Their story: By the time 2016 arrived, Kristen Zakrzewski had grown fed up with trying to meet the right guy. But since it was January, she decided to give dating one more try and downloaded the OkCupid app. “I thought it was a new year, maybe this time it will work for me,” she says. And did it ever. She found the profile of Paul Wisniewski and made the first move by sending a message. Kristen, 33, of Sayreville, noticed that Paul, 39, of Piscataway, was a teacher and she gave him a hard time about getting to miss work due to a snowstorm. They had their first date a short time later and talked for hours, and by summertime, she knew he was her cupid-for-life. Kristen loves Paul’s good nature and caring heart. “I just knew he was my soulmate,” she says. “I had too many frogs, then I found my prince. He’s perfect for me in every way.”
Will you marry me?: In December 2017, Paul surprised Kristen with a scavenger hunt with clues and roses that lured her to the beach in Belmar during a snowstorm, where he proposed in the style of one of her favorite TV shows, The Bachelor. She began what felt like “the longest walk of my life” to meet Paul out on the sand. “When I got to him, he was crying and he handed me the final clue,” she recalls. “He said, ‘I want to settle down with you. Will you accept this final rose?’” and dropped to one knee and asked her to marry him. “It was absolutely amazing,” she says. “It was so well-thought out and it just fit me.”
Details of the day: The couple found the perfect venue at the Coach House at The Ryland Inn, a 200-year-old refurbished barn where they married on February 16, 2019. “It was a perfect mix between rustic and elegance,” the bride says. They were married in front of the beautiful, candlelit fireplace covered with greenery before their 110 guests.
The couple kept the look of the day romantic and elegant, with white tablecloths, gray napkins and hints of pink and blush in the centerpieces, which featured roses in tribute to The Bachelor and eucalyptus and greens. “It was crisp and clean and elegant and romantic,” the bride says. The event was filled with rustic and romantic personal touches the couple made themselves, like the centerpieces, signs and a vintage window that featured key dates in their relationship.
Favorite moment: “My favorite moment was the first look and the anticipation leading up to it,” Kristen says. “When I saw him, everything was just right.”
Favorite detail: The venue. “When we walked in, he looked at me and said, ‘This is it, isn’t it?’” Kristen recalls Paul saying when they first visited the Coach House. “It had everything that I could have dreamed of.” She loved the soaring fireplace, which was lit during the reception. “The fireplace really did make a big difference,” she says.
Honeymoon: After a honeymoon in Hawaii, the couple is at home in Howell.