Robyn and Anthony at The Mansion at Mountain Lakes
How did you meet?
Anthony used to play on the softball team for the bar that I used to bartend at. He used to come in on Sundays after the games, then every Tuesday with a bunch of my regulars. Tuesday nights was their weekely meeting and I was the grand poobah! We had a secret hand shake and all.
I had this very expensive bottle of wine that I had received as a gift from one of the attorneys I used to work with when I turned 40. I was saving it for a special occasion, hoping some day he would pop the question. But I had just turned 50, and I thought, well it if didn’t happen by now it’s not going to, and I was not waiting any longer to open the wine. So I decided we would drink it with my family when I turned 50. So a few days after my fiftieth birthday, I was just about to open the bottle and he said wait, we have something else to celebrate. He disappeared into the basement and returned with a ratty old Amazon box. He said open it. I thought it was just another gift for my fiftieth. While I was opening it, he started a whole speech on how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and all I could remember if my mom saying, “Oh God” in a choked up voice.
I wanted the theme to be rustic and elegant—very minimal decorations since the Bellhall Grand Room at The Mansion is so beautiful on its own and I wanted it to shine. I went with gray barn wood crates with galvanized steel lanterns, gray barn wood picture frames for the table numbers, cowbells that said “Ring for a Kiss” and little galvanized steel buckets that held the photo-booth frames.
We had looked at a lot of places and we really wanted more of a rustic, even barn feel. We had looked around and I couldn’t find anything that we loved. The minute we walked into the Bellhall Grand Room at The Mansion we knew it was the one. The wood on the floor, ceilings and barn doors all sealed the deal. It is truly a beautiful space and we could picture our wedding there. Of course Jim and Nancy, who run The Mansion, are a great addition, too. They make you feel like family the minute you walk through the door.
Full cocktail hour with butler passed hors d’oeuvres, following by dinner with a choice of pan-seared filet mignon with red wine demi-glaze, red snapper bruschetta or chicken ripieni. Our cake was a naked vanilla cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate drizzle.
So funny story about my dress. I really wanted an ivory lace dress. It’s a second marriage for both of us, so I wanted something a little more mature and simple. I bought a dress in November of 2019. Our wedding was initially scheduled for March 28, 2020, but Covid hit and we had to postpone two weeks before. So we postponed to August 8, then again to November 29. In October I scheduled an appointment to make sure the dress still fit, and on that appointment, I put the dress on and hated it. I almost cried. On my home from that appointment, I called my now husband and told him that I expected to put the dress and and feel amazing in it and I didn’t. The next words of his mouth were, “Go buy a new dress.” He just wanted me to be happy. So as soon as I got home I made an appointment with David’s Bridal and asked him to come with me. He thought it would be bad luck and I said, “Really, it’s 2020.” So he went and the sales consultant I had was amazing. I obviously had to buy something off the rack. She brought me a bunch of dresses and when I walked out the dressing room in this dress, he looked at me and said, “Now that’s a wedding dress.” He was right. It was the perfect dress and I felt amazing in it!
I don’t know that I could pick just one favorite moment but our first look was amazing. Even though he had seen me in the dress, Anthony had need seen it fitted to my body with my hair and makeup done. He looked at me and told me I looked perfect.
I have no idea. I probably could have lived without all of them, because in the end it didn’t really matter. All that mattered was that we were finally married and now husband and wife. After everything we had been through, two postponements, all of that stuff doesn’t seem as important anymore.
I put the ring on the wrong finger and it didn’t fit. We realize it after the cermony and he couldn’t get it off.
“I Get to Love You,” by Ruelle.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Honestly you wouldn’t even know if something goes wrong or honestly even care. That day comes and all that matters is you and the person you are going to marry.