Their Story: How romantic! It was the summer of 2007 when Patrice Cucuzza and Evan Silagi first laid eyes on each other in a romantic literature course at Rutgers University. Patrice, of Nutley, and Evan, from Watchung, were friendly, but nothing more. Although he left for law school after graduation, he always stayed in touch with Patrice. “He liked to keep tabs on me,” she says. They reconnected after he returned to New Jersey and they enjoyed their first date in 2011. “We’ve been inseparable ever since,” Patrice, 28, says. Deep down, she admits, they always had a crush on each other. “When I saw him, for some reason I knew he was special,” Patrice says of when she first met Evan, now 28. “When I got to know him, I just knew he was a perfect match for me.”
Will You Marry Me?: To celebrate Patrice’s first year as a high school English teacher, Evan, a lawyer, took her to dinner in June 2013 in Long Branch. While he had intended to pop the question on the beach afterward, there were too many people around so as they were driving home, he pulled over. “He did a Jersey slide across the highway, and in front of a Cluck-U Chicken, he asked me to be his wife,” she says. They returned to the beach so he could pro- pose the way he had planned, and Patrice happily said “yes” each time.
Details of the Day: The couple had a beautiful springtime wedding on April 17, 2015, at The Skylands Manor in Ringwood. With the castle as a backdrop, their wedding was the picture of romance and elegance. The mood was set with soft pastels—the bridesmaids wore pale-pink dresses, and the floral bouquets and arrangements featured pink peonies, cherry blossoms and pale-green hanging amaranthus. After a tented ceremony in the garden, the couple welcomed their 215 guests into the ballroom, where the centerpieces featured beautiful blooms along with candle-lit lanterns and hurricane vases with hanging candles. “We wanted a timeless wedding that could happen in any decade and it’d still be beautiful,” the bride says.
Favorite Moment: Seeing Evan for the first look. “We took our time to be together and we soaked in the moment of it being our wedding day together,” the bride says.
Couldn’t Live Without: Her stylish gown and shoes. The form- fitting lace number featured rhinestone straps and a dramatic open back. “I felt so beautiful in it,” Patrice says. Her footwear also sparkled with rhinestones. “I thought it was a great, fun detail,” she says.
Honeymoon: After honeymooning in Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, the couple is home in Florham Park.