How did you meet?
RJ (as I like to call him) and I met through a mutual friend. We texted each other for a little bit before we went on our first date. We had a great time and continued to get to know one another and made it official after a month of dating. Unfortunately a few months into dating, RJ had to relocate to Colorado for work and I was in grad school so we broke up. After a few months we realized we missed one another and I decided to take a trip to Colorado to visit. When we were together it made us both so much happier and decided to try long distance while I was in grad school. I graduated and then moved out to Colorado to be with him. From there we moved to Massachusetts for his job and then eventually made our way back to New Jersey with our two dogs, Maggie and Tucker.
We got engaged on Thanksgiving of 2018, which is my favorite holiday. We traveled to my aunt and uncle’s house on Long Island. The day was nothing out of the ordinary, just a great Thanksgiving with family. During dinner time, everyone was giving their thanks and then RJ stood up and started to thank my family for being there and accepting him into the family. Then he turned around and started talking to me and got on one knee and proposed! It was such a shock and I did not see it coming. It was the best surprise I’ve ever had!
Like so many couples affected by the pandemic, we are also a Covid couple. Our first date was 5/29/20, but we had to postpone to October. While of course it was a huge hit and a lot of stress, the day was perfect. We were going for a modern rustic feel for our wedding. Our colors were cabernet, dusty rose, dusty sage and cream. The bridesmaids wore alternating dusty rose and cabernet colored dresses, while the groom and groomsmen wore black tuxes with alternating ties to match the bridesmaids dresses. We had flowers everywhere as well as lanterns and a variety of fun signs throughout the venue. We were able to have our ceremony outside in front of the beautiful lake with the leaves changing colors in the backdrop.
We fell in love with Rock Island the moment we started the tour. The pictures online don’t do it justice. Everything was so light and airy with the big windows in the reception space. The bridal and grooms suite were perfect and we knew we wanted to book. The ceremony space outside in front of the lake made it even better. We knew that we found our venue and was so excited to book.
What didn’t we have on the menu?! Cocktail hour we had so much food both stationed and passed. The biggest hit of the night was the fresh mozzarella bar where one of the chefs stood and pull mozzarella for our guests. We also had an Italian station, mashed potato bar and so much more. For dinner we offered a choice of five entrees including beef, lamb, fish, chicken and vegetarian. All of the food was delicious and our guests still rave about the food. Our cake, from Palermo’s Bakery, was vanilla cake with alternating layers of chocolate fudge and fresh strawberries and vanilla icing on the outside. Our florist provided flowers to go on the cake as well.
I went to Castle Couture to look for my dress. I went in looking for lace and sleeves and left with a beautiful ballgown. It was a corset ballgown with beautiful beading on the corset top and tulle layers for the bottom. Under the first layer of tulle, there was a layer of sequined tulle. It shined in the sun and I felt like a princess. We decided to also add off-the-shoulder sleeves to the dress that matched perfectly. It was the second dress I tried on, and I knew it was the one. I tried a few afterwards, but none of them hit me the way this one did. I put it on again and I started crying. I walked out of the dressing room and my mom, grandma, and best friend all started crying so I knew it was the one.
Can I choose the whole day as the best thing? Honestly it was the best day of my life. Probably my top three favorite moments besides the actual ceremony would be when we did our first look and seeing the pure joy on my husband’s face. My other was when one of my bridesmaids sang, “I See the Light” from Tangled and played her guitar while I walked down the aisle. Then when our DJ played “McArthur’s Park” by Donna Summers and my one maid of honor danced and cleared the entire dance floor. It was funny because we always joked how we would clear the dance floor to this song (the song is an inside joke) at my wedding and that is exactly what we did and it was so fun!
One detail I couldn’t live without would be my memory charm for my grandparents on my bouquet. I knew I wanted my grandparents with me on my special day even in spirit and I wouldn’t have imagine having my bouquet without that on it.
Besides the pandemic going on around us, I don’t think there was anything that went wrong.
“Your Song” by Elton John, but song by Taron Egerton.
Take in the moment and breathe! All of the hard work will pay off and if you are a Covid bride, like me, hang in there! The stress was awful, but the end result was the best day of our lives and I loved every minute of it!