How did you meet?
We met on Match.com (before any of the other dating apps existed) I was working as a nurse on the night shift and Owen had just moved to New Jersey, so we each decided to join Match hoping to meet people. We had our first date at The Shannon Rose in Clifton, then another date two days later, and another two days later, and the rest is history!
How did you get engaged?
Owen had told me that his boss gave him a gift certificate to our favorite steakhouse, Rails, and that he had made us reservations for Sunday, May 6th. While we were walking into the restaurant, I noticed that he had a fleece vest on in May and thought that was odd, but when I questioned it, Owen informed me it was “just the look he was going for that day.” Little did I know, he needed a pocket to hide the engagement ring! As soon as we ordered drinks, Owen told me that he loved me and he had to ask me a “very important question.” He got down on one knee in the middle of the restaurant and asked me to marry him! The entire restaurant clapped and cheered as I came to realize what exactly was happening. Soon after, a bottle of champagne appeared and we shared the most incredible dinner.
Details of the day!
I’ve always dreamed of getting married in the church I grew up in, St. Philip’s in Clifton, and getting married around Christmastime. When looking around for reception venues, Owen was all about the food. The Grove was hands down going to be the best culinary experience we could give our guests. As soon as we stepped foot in The Grove, we knew that we wanted to have our reception there. We quickly came to realize that The Viennese Hour at The Grove was going to be an experience that our guests would go crazy for, so we decided to make our favors custom “to-go” boxes, encouraging our guests to grab some sweets for the way home. The theme of our wedding was winter wonderland. I wanted all-white and silver, twinkling lights and red poinsettias as the only pop of color. For that reason, I even had my bridesmaids wearing white.
What was on your menu?
For cocktail hour we had passed hot and cold hor d’oeuvres and stations. Some of the hor d’oeurvres: seared tuna, beff sliders, lamb chops, pizzas and more. We had a Tuscan table with a gorgeous display of Italian cured meats, cheese and wine station. A pasta station serving my favorite Orecchiette with broccoli rabe and Owen’s choice of rigatoni bolognese. We also had a dim sum and peking duck station, meat carving station, seafood and raw bar, sushi bar and a tequila luge! For our reception mains we had Chianti braised short ribs, Boston baked cod, or chicken stuffed with spinach, truffle and manchego cheese.
Our Viennese Hour had everything from Belgian waffle station, banana foster, gelato, milkshake station, crepe station, chocolate fountain, fresh donuts and more. For our after party we had a “Jersey Style” menu, which was my dream. We served mini slider burgers, disco fries, pizza, mini malted milkshakes, zeppoles and Taylor ham egg and cheese.
What was your favorite moment?
One of my favorite moments was our wedding mass itself. I walked down a long aisle with my father as an organ, trumpet and violin were playing. Owen and I sat right up on the altar and for the first time all day, I just felt at peace. We were together for the first time that day, surrounded by lit-up Christmas trees and wreaths, a sea of red and white poinsettias, and those that love us most. I had taken so much time working with the parish music director, carefully picking out my favorite Christmas hymns so to be sitting on the altar, with my husband, watching and hearing it all come to life was a dream come true in every sense of the phrase.
Do you have any advice to future brides?
Everyone gave us basically this same piece of advice: remember to take it all in during the night, sit back and look around and really enjoy what then night is all about. After we were done taking photos and eating, we went up the stairs to the balcony overlooking the ballroom. It was just the two of us watching all of our guests dancing and singing, and we realized how grateful we really were to have all of the people that love us most in one room together.
What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Could not live without our bridal attendant, Ashley, she is a lifesaver! I didn’t even have to ask for a lipstick touch up, I would just think it and she would appear. After dancing for a few songs she would appear with water and a cold cloth to cool us down. She always made sure we had whatever we needed, from drinks to appetizers from cocktail hour in our private bridal suite, from extra food to take home with us after the reception to bringing me extra churros from the Venetian Hour. She was a rock star and I could not have gotten through the day without her!
Did anything go wrong?
Even though I have been a dancer since I was three-years-old and we took dance lessons together while we were engaged, I was the one who messed up our first dance! Owen will not let me live this down.
What was your favorite detail?
The poinsettias, Christmas tree and Christmas wreaths on the altar during our wedding mass.
Maui and Kauai, Hawaii.