Real Weddings

Laura and Joe at Clarks Landing Yacht Club

Posted on January 02, 2020 by Ariana Baio

Joe and I both worked at a local golf club together. He was a golf pro and I was the golf shop attendant. Through work, we built a very close friendship and always had an undeniable connection. From there we were seamlessly able to go from friends and coworkers to being in a relationship.

For Christmas, Joe surprised me with tickets to go see Anastasia on Broadway and a night away in NYC. When I looked more closely at the date, I realized the show was the day after our three year anniversary. Naturally, I became very suspicious. The day before the show, on our actual anniversary, we were sitting at home watching a show and I said to him ” So I guess you’re not proposing tonight” Joe got very serious and told me not to get my hopes up for a proposal that weekend. He said he hasn’t asked my dad for permission or purchased a ring. Trying not to be disappointed, I kept telling myself to just enjoy the beautiful day in the city he had planned and not let the lack of a proposal ruin Joe’s sweet gift for me. We went into the city and saw Anastasia. Afterwards, we went to the hotel to check in and freshen up. While fixing my makeup I called to Joe from the other room, ” Wow, you really missed your opportunity. Today would have been the perfect day for a proposal!” Again, Joe told me to just be in the moment because he “really isn’t proposing”, but worked hard planning a nice day and night for us. Feeling disappointed, we left the hotel to go see the tree at Rockefeller Center before dinner. Joe knows I can’t resist a prime couple photo-op, so he was counting on me to ask a stranger to take a picture of us in front of the tree. As he predicted, I saw a couple struggling to take a selfie so I offered to take their picture. In return, the couple asked if we would like them to take one of us. As the picture was being taken, Joe got down on one knee and said, ” What if I told you I didn’t miss my opportunity?” while pulling out the ring. I was so taken off guard because of our previous conversations, and I honestly thought he was messing with me! I saw the beautiful ring and my beautiful fiancĂ© and just cried and laughed for what seemed like forever. Finally, our cameraman yelled, “is that a yes?” It was a perfect day!

We choose blue and pink as our colors with gold accents. The guys all wore bright blue suits from Indochino, which complicated the bridesmaid’s blush pink dresses beautifully. We are both big Yankees fans, as were most of the groomsmen, so we were able to find NYY pinstripe socks to compliment the the guy’s blue suits! I am a Disney, rom-com, fairytale fanatic, and I really wanted our day to echo all those feelings. However, I did not want the typical Disney wedding, so I tried to do more subtle take on Disney. In the end, we had more of a whimsical fairytale theme! To go along with that theme, we choose to work with a designer and create watercolor invitations on paper with torn-edges. They looked like that were torn out of a fairytale book! Instead of making programs for our guests, we made one program on a large older-looking scroll to look more like a fairytale scroll. Our florist was able to capture the whimsical theme by using Astilbe flowers in all of the bouquets. She also created a beautiful Cinderella carriage covered in baby’s breath and roses. For our ceremony, the music was all Disney songs played by a harpist and a pianist.

At our reception, we had gold candelabras on the sweetheart table and a single red rose on each guest’s plate to play homage to Beauty and the Beast. Our ice sculpture was also a drawing of Joe proposing in front of the tree! Aside from our theme, our favors had a very special meaning. Sadly, my grandmother passed away before the wedding. She was a Hungarian immigrant and kept the Hungarian culture alive in our family. For all of her grandchildren, my grandmother had given Hollohzi Hungarian porcelain customized with the names and wedding dates as favors at their weddings. We were fortunate to still be able to get these favors here from Hungary, and it was a beautiful way to honor her memory on our wedding day. They were placed on an authentic Hungarian table cloth and handed out to each guest.

Simply put, Clarks Landing Yacht Club took our breath away. We were about to book another wedding venue that day, but when we walked into Clarks we both just knew it was the perfect venue for us. The views are incredible, the decor is elegant, and Clarks really had all the little details down to a science! We felt so comfortable there and knew our wedding would be ruin seamlessly if we booked with Clarks. We had a large guest list and loved that Clarks had a large circle ballroom because we felt like the shape would allow all of our guests to feel close and included in the festivities. It also allowed us to see everyone the entire night. While we were sold on this venue by all of these details, what really sealed the deal for my father was their bacon bar!

In addition to the stations included at cocktail hour, we choose to have a bacon station, slider station, and pizza/calzone station! For our menu, we began with an antipasto, followed by choice of Châteaubriand, lady di chicken, and Chilean sea bass. One thing we loved about Clarks (as did our guests), was after eating the entree servers offered everyone seconds of the other choices. This way a guest could try each entree if they desired. Our wedding cake was vanilla with a cannoli cream filling. We asked the baker to add mini chocolate chips to the cream filling as well. For the cake’s design, Joe thought it was going to be a normal white flowery wedding cake. As a surprise to him, I secretly emailed the bakery and asked if they could create a back to the cake with the NY Yankees logo and pinstripes. We are both big fans, and I knew Joe would love the tribute to our team. They were able to keep the back of the cake hidden, and I revealed the Yankee back during the cake cutting. Of course, he loved it!

I knew from the start I needed a Hayley Paige wedding gown. She really captures the essence of a fairytale in her dresses. I was having a really hard time because each gown I tried on, was more beautiful than the next and impossible to not like. Because they were all so beautiful, I literally said out loud “maybe I just won’t have that feeling with a dress, they’re are all so pretty and I like them all!” My group totally dismissed me and firmly believed I would have a “moment” with the dress that was the one. Our bridal consultant suggested I try on the Gael Gown, which was not one that I expected to really like. However, my middle name is Gale so I thought maybe it is a sign this dress and I were meant to be! As soon as I put it on, I just knew. Everything about it is perfect. The flower details, flowy and light ballgown skirt, subtle sparkles and shine, I just did not want to take it off. Everything about it screamed fairytale to me. Once the bridal consultant had my walk down a long aisle towards my group and I saw how beautifully this dress moved, I was totally hooked.

Our first dance was by far my favorite moment, and something I will cherish forever. Joe wanted to surprise me with the song for our dance, so I had no idea what we would be dancing to. After over a year of anticipating and guessing what he had picked, we took the floor and “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran began playing. It was such a sweet choice for him to pick for us, and I could tell the words meant so much to him.

My dad and I are both singers and have performed together for as long as I can remember. I always knew I wanted him to sing at my wedding. During our ceremony, he sang ” The Prayer” to Joe and I, and it was a very moving and beautiful moment.

Not one thing! I was mentally preparing myself for something bad to happen and telling myself to go with the flow. However, everything really went according to plan. It was a perfect day.

Take the time to have fun and enjoy your day. We made sure to stay on the dance floor the majority of the night. Rather than go table to table to greet people, we were able to see and interact with most of our guests on the dance floor! I hear from a lot of other brides that they missed most of their reception because they were too busy greeting all of their guests. Keeping ourselves on the dance floor allowed us to have fun with our guests, rather than just say hi, and most importantly have fun with each other!
Honeymoon Location
St. Lucia!

the details

Reception Location

Clarks Landing Yacht Club


Elite Digital Images


Reverend David Cotton

Bride’s Gown

Hayley Paige

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