Real Weddings

Courtney and Mark at Renault Winery

Posted on January 11, 2021 by Ariana Baio

How did you meet?

Our story began at the ShopRite of Marlboro, where we were both working our first jobs as cashiers. We became friends while working there, and with mutual friends and prom coming up, Mark asked me to prom. We continued to see each other and I, of course, brought Mark to my prom a year later. Mark and I went to college locally where we continued to spend a lot of time together.


Shortly after moving in, I began to conjure up a plan to ask Courtney. Courtney brought me to see Morgan Evans at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. Even though I’m not being the biggest country fan, I was turned by Morgan’s performance. We found out he was playing again in December in Asbury Park on December 5th. As soon as I heard this, I started to really humor the idea of asking her to marry me on stage. It seemed incredibly unrealistic, but you never know until you try. I attempted to reach out to Morgan multiple times via social media but hadn’t received a response. A little discouraged, I still had planned to ask her during the show, even if it meant asking her in the middle of the audience. But at 7:00 a.m., on December 5, I received a message from Morgan’s Facebook that said “Yeah man! Let’s work it out!” I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. An hour before the show, Morgan’s manager called me to go over logistics and suggested that Morgan plays the first verse of his song “Dance With Me,” and then invite Courtney and I on stage. This was more than I could’ve asked for. Hearing this, I quickly realized I needed to come up with something to say— it all become very real. As soon as I finished the call with Morgan’s manager, I called Courtney’s brother, Billy, in complete disbelief and went over the details. With Courtney’s family already attending the show, the plan couldn’t have worked out any better.

Details of the day:
We went with a more rustic theme for our wedding since we were getting married in an outdoor tent with string lights. Our bridesmaids wore desert-rose dresses and groomsmen wore charcoal-gray suits with ivory dress shirts and desert-rose ties. Mark’s suit was a little darker gray than the groomsmen, but he also wore an ivory dress shirt, floral tie, desert-rose pocket square and brown shoes. Our bouquets had tons of greenery/eucalyptus with light pink roses and a few other smaller flowers. They were absolutely stunning! Instead of doing your traditional floral centerpieces, we went with lanterns with an LED candle inside and eucalyptus wrapped around it. On the place settings, we also included a thank-you note to our guests as well as a notecard for them to fill out with advice for us to read on a future wedding anniversary. Our favors were hand sanitizer bottles with a personalized label that said, “Spread Love, Not Germs” and a little bag of personalized Hershey Kisses. We also had a memory table for our beloved family members, signature cocktails and special personalized signs placed throughout the reception to add our own special touch.

Courtney and Mark at Renault Winery

We actually went to visit Renault Winery when it was a construction site and immediately fell in love with the blueprints of their vision for the property as well as their awesome employees. Alycia, our sales coordinator, was an absolute angel to work with and really helped make all our wedding dreams come true. We knew we wanted our wedding to be somewhere with the indoor/outdoor option and were hoping for a rustic, yet elegant, vibe. The Renault Winery grounds were absolutely beautiful and fit exactly the dream we envisioned. We trusted they’d develop their property to look just like the blueprints —and we were right. Since we were having 150 people, we decided to go with a completely outdoor wedding in their Pavilion tent which was just magical with white fabric ceilings and string lights.Courtney and Mark at Renault Winery

During cocktail hour, we had a beautiful champagne wall where people could grab glasses while they mingled. We also had three stations: pasta, Mediterranean and seafood. We had passed hors d’oeuvres including bacon-wrapped scallops, cheesesteak dumplings, Asian pork sliders and more. For dinner, guests started with the Renault mixed-greens salad then had entrée options of grilled filet mignon, sautéed chicken breast, seared salmon or ratatouille. For dessert, we had a Viennese display that included mini cannolis, cream puffs, pies, fresh fruit with chocolate fondue and more. Our delicious The Bake Works cake was a buttercream textured black-and-white cake with buttercream filling and frosting.

I’d always imagined myself in a beautiful lace long-sleeve dress. I had a specific Stella York dress in mind and always knew it was my number-one choice. I went to a few different bridal boutiques, but didn’t find anything that compared to the Stella York dress. We had saved Seng Couture for last, because I knew I really wanted to purchase my dress from there since alterations are included in their pricing —and as soon as we walked in, sure enough my dream dress was on the mannequin! I knew immediately that this was the dress for me and fell in love as soon as I tried it on.

What was your favorite moment?
I had two favorite moments of our wedding day. The first was when Mark and I finally got to see each other after being apart from the night before. It was so exciting to see my best friend all dressed up and handsome after not seeing each other for what felt like forever. It was thrilling to finally be reunited and know we were about to embark on this special day, which started the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. My second favorite moment was when Mark and I got to look through the tent and see all of our guests enjoying themselves. It literally brought tears to my eyes to see everyone we love all in one room together celebrating. Times are so stressful and scary right now, so it was amazing to see everyone forget about the real world for a few hours and have some fun. I truly feel so grateful that we were still able to have our dream wedding and celebrate with everyone close to us.

Courtney and Mark at Renault Winery

One detail we couldn’t live without on our wedding day was absolutely our day-of coordinator, Kailey. She was truly amazing and so beyond helpful. Kailey anticipated our every need before we even knew we needed it and she truly kept our wedding day in line from the start of the day getting ready with the bridesmaids at 8 a.m. to the end of the night at the after party at 1 a.m. Our day wouldn’t be as organized or great as it was without her help!

Did anything go wrong?
Things absolutely went wrong, but that is why it is so important to be open and flexible. Honestly, we didn’t know the exactly location of our ceremony, cocktail hour and reception of our wedding until a week before, but ultimately everything worked out just as it should. My only suggestion would be to make sure one of your bridesmaids takes your bridal bouquet at the end of the night, so you can save/preserve it. Unfortunately mine didn’t make it back home with us, but I was able to take some of the bridesmaids bouquets to preserve them instead.

“Dance with Me,” by Morgan Evans.Courtney and Mark at Renault Winery

Everyone said this to me and honestly it couldn’t have been more true: Make sure to just relax and take in each and every moment. Of course, we had so many mishaps the day of the wedding, but I knew we were only getting one chance to have this special day, so I was not going to let anything get in the way of our happiness. We made sure to talk to as many people as we could, but also dance and have as much fun as possible. I also highly recommend taking the time to step away and watching your guests enjoying themselves—it was priceless!Courtney and Mark at Renault Winery

We took a road trip to explore Maine for a week.

the details



Reception Location

Renault Winery


Ryan Sands Photography


John Chacko

Bride’s Gown

Stella York 6843

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