristan-equestrian-centerWe were set on the idea of seating our guests at a long table with a family style dinner after attending a beautiful wedding for a cousin in Florida who had the same arrangement. We both thought that it was unique and that it created the feel of an intimate dinner, even when surrounded by so many family and friends. A space that allowed for this intimate setting was high on our list when we were looking at venues, and the US Equestrian Training Center ended up fitting our vision perfectly. A long stable that was lined by beautiful horse stalls and gold details created the ideal space for our vision. We loved working with our caterer, Della Terra. They worked with us to make sure that our food and menu was absolutely perfect for our day!

carson-tristan-equestrian-centerI don’t think that we truly ever decided on a theme, but after we created a logo with our initials that we would use on the invites and small details of day of, we stuck to a gray, blue, white, green color scheme, which seemed to fit both the venue and the transition from summer to fall. The logo incorporated greenery, which is what our florist was leaning toward using as well.

carson-tristan-equestrian-centerFavorite moment?

It’s hard to pick just one! One moment we both really appreciated was when our officiant had us turn around at the beginning of the ceremony and look at everyone who supported us over the last 8 years and was there to support us through our journey as husband and wife. It was a special way to pause during the chaotic day and soak it all in. Of course, we both also loved our first dance as husband and wife, especially after all of the lessons we took, my Dad’s surprise debut with the band, and dancing with family and friends.

carson-tristan-equestrian-centerSomething you couldn’t live without?

Good beer, sparklers, and a band!

carson-tristan-equestrian-centerDid anything go wrong?

We didn’t have speakers at the far end of the tables at dinner so not everyone could hear the touching speeches. If that’s all that went wrong, we’ll take it!

carson-tristan-equestrian-centerYour favorite detail?

The flowers went way beyond our expectations and really took the space to the next level! As we pictured all of the different options for flowers throughout the planning process, we decided to just trust our florist to transform the space, and we were happy we did. Everything from the bouquets with ribbons on them to the garland that was used as our backdrop for the ceremony – it all went beyond our expectations and really added a special touch.

carson-tristan-equestrian-centerWhere did you honeymoon?

South Africa (Cape Town, Wine Region, Safari) & Mauritius

the details

Ceremony Location

US Equestrian Training Center

Reception Location

US Equestrian Training Center


Nadya Furnari


Dennis Corcoran

Bride’s Gown

Paloma Blanca store: Elegance By Roya

+ more