After Jacqueline Soboti, 34, of Monmouth Beach, moved back to New Jersey from Colorado, she tried her hand at online dating. When she shared her dating horror stories with friends at work, a colleague offered to set her up with her cousin, Anthony Abbatiello, 35, of Nutley. On July 21, 2013, the pair met at Watermark in Asbury Park, an area they both love. “There was something that drew me to him and I was intrigued,” the bride says. Their relationship deepened as summer turned to fall, their favorite time of year, and they developed a strong foundation and friendship. “It felt easy,” Jacqueline says. “It felt like he was a friend I had forever.” They moved in together and continued building their life, traveling, supporting each other through career changes and renovating their home. “He’s a really kind and patient person and I feel really lucky to have him as my partner,” she says.
WILL YOU MARRY ME?:
During a trip to California’s wine country in October 2018, Anthony arranged for a photographer to capture his surprise proposal on a hilltop overlooking Rodeo Beach in Marin County, but they couldn’t find the location. Instead, he popped the question down on the beach, with surfers in the water and feathers scattered about, which was doubly meaningful because he loves to surf and she loves feathers. “It was really special,” Jacqueline says. “I was really touched he put so much work into the proposal.”
DETAILS OF THE DAY:
After Covid- 19 forced them to cancel their large wedding, the couple quickly planned a small church wedding and restaurant reception on October 2, 2020, and a second ceremony in the woods without guests and a romantic picnic for two on October 10, 2020. Both were gorgeous events.
The first, with 50 guests, had a boho-romantic look. Pampas grass was prominent, in the bouquets and table arrangements. Jacqueline wore a fitted gown with a long train; Anthony donned a custom navy jacket with black lapels.
They shared a first dance to “Baby I Need Your Loving,” by The Four Tops and had three cakes, including the vegan, gluten-free carrot cake they cut.
A fun highlight came when the Ocean Avenue Stompers, a brass band, arrived to play outside on the boardwalk, where the couple and guests gathered to light sparklers.
On October 10, 2020, which was to have been the date of their 150-guest wedding, the couple recited vows in
a secluded, wooded spot and enjoyed their first dance again. Wearing a second set of wedding garb, they had snacks and Champagne on a vintage rug in an area set with pillows, candles and boho décor.
“It was like a fairytale,” the bride recalls. Although it was devastating for Jacqueline to cancel her large wedding, she was grateful for the two events they had. “They were sacred and they were a reflection of us.”
Sharing their first dance in the woods, with nobody watching. “There was a lightness to it,” Jacqueline says. “We didn’t take ourselves too seriously. It was fun, especially given the year we had had leading up to our wedding.”
Their two French bulldogs coming to their first look before their October 2, 2020, wedding and posing for photos with the couple. The pooches, Mia and Faye, wore crowns of roses and ribbons around their necks. “We’re obsessed with our dogs,” Jacqueline says. “They’re our little family. They looked beautiful.” The bride says they bring them “so much joy and laughter and brightness.”—Lisa A. Flam
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown
Stella Marina, Asbury Park
Claire Sheprow, FindOrion Photography, Asbury Park
Seychelles, from BHLDN
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