Their breathtaking Pleasantdale Chateau wedding was filled with abundant florals. During the reception, Gabby and Matt’s favorite moment was their first dance. Keep reading to see the unique song combination they chose.
By Jacqueline Larcara
It was 2018 and Gabrielle Hanna had reluctantly agreed to head to Belmar for Memorial Day Weekend with her friend. “It was the best choice I ever made,” says the Hasbrouck Heights native. At a house party, she ran into Matthew Morcos, of Kearny. The two had met and dated briefly when they were 16 but hadn’t seen each other in years. “We talked for hours,” says Gabby. “He stayed by my side for the rest of the weekend, which I was not expecting. After the weekend was over, I was in absolute bliss.” Soon, Matt messaged Gabby on Instagram and asked her on a date. “I always believed in fate, but I never expected for this to happen,” says Gabby. Now, the couple, both 27, live in Cliffside Park.
Matt told Gabby he had arranged a photoshoot for them by the Brooklyn Bridge. “The shoot was a blast, and in my heart, I was hoping he would propose, but he didn’t,” says Gabby. “There were other couples who were getting engaged and I was a little upset when we left.” After, they went to the romantic restaurant One if by Land, Two if by Sea in Manhattan. As they were led to their table, a violinist played Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night,” and the room was decorated with roses and five-foot letters reading “Marry Me.” “He made a whole speech explaining why he loves me and thanked me for making him the man he is today,” says Gabby. When they sat down for dinner, their immediate families walked through the door. “I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have been able to experience it,” says Gabby.
On July 31, 2022, the couple got married at Ss. Nicholas, Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Roseland. Their reception was at Pleasantdale Château, which was Matt’s top pick and the first venue the couple visited. “It took our breath away!” says Gabby. “We looked at a few more, but we just kept comparing every venue to the Pleasantdale.” For entrées, guests chose from branzino filet, braised short rib, herb-roasted chicken breast and vegetable primavera risotto options. In addition to the wedding cake, there were passed assorted desserts.
After visiting many stores, Gabby was feeling discouraged. She was about to leave Vera’s Bridal in Englewood after trying on a selection of dresses, when the stylist came over with one more gown that Gabby’s mom had picked out. “When people say ‘you’ll know’ they were not wrong,” says Gabby. In particular, she loved the 3D floral applique. “I had originally wanted to wear two dresses, but I loved this one so much that I didn’t want to change,” she says. After some further brainstorming, Gabby decided to add a custom skirt. She also opted for a mantilla veil that laid on her head without a comb.
For their first dance, the couple chose “Electricity” by James Veck-Gilodi, which then turned into the more energetic “Electricity” by Dua Lipa. “It completely surprised our friends and guests,” says Gabby. “We told each other when the upbeat version came on we would sing it the way we do in the car and the moment felt effortless.”
“I have always been the type of person to want to do everything myself, which left me overwhelmed at times,” says Gabby. “I wish I delegated more so I could enjoy the process.”
The couple went to Greece, where they hopped around from Mykonos to Santorini and Athens.