We first met during the summer of 2010. We were headed into our junior years of college. We were both going to school locally and ended up getting college jobs working at the same liquor store in Caldwell, NJ. We built a friendship over the years, and six years later we decided to take that friendship to the next level and start a relationship. We now live around the corner from that same liquor store, and smile whenever we pass it.
Frank proposed to me at The Sagamore hotel in Lake George, NY on a huge balcony overlooking the lake. Ever since I was a little girl, my family has vacationed there in the summers, and it is truly my happy place. This specific trip in August 2018 was my family’s 15th vacation in Lake George. After he proposed, we went back to the lake house where I was surprised to find his family and my maid of honor standing there. Everyone had taken off of work and drove the three hours just to celebrate with us. It was a very meaningful and one that I didn’t see coming! He got me good.
We both agreed about the importance of adding personal touches to our wedding to show who we are as a couple. During our cocktail hour, we had a customized cornhole set for people to play. The one board had my maiden name on it with a New York Giants logo, while Frank’s board had his last name and a San Francisco 49ers logo. Our escort card table sign was very rustic with greenery and lit up with bistro lights. The five-foot sign had our names on it, our wedding date, and a quote that means a lot to us “Amor Fati – love your fate, which is in fact your life.” And for our wedding favors, we bottled Frank’s family’s homemade wine that we help make each year, which felt special to share a family tradition with our guests.
We saw a lot of wedding venues, and have been to a ton of weddings across New Jersey, and just knew we wanted and needed something different. The Coach House at The Ryland Inn had the exact modern, rustic feel we were looking for, and the space just separated itself from the pack. Food is also important to us, so it only helped that The Ryland Inn has continuously been recognized as one of the best restaurants in the state. We knew we were in good hands!
Our first course was a Terhune orchard watermelon salad, and our entree selections were an organic Irish salmon or short ribs (that were to die for!). For dessert, we had chocolate covered strawberries, and various strolling desserts. One of our favorites that we requested to be specially made by the pastry chef were mini key lime pie tarts that were super delicious! We also had our custom wedding cake from Palermo’s Bakey. We wanted summer-type flavors, so we went with two tiers of lemon cake and two tiers of a strawberry marmalade cake. The cocktail hour was great as well. The fan favorite was the chicken and waffles station.
My wedding dress was a custom Martina Liana Essense of Australia gown that I got from the I do…I do… in Morristown. It took me nine trips to make a decision, not because I was indecisive, but because I knew exactly what I wanted, but couldn’t find it! Finally, I was able to work with the shop and a rep for the designer to create what I had envisioned. A sheath gown with a unique top and a plain, crepe bottom with a show-stopping back.
My favorite moment was definitely our first look pictures. I was dead-set against seeing each other before the ceremony, but then I realized it was the best option for us, and it truly was. Frank started crying when he saw me, which in return made me cry immediately as well. Doing a first look allowed us to have a really intimate and special moment between just the two of us, and I know it’s something we’ll remember forever.
A close-second for our favorite moment was our after party, and something that just made our already-perfect day even more spectacular. Frank and I, along with our close friends, always go out in Montclair to see live performances by a 90’s cover band called Nine Deeez Nite. As a surprise to our guests, we brought them back into the cocktail hour room after the reception for a private Nine Deeez Nite concert. Our friends were stunned to see them, and we all continued to party late into the night. Frank and I even wore matching 90’s windbreaker jackets that we had bought to get in the spirit.
Honestly…nothing. My dad has now told me, after the fact, that while we were all waiting in the bridal cottage before the start of the outdoor ceremony that the clouds got really dark and he feared rain was coming. But, it held off, and I had no clue of this because by the time I went outside it was perfect sunshine.
We danced to a cover of Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One” by Bailey Rushlow. We found Bailey on YouTube. We loved the lyrics of the song, but Bailey’s version and sound was what we were looking for.
Try your hardest not to stress. You only get to do this once in your life, so it’s important to cherish every single moment of the wedding process.
We spent two incredible weeks throughout Thailand including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, and Phuket. Everything about Thailand is magical, and we even joke now about moving there for a little bit…we totally fell in love!