Will you marry me?
Michael and I were going on a long overdue date night to Char Steakhouse in Red Bank. It was such a beautiful day so he asked if I would mind if we went to take a walk or have an early drink—maybe check out what was going on in town before dinner. I agreed, and I got home from work and we got ready.
He must have changed about five times—not totally out of his norm, lol—but he seemed a little anxious. I was running a little behind getting ready, as usual, and when we were parking he mentioned taking a walk by the water. I was not really feeling that idea since I was in heels and the walk is a little far, but he was adamant about going and he got a little angry when I wanted to just got to the restaurant and have a drink instead. I noticed how frustrated he was, which is totally not him at all!!!! So I sucked it up and said “OK, let’s go!”
We were walking through Riverside Garden Park looking at the beautiful view of the Navesink River, and he was so fidgety and started mumbling things to me. I turned to him and he was shaking, telling me how much he loved me and knows that we were meant to be together, and a lot of other things I can’t remember because I started to also get frantic! He forgot to get down on one knee and asked me to marry him and of course I said YES! I was so surprised and we were so excited and happy. But…as in typical Michael and Gabby fashion, there was a twist!
My ring that Michael custom made was not ready in time so he had a temporary ring from our jeweler. As he described what happened with my ring and why it wasn’t ready, he showed me pictures of it and I honestly never even looked at my hand because I was just so ecstatically happy! I wanted to call our family and he begged me to wait and to savor the moment and have dinner, and then we would either go and see them or call everyone after. So we walked to dinner and as they were bringing us upstairs, and I saw someone that looked like my cousin, who just left for college. and I was like hmm that guy kinda looked like Robert! He brushed me off and as we rounded the corner our entire family was there waiting for us which was so absolutely perfect. They had decorated the room and had all of our favorite things! We couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate our engagement than with the ones who love us. And to think I didn’t want to go for a walk! Lol! It was absolutely perfect!
Details of your day:
The Grove is the definition of luxury. We immediately felt like family when we met with Christina after we were in awe of how beautiful it truly is when you walk in the door. We had heard nothing but amazing things about The Grove and knew that nothing would come close to the elegance they have.
Our theme was regal romance, and we truly wanted everything to be soft and classic with a little twist. Tons of candlelight, lots of mixed metals and textures, and everywhere you looked you saw something. Every detail from our invitations to our favors, it was all aesthetically matching and tied into one another or to us personally.
Our favors were probably one of my favorite little details. As Michael and I are different yet better together,
our favors were infused (raspberry and fig) balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil from this amazing company in Saratoga, New York, called Saratoga Olive Oil Co. They were so cute and packed in beautiful glass jars with custom thank-you stickers and satin boxes.
Another amazing detail was our florals. Michael has always sent me flowers for no reason since day one of dating, so incorporating our favorite flowers and florals he used to send me before marriage was special to us. Our incredible arch that we said our blessing under was made by my talented husband, which was truly special and so beautiful! The head table was something I spent some time on and wanted to truly be a beautiful sight to see. Well I succeeded because my brother-in-law saw it and cried—so that was enough for me! But it was perfect, and we completed it with a custom sign and hedge wall from Red Carpet Events.
Michael’s request was for a selfie station, which had a gold selfie mirror that took digital photos. He also wanted a violinist during our reception, which was so cool! We also wanted the wow factor of sparklers. They truly made it for an epic photo op and little bit of a wow factor. I tried to leave no detail undone—I wanted everyone to notice the little things. Whether it was the bathroom baskets to the menu card to tequila, you knew you were at a wedding for Michael and Gabrielle—but it was done subtly and classy. At the end of the day, we just wanted to make sure everyone was happy, having fun and full of love!
We had an amazing cocktail hour that started with signature cocktails and champagne, along with a tequila bar for the bride. Everything and anything you can imagine was offered, completed with root-beer floats. Plated appetizer was a deconstructed salad with goat cheese and poached pears. Dinner options were rack of lamb, filet mignon, truffle-stuffed chicken and Bronzino. The wedding cake was chocolate raspberry truffle with peanut-butter mousse and raspberry purée as a play on PB&J.
We have two for sure! The first was when we were in the bridal suite peeking out at everyone cheering on our bridal party as they got announced and yelling for us to come out and get the party started. The second was our deejay. They were so incredible and kept everyone moving and grooving! Not to mention we had a Co2 gun, which was awesome!
What couldn’t you live without?
Our amazing wedding planner and bridal attendant at the Grove. There are absolutely no words to describe how incredible these women were and still are! There is no one out there like Christina and Febee. We are forever grateful for them. This day wouldn’t have been so perfect without them.
The charm on my bouquet in memorial of my two dearest friends and family. It was a surprise gift from one of my bridesmaids that truly captured my heart. (One of my friends tragically passed three weeks before our wedding, so it was extremely difficult.) Other than my personal detail, the next was our head table!!!!!
The meaning of love:
Although Covid-19 threw us for a serious loop, we were blessed and grateful for the challenges it threw at us and how it challenged our relationship as well. We really noticed how strong our relationship is and how well we support one another even through the worst in life. We were so grateful to cherish our small ceremony in my parents’ backyard on our original date. This day was so memorable and truly was the meaning of love. Although we had to wait for this magical wedding at the Grove, it will never hold a candle to the special moment we got to share with our immediate family as we became husband and wife.
We went to St. Lucia in January.