How did you meet? My husband and I met our Junior year of college. I was driving some friends home from a local bar one rainy, spring night, and we saw a group of guys running back to campus. My friend said she knew them and to pull over. They all hopped into my back seat and Paul, my now husband, put his head out one window and his feet out the other and screamed, “Who’s driving this car?!?!” Well that would be me!
How did you get engaged? Paul told me we were going into NYC for a friend’s surprise birthday at Sky Room. I thought it was a little strange since it was the night before my birthday but he reassured me we could celebrate my birthday also. Our train got us in a little early so Paul told me we needed to waste some time before heading over to the rooftop. We walked around Duane Reade for a half hour until he got a text from his friend that it was time to head over. I was so excited to see all of our friends, I ran up the stairs and upon entering the room, ALL of our friends and family screamed, “Happy Birthday!!!” I turned bright red and started laughing thinking we ruined the surprise but as I looked over, Paul got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! It was so special and meant so much that he was able to get all of our friends and family together to celebrate!
Details of the day! The theme of our wedding day was rustic glam. We got married at The Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station, NJ in this beautiful ballroom with a lit fireplace. We had the most perfect fall day, sunny, barely any wind and 60 degrees, we could not have been more lucky! The venue itself is rustic, but with some wooden signs and leafy greens, the venue turned into our fairy tale!
Why did you choose your venue? There was a very special reason that we picked The Ryland Inn. I have been wedding obsessed ever since I was a little girl. I started planning my dream wedding without Paul even knowing. I would look up venues and research vendors. I even created a Google doc so I would be ready when the time came. One day at work I came across The Ryland Inn online and I called my mom to get her opinion. She was blown away and asked me how I heard about that venue. I proceeded to tell her that I was just doing some research online and that I really loved their ballroom. She told me how her and my father went out to eat with some friends there over 20 years ago and while they were eating my mom turned to my dad and said, “I want Christina to get married here.” I got chills all up and down when I heard her telling me this story and knew that was the sign I needed. Paul and I made an appointment to go check out the venue and booked on the spot!
What was on your menu? The Ryland Inn is a farm to table restaurant that grows many of its vegetables in its garden. The menu is seasonal which allowed us to create a delicious fall themed menu consisting of braised short ribs over mashed sweet potatoes and a snapper over brussel sprouts, fregola and roasted peppers. Our salad consisted of candied pecans, goat cheese, granny smith apples and an apple cider vinaigrette. We were also able to create delicious fall themed signature cocktails, ingredients listed below, we called them The Mr. & The Mrs.
– 1 1/2 oz vodka, 1/2 oz apple liquor, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1/2 oz simple syrup, 1/4 oz cinnamon syrup; rocks glass, garnish with apple slice
– 1 oz vodka, 1/2 oz Disaronno, 1/4 oz pimento dram, 3/4 oz lemon juice, 1/4 oz grenadine, 1/4 oz simple, splash of Sprite; rocks glass, garnish with a lemon wedge
All about your gown! I was in search on a laced sleeve ballgown to go with my rustic glam theme. Everyone kept telling me, “You’re not going to like what you think.” But I ended up falling in love with the exact dress I envisioned, the Hayley Paige Elysia Gown. It could not of fit the theme more perfectly, and the second I put it on and the stylist tightened me up, I just knew that that was the dress I wanted to marry my best friend in. It was everything I ever dreamed of, and the veil that they paired with it just made the moment so magical.
What was your favorite moment? Our favorite moment was our “fake” sparkler exit. Our photographer advised that we do a fake exit and invite all of our friends and family to take part. We handed out sparklers and ran through them as everyone cheered us on. It felt so magical, I remember looking around and feeling relieved that the day was everything I ever dreamed of and that I was able to share this moment with my lifelong best friend, soul mate and finally husband!
One detail you couldn’t live without? We definitely couldn’t of lived without my beautiful bouquet. Twisted Willow Flowers did an amazing job bringing my vision to life and my bouquet was nothing short perfect! It may not seem like a big detail, but it really bought many of our pictures to life. Whether I was holding it, Paul was holding it, or it was sitting in the background of a picture, it truly brought everything together!
Did anything go wrong? One thing went wrong, but if no one ever told me, I would have never known! Paul actually had the wrong tux pants on and I didn’t even notice!
First dance song? Our first dance song was In The Name of Love by Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha. Paul and I aren’t the traditional couple, we wanted to do something a little more fun and more us and this song could not of been more perfect. We created a little routine a few weeks prior to the wedding that we practiced over and over again, and thankfully executed perfectly!
Any advice for future brides? My advice for other brides is live in the moment, don’t rush the months leading up to the big day, enjoy all the details of planning such as the cake tasting and hair and makeup trials. Each moment is so special and I feel like sometimes brides forget that.
We held off our honeymoon until this summer but are going to tour the Amalfi Coast, Athens, Mykonos and Santorini.