How did you meet? We met freshman year of high school. We became best friends junior year of high school when I sat behind of Christopher in AP English Literature. We went to junior prom together. After being best friends for six years, dating for only our sophomore year of college, we finally started dating again after college graduation. And the rest is history!
How did you get engaged? The weekend before Christopher proposed, he sat in front of my dad’s name etched into the remembrance pool at the 9/11 Memorial in downtown Manhattan and wrote a letter to my dad asking for permission to marry me. Christopher had earned the moniker Bullwinkle Moose while playing rugby at the University of Delaware and drank Moosehead Lager in honor of the nickname.
After years of not finding Moosehead sold in NJ, he finally found a six pack at a liquor store down the shore to drink on the night he would ask my mom permission to marry me. When my mom saw Chris drinking a Moosehead (the letter to my dad in his pocket), she explained that it was my dad’s favorite college beer. She had not seen it since my dad’s college days. Chris took this as a sign from my dad of “Welcome to our Family, Christopher” and asked my mom for my hand in marriage soon after.
Now the proposal – I have been spending every summer at my family’s beach house in Mantoloking, NJ since I can remember. It has always had a special place in my heart and after 7/2/2016 it means even more. That night, Christopher asked me to take a walk on the beach before a night out at the Parker House. As we started walking, Christopher began talking about high school and how we had met and then what he wanted for his future. He proceeded to give me the letter he had written to my dad and then was down on one knee with a ring box. With happy tears, I said yes!
My best friend since third grade was sitting in the dunes taking pictures and we were greeted by our joyous families upon returning to the beach house. We celebrated with Moosehead Lagers and took pictures on the beach where it appeared the sun was setting over the ocean that night. We like to think we had a special Guardian Angel to thank for that. And you better believe we had Fiddler’s Elbow specially order Moosehead Lager for our wedding day.
Details of your day: Our theme was elegant and classy, with navy and white as our colors. Our flowers were mainly Cali Lilies, Hydrangeas, and Stefanotis. The centerpieces included cali lilies in tall vases, smaller cali lilies submerged in water with floating candles, and tea lights
Our favors was a donation to Heartworks – a nonprofit foundation that continues the kindness began on 9/11/2001. Heartworks gives back to families experiencing illness and grief in similar ways that people reached out to the Farrell Family in 2001.
Guests blew bubbles while we walked out of the church and we had sparklers as the grand exit. Being an Irish family a bagpiper walked through the venue at 10pm and totally unplanned my 10 year old cousin got on the dance floor and started Irish Step Dancing
We had a trolley escort for the bridal party from the church to the reception. At our reception, we had a message in a bottle where guests wrote notes to us and we plan to open on our 1 year anniversary. We also had a Brick-Oven Pizza Truck outside with individual boxed pizzas for guests to take as they left.
Why did you chose your venue? We wanted to get married at the church we both grew up in and where we had received our other sacraments. Therefore, the venue had to be near our hometown of Basking Ridge, NJ. We chose Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club because we loved the idea of the cocktail hour on the porch overlooking the golf course with the fire pits and we pictured a colorful sunset. We loved the elegance and charm of the reception room and they had the perfect size dance floor. Also, the brick oven pizza truck was a huge selling point.
What was on your wedding menu? The appetizer was Maryland Lump Crab Cakes with Cajun Remoulade
The salad was a Boston lettuce with caramelized walnuts, Bosc pears, bleu cheese and walnut vinaigrette.
We had three entree choices. 1.) Pan-seared Chilean sea bass with sun dried tomato and roasted garlic crust in a saffron butter sauce; 2.) Chateaubriand – Sliced tenderloin of beef in a béarnaise sauce; 3.) Gnocchi a la Romana – Baked ricotta potato dumplings with pommodoro, mozzarella and parmesan
Your wedding cake: Our cake was a 5 tier vanilla cake with cannoli cream and fresh strawberries with white Chantilly icing with a KMC monogram at the top.
All about your dress. How did you know it was the one? My Rosa Clara A-line Charmeuse white gown was strapless straight across with a rhinestone sequenced belt sewn across the high waist. The keyhole back had a bow and satin covered buttons. The Cathedral Length train was detachable so it was perfect for the ceremony and pictures, but was removed for the reception. As a personal touch and my “something blue” I had “34” (my dad’s football number and a significant number in our lives) embroidered onto one of his blue button down shirts and then sewn into the inside back of the dress. Also on the bouquet I had a charm with my dad’s face in it and my mom’s wedding veil wrapped around the stems. It was the first dress I picked out and tried on, amongst about 25 dresses. It was simple, classic and elegant. The saleswoman at the boutique said I looked like a Ralph Lauren model. Perfect for a country club wedding.
What was your favorite moment? Our favorite moment was the last song. The band played “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen. Christopher’s brother and groomsmen lifted him into the air as my two brothers lifted me on their shoulders. We screamed Glory Days while holding hands and looking around the room at everyone who had played a part in making us the people we are today. It was surreal.
One detail you couldn’t live without? We couldn’t have asked for a better ending to our night. All of our friends and family lined up outside the door holding sparklers over our heads. We are both athletes so it felt like we were walking out of the tunnel to fireworks at a big game. It was dreamlike! We hopped on the back of an awaiting golf cart at the end of the tunnel and drove off into the night. After the sparklers faded, the guests enjoyed fresh brick-oven pizza made in a pizza truck set up outside. It was the perfect ending to our perfect day!
Did anything go wrong? The only mishap we had was that I danced with my four uncles for the “father/daughter” song. We danced to “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen (yes, we love Bruce). At the end of the song, my four uncles lifted me up on a chair, except that the back two lifted faster than the front two so I ended up sliding, almost off the chair. Chris and a couple other people caught me and placed me back onto the seat as we spun around to “Come on up for the rising, Come on up, lay your hands in mine”
First dance? Jersey Girl by Bruce Springsteen
Advice for other brides? Do your best to stay with your new husband the entire night. Chris and I joke that we were on a five-foot leash. We experienced the entire night together and talked to our guests as a couple.
Where did you go on your honeymoon? We went to Auckland, Christchurch, Arthur’s Pass National Park, Franz Josef Glacier and Queenstown in New Zealand. It is a beautiful, clean country that we highly recommend. From wine tours to heli-hikes on the glacier to horseback riding and skydiving over Queenstown there is something for everyone. We then went to the Four Seasons Resort in Bora Bora, truly a magical place.
Jim Kapinos Photography
Bill Levkoff+ more