Real Weddings

Samantha and David at The Grove

Posted on March 21, 2018 by New Jersey Bride

Samantha-David-The-GroveHow did you meet? Samantha San Filippo and Dr. David Perna had known each other for years through family. After sharing several looks across the table and several casual and friendly hellos and goodbyes the two finally decided to go on a date. Sparks flew, and before long the two were an inseparable couple.

Samantha-David-The-GroveHow did he ask? Three years later, while vacationing in Washington, D.C., a surprise occurred in the Sculpture Gardens of the Washington, D.C. Museum of Art. Another kind of art was created as Samantha turned to find David on one knee. The question was popped, the answer was YES, and the planning began.

Samantha-David-The-GroveDetails of the day! The ceremony was held on August 18, 2017 at Saint Aloysius Roman Catholic Church in Caldwell. Although it was raining outside, the glow of a candle light procession accompanied by a violinist, an organist, and a soloist enveloped the couple and their guests in a warm atmosphere. Even the four children dressed in cream gowns and a dark blue tuxedo cooperated. “Vintage Glamour” theme enhanced by gold candelabras and ivy sprays, along with an embroidered monogrammed aisle runner complemented the white and blush flowers. Bridal attendants wore gray gowns accented with gold accessories. The Groom and groomsmen wore dark blue tuxedos accented with grey ties.

Samantha-David-The-GroveWhy did you choose your venue? Samantha and David wanted to combine “Vintage Glamour” with a true gourmet experience and The Grove provided the perfect place to do this. The gold and crystal chandeliers and art deco lobby of the venue complemented the gold and mirrored theme that dominated the reception. Gold framed place cards greeted their guests and led them to tables distinguished by numbered gold mirrors. Table’s arrangements were alternated by high cream and blush flower pieces and tall gold six arm candelabras. Swags of ivy surrounded the staircase and gold 5′ floor candelabras. Gold mercury glass tea lights and a family crest embossed menu card also graced the tables. Menus also indicated donations made to charity on behalf of each guest. The Grove was also the perfect setting for our fabulous 14-piece band, The Time Machine, who made sure all guests had a great time

Samantha-David-The-GroveWhat was on your wedding menu? An hour and a half cocktail and varied stationed offering began the festivities. Guests were entertained with music by Hunter Hayes as they made their way around tasting stations. Along with the open bars, the couples signature drinks, Sam Mojitos and Dr. Love (Jack on the Rocks) were also offered. This was followed by dinner and a Viennese Dessert Hour. The four-tier wedding cake was dressed in gold draped decor and displayed in an eight-foot tall open picture frame with hanging crystal chandelier.

Samantha-David-The-GroveAll about the gown: Samantha’s gown was an ivory beaded trumpet shape with three deep bottom tiers that flowed into the train. The back of the gown was a deep V edged with crystals. A rhinestone headpiece was covered with a beaded lace edged cathedral veil for the ceremony. She knew this was the one because after 5 shopping trips, she selected this gown over others 3 times!

Samantha-David-The-GroveWhat was your favorite moment? The couple’s favorite moment occurred during their first dance. While dancing to the song, the Prayer, the song and dance culminated with floor to ceiling fireworks surrounding the happy couple. It really felt like a magic moment.

Samantha-David-The-GroveOne detail you couldn’t live without? They could not live without the “Live Painting” by artist, Katherine Gressel. She was able to capture our magical first dance on canvas and we will cherish it forever. As well as our same day edit film by Bleu Studios; the bride still cries watching it!

Did anything go wrong? Can’t control the weather!

Samantha-David-The-GroveFirst dance song? The first dance was spectacle of fireworks to Celine Dion and Andre Bocellli’s “The Prayer” but another song stole the show when Haley Reinhart’s rendition of “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” played over the couple’s three and a half minute same day edit. Not a dry eye in the house.

Samantha-David-The-GroveAdvice for other brides? Hire a wedding planner!

Honeymoon destination? Northern and Southern Italy

the details


West Caldwell

Ceremony Location

Saint Aloysius Roman Catholic Church

Reception Location

The Grove


Gabelli Studio Photography


Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Desmond

Bride’s Gown

Eve of Milady

+ more