How They Met:
In the spring of 2013, they were both teenagers working out at the same gym in a similar state of mind: heartbroken and trying to lose weight and find love. As Nicole recalls, she was a high school senior who had a bad breakup with a boyfriend who called her fat; Josh was a year out of school, still searching for someone special, alone, he felt, because he was overweight. He said hello to Nicole at the gym in their hometown of Manahawkin one day, but she was nervous and ignored him. Nicole contacted Josh through Facebook, and they began talking every day. After about a month, on May 12, Josh had his first girlfriend.
On May 12, 2018, exactly five years after they became boyfriend and girlfriend, Josh proposed to Nicole in California on Laguna Beach. She could feel the moment coming because Josh seemed nervous, but he waited until nobody was around and dropped to one knee in a picturesque spot. “It was really special,” Nicole says. “It was the perfect time. It was our anniversary, but I was really excited that it finally happened.”
Details of the day
Nicole and Josh went back home and got married on July 12, 2019, at the Mallard Island Yacht Club in Manahawkin before 160 friends and relatives. Nicole wanted a romantic, elegant event with an earthy, natural feel and some beachy vibes. Gorgeous floral arrangements, featuring green, white and pale pink, were everywhere. “It was almost as if you were walking through a huge field of flowers,” Nicole says. The ceremony featured a violinist, and everyone enjoyed dancing and photo booth fun at the reception. “It was just beautiful and perfect all around,” Nicole says. “Just having all my friends together in one place at the same time was really special and it was something I’ll remember forever.”
All About The Gown
Nicole chose a white mermaid-style gown by Maggie Sotterro with beading in the front and a long flowing train.
The first look, when it was just the couple, with the photographers capturing the special moment from a distance. “We had that intimate time together alone, before everything started,” Nicole says. “We really had our own time together.”
The flowers, a beautiful, abundant display throughout the event, all created by Nicole’s mother, Michelle Santanello, who owns MDS Floral Designs. “She went all out and just made it look so magical,” Nicole says. “I didn’t know what the flowers were going to be. She wanted it to be a surprise, so that was really special, to not know what I was going to walk into.”
“Tenerife Sea” by Ed Sheeran
Advice To Other Brides
Plan the day, and then let it go. “The planning part is hard, but once it’s done, it’s done, and to enjoy the wedding,” Nicole says.
After a honeymoon to Hawaii, the couple are home in Oceanside, California.
Mallard Island Yacht Club
Mallard Island Yacht Club
Jonathon Peter Photography & The Studio Photographers
Maggie Sotterro from Nicole's Boutique
Nicole's Boutique+ more