How did you meet? I was bartending in a restaurant and he came in looking for a job. I was standing with the other bartender (who ended up being one of my bridesmaids) and said “Uh oh….he has all three….” she said three what? and I said, the three things I like in my men! He’s cuban, he is younger than me, and he has a faux-hawk.” (Hey, they were cool at the time)
Small flirtations happened over some time and we had our first kiss after a night out. I thought it was a summer fling, and 10 years later, here we are.
How did you get engaged? When Gus and I first met, he was just finishing up culinary school…Little did I know what I was in for…
He started working at Le Cirque in the city and we call these the dark days. He would work 20 hours a day and I NEVER saw him. His life was Le Cirque. He made a best friend out of it, Casey, his best man, but I hated those times. I knew that working at such a prestigious place would bring him a lot of opportunities and was a big plus on his resume, but I still loathed it. That lasted for a year, and he went on to work at many other establishments, but nothing was ever so bad as Le Cirque.
So when he told me he wanted to take me out to dinner on the last day of my work week before Christmas break. I said ok, but I knew that when you work with kids, by ANY Friday, you are exhausted, but the Friday before Christmas break? Oh my god. He said it was a nice place so get a dress…(Told me this the DAY BEFORE…you don’t tell a girl that the day before)
I never found a dress I liked. I came home that day and he was out running errands. We had to be ready in an hour and instead of getting ready, I crawled into bed. The look on his face when he got in and I wasn’t ready was priceless….
I threw on a dress, we went on a bus, I fell asleep on the bus, and got to Le Cirque. I surprised we were going to…..Le Cirque.
We ate. And even had “The Talk” I said, this needs to happen soon you know…(I complained all the time) I told him”You said soon…” He said what is soon? and i said I don’t know, like 3 months? (I MEAN ITS BEEN 8 YEARS)
So after an amazing dinner, we walk outside and he asks a woman who is taking pictures to take our picture by the lighted tree out there…I said “Really? she’s a professional, you have a shitty IPhone” (typical me)
Little did I know, as she’s taking the picture, he starts fidgeting and goes down on one knee. To which I said “No you aren’t”I was shocked…..After I said yes, there was champagne waiting, flowers, and up pulls a Rolls Royce Phantom for us to drive us home. Simply Shocking….
We are on the way home and he says…lets stop and see the tree in Rockefeller Center. As we pull up and get out, I hear “SURPRISE!” and there standing on a street corner in NYC is my family, his family, and all our friends. It was insane. We then went to a lounge which was rented out, to celebrate.
It was an awesome evening I will never forget.
Details of the day!
I was never one for the whole rustic wedding thing. I wanted my wedding to be very elegant. Chandeliers, dim with good lighting, and have a fancy wedding feel. The groom and groomsmen wore charcoal tux’s and my bridesmaids wore merlot. My maid of honor wore a sparkly gold dress. Our colors were all black and white with gold accents. I wanted to keep things simple. Bridesmaids flowers were all white hydrangea’s. My flowers were a variety of white flowers with amnesia roses mixed in to give it a dusty elegant feel. The favors I made with the help of a friend.
Everyone got two chocolate covered Oreos that looked like brides and grooms. We had two different centerpieces. Some tables had very tall branches with hanging glass orbs with flickering lights in them, and other tables had lanterns with white and amnesia roses around it. I wanted a difference in height.
Why did you choose your venue? We looked at 5 different venues. We found something wrong with all of them. Either we couldn’t get the ballroom because we didn’t have enough people (200 isn’t enough?!) or the food sucked, or we didn’t like the look. Having a future husband that is a chef, food was a big thing. I never even thought to check out Valley Regency because I grew up in the town it is in and we always had dinners for school functions there. At the end of a long day, I said, let’s just go check it out. We took a tour and as we were leaving….we looked at each other and just knew. We both didn’t want to express how excited we were about it because we didn’t want to disappoint each other if we didn’t feel the same. Once we realized we were on the same page, we called back right away and booked. Everyone there was SO nice, helpful, and dealt with the grooms food demands. (He wanted a whole roasted pig!) We scheduled a food tasting and were sold. No regrets!
What was on your menu?
Our cocktail hour was extravagant. We did have the whole roasted pig. Passed Hors d’Oeuvres, a prosciutto tree(!), a lot with 4 carving stations, mashed potato bar, seafood station, and much much more. For dinner, guests had a choice of prime rib, chicken, or filet of sole. Our cake was simple. All white with white flowers and a small gold trim separating each layer. We had chocolate mousse (his favorite) and cannoli cream (my favorite)
All about your gown!
I didn’t know what kind of gown I wanted walking into this. Not too happy with my body, I thought it was kind of a chore to try on dresses. I actually thought I found “the one” at another store and only showed up to my appointment to not lose my deposit. She pulled out a strapless gown and said NOPE. But I tried it on just to see. It had potential. She then said she could add beautiful lace straps…..that sold me. Once she attached the straps and I put on my veil, (borrowed from my best friend, it matched perfectly!) It was all over! I was in love. My dress was a sweetheart neck with lace straps, mermaid gown. There were lace appliques throughout and subtle sparkle. The train was long, but not too long. I loved my dress!
What was your favorite moment?
My favorite moment was standing in the middle of the dance floor, busting a move, having so much fun, and looking around and seeing everyone that means the most to me in one place, also having as much fun as me. It was one big party. We also hired a local painter to come and paint a live image of our wedding. It has yet to be picked up, but am so excited to see it!
One detail you couldn’t live without?
I couldn’t live without OUR DJ! I am so picky when it comes to music. They even managed to make my favorite song ever (“Wonderwall by Oasis) into a danceable song. EVERY song I found myself yelling “This is my jam!!”
Did anything go wrong?
Nothing that I know of went wrong. My only issue was the rain that was happening. But it all worked out and we got some good pictures from it.
First dance song?
Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
Any advice for future brides?
Its so hard to not stress the small stuff, but DON’T STRESS THE SMALL STUFF! And don’t spend ridiculous amounts of money on NONSENSE. I bought a lot of my things second hand. (My lantern centerpieces, bird cage card holder, signs, etc). No one is going to say “Ugh that lantern looks cheap” just like NO ONE cares about what color napkins you have or small details you think would be cute (and they would i’m sure!) but don’t drive yourself crazy!
We spent 10 days in Maui, Hawaii.