Real Weddings

Lauren and Garret at Ryland Inn

Posted on June 15, 2020 by Ariana Baio

Garret and I have been together since high school. We both attended Hillsborough High School and had known about each other, but were never formally introduced until May 2010 when our down the shore with friends. As soon as I met Garret I had a crush on him. He was cute, charming, and loved to laugh, what’s there not to love? Soon after we met, we began talking and looking forward to seeing each other throughout school. It became the type of relationship you think of when you hear about high school romances; we waited in the halls for one another and would walk throughout the school after the bell rang in an effort to spend more time together. Finally, after weeks of talking, we started dating in July.

On Tuesday, August 8th, 2017, we woke up early in Jamaica. We spent the day relaxing at the beach, Garret was so relaxed that he took a nap! While resting at the beach, Garret told me he wanted to grab a drink at 6PM at the Barracuda Bar prior to dinner. I agreed, not thinking anything of it. At 6:00 the sun had just begun setting as we arrived at the Barracuda Bar. I heard the host ask Garret something about a table for two, Garret nodded his head a said, “Yes”. The waiter began to walk us back to a private area on the beach where a table for two was waiting for us with champagne and roses. I still had no idea Garret was about to propose. I thought Garret hadn’t understood what the host had said and was just going with it, so I was elbowing Garret the whole time trying to get his attention and let him know that this was not included in our all-inclusive package! Garret played dumb and even asked the waiter, “Is this part of the bar?” to which the waiter responded, “yes”. So Garret looked at me and shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “See! It’s fine!”. Once we sat down, a photographer came over. Typically this would make me suspicious. However, there were photographers all over the resort who asked to take photos all day. The photographer began clicking his camera, Garret turned to me and said, “You know I love you right?” then got down on his knee. It was only then that everything clicked… duh. Garret was so overwhelmed with emotions that he forget to ask the big question! After staring at Garret and the ring, while trying not to pass out as I often does, I asked, “Do you have a question for me?”. Once he officially popped the question, I answered the easy question with a resounding “YES!”

We wanted the day to feel romantic, soft, and earthy. We did this through a muted color scheme utilizing blush, ivory, and lush greens. Our florist was able to perfect capture the romantic look we were going for with flowing greenery, lush blooms, and pops of blush. Garret and his groomsmen wore navy tuxedos. Garret and I love to have fun so incorporating aspects of our personalities throughout the day was very important to us. We knew that we could not throw rice or have bubbles outside the church, so we found fun ribbon wands for our guests to wave when we exited the church as husband and wife. They added a fun pop of color and guests loved the extra touch. Through our entertainment company, we rented sparklers to light up the dance floor (they were such a great pop of light and a unique surprise for the guests when they went off for the first time during our entrance). We also requested that our DJ keep the music lively and upbeat with very few slower songs. The dance floor was packed the entire night! Our photographer was a perfect fit for us also because she was able to perfectly capture more candid and authentic poses for everyone which really showcased personalities and relationships. In lieu of favors, we left a note on each plate setting letting guests know that we would making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association instead of favors.

As soon as I walked into the Ryland Inn I felt an overwhelming feeling of “this is it”. We chose the Ryland Inn because it exuded exactly the type of atmosphere we wanted for our day – It was romantic, beautiful, natural, and elegant without being pretentious. As an added bonus, I grew up riding horses and it slightly reminded me of the farm I used to ride at (obviously more elevated) so it brought back some childhood feelings. Once we met the staff and people who would be assisting us for our wedding day I knew that I wanted to have our reception there, without a doubt.

We started with an heirloom tomato salad, followed by a choice of entree – either halibut or ribeye. The entire menu is seasonal and farm to table which made the food absolutely divine. The cake was two flavors, chocolate fudge and vanilla custard with fresh strawberries. We also had petit fours, chocolate covered strawberries, s’mores, and the “Jersey Boardwalk” station which we chose in order to include where we met into our wedding day.

My gown was an ivory Martina Liana gown with a long train. The dress had lace and beading throughout the entire gown. It was the third dress I tried on and I knew I loved it right away – I just couldn’t get over that it was only the third dress I had tried! I continued to try on more dresses and after two hours of trying on many fits, styles, and intricacy I knew it was the one. I felt like myself but elevated and it had everything I knew I wanted. The beading was the perfect amount of shimmer, the lace was classic, and the train was outstanding. Months later when I went back for my veil, it was important to me that it was cathedral length – we even added an additional 10 inches to make it 12 feet long. I wanted the veil to compliment the dress without taking anything away from it. I decided to go with a veil that had lace starting around my shoulders in order for the lace to not be too much in my face.

My favorite moment of the day was walking down the aisle and seeing Garret for the first time. We did not do first looks because I knew that I wanted to see my husband for the first time as I was walking down the aisle. The first look that I had with my dad was a close second!

The wine barrels overflowing with florals that flanked both sides of the sweetheart table or my bouquet – it was absolutely perfect!

Jenny Orsini and her team did an amazing job of making sure that nothing went wrong and if it did, that they took care of it. The day of everything went perfectly. I later found out that the Bentley that my dad and I arrived to the church in arrived with a flat tire, but it was fixed by the time Garret and I used it as our getaway car from the church so I would have never known!

“You Got Me” by Gavin DeGraw. 

Be present. I am not normally a calm person by any means. I am extremely type-A and tend to try to control everything. I knew this about myself and therefore, hired Jenny Orsini Events for day of coordination because I knew I wanted to not worry about a thing on the day of the wedding. Take a breath and just look around. On the alter, I made sure to look into the audience to see all of our loved ones who were gathered for us that day.

Aruba – it was the perfect mixture of fun activities and relaxing!

the details



Reception Location

The Ryland Inn


Caroline Morris Photography


Father Edgar Madarang

Bride’s Gown

Martina Liana

+ more