On Valentine’s Day 2009, they spotted each other across a crowded pub. Taking the initiative, Kristen Kempf approached Michael Bianco and asked, “Don’t I know you?” No, it wasn’t a pick-up line. She was right…the two of them had been introduced 10 years earlier—when they were both dating other people. “After that, we became fast friends and hung out together for a few months, and then we realized that we wanted to be more than friends,” she says.
Two years later, Michael, a managing partner of My Bellissima wedding consulting firm in Morristown and New York City, orchestrated a romantic and elaborate proposal with a little help from his sister, Laura, also a partner and an original founder of the business.
“Kristen thought I invited her to Manhattan just to see our new office location,” he says. “But then I took her up to the rooftop, under a perfectly blue sky with the Empire State Building as a backdrop, and I asked her to marry me as we were surrounded by candles, pink rose petals and pink champagne.”
They married outdoors on August 25, 2012, at Cairnwood Estate, a French-style chateau in historic Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. “We chose our venue because the estate has only one event at a time. Everything was more than perfect,” says Kristen, a merchandiser for Saks Fifth Avenue.
About 175 guests enjoyed a shabby-chic, antique-pink, ecru and pewter celebration with lots of roses, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, carving stations, entrées of roasted chicken, seared halibut and pappardelle pasta, dessert tapas and wedding cake.
Michael, who scored big points with Kristen for choosing a high-energy, 16-piece band, adds, “It was especially fun because I got to use my knowledge of event planning for my own wedding and now it’s a special memory for both of us.”
Speaking of happy memories, during the reception, the groom surprised everyone by grabbing a guitar and joining the band for a never-to-be-forgotten rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.”
After a honeymoon trip to the Riviera Maya, the couple is at home in Morristown.