Real Weddings

Stephanie and Michael at El Caribe Caterers

Posted on April 01, 2020 by Ariana Baio

How did you get engaged?

The Friday before Christmas, I came home from work sick. Michael was so upset, which confused me. He made me cancel my nail appointment because I had a fever, anyone who knows me knows my nails are always done. He was adamant about me resting as much as possible so I would be well on Christmas Eve. So me and my purple metallic nails stayed in bed. Christmas Eve came around, and while I still felt sick, I went to Brooklyn to cook with my family because I cherish the time I spend with them cooking on Christmas Eve. Michael was acting so weird the entire day, and continued to act weird at dinner. Suddenly in the middle of Christmas Eve dinner, he stood up and started talking about how lucky he is to know my family, I just kept thinking to myself, ‘why is he being such a weirdo tonight?’ Suddenly, he took the ring box out of his pocket and my entire family started screaming. He dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him, without hesitation I said “yes” and cried like a baby. I always told him I wanted my proposal to be a surprise, and to make sure my nails were done. Making me cancel my nail appointment really threw me off. I had no idea it was coming, and I couldn’t have been happier to have our family there to witness our proposal. He really gave me the proposal of a lifetime!

Details of the day!
We did not want to wait to get married so we planned our wedding within a year. My vision was a  Christmas/winter wonderland wedding. I wanted it to be whimsical so we had a white glitter rug down the aisle in church that resembled snow. Our colors were blue, white and silver. The pews in the church were lined with white glitter, snowflakes and tulle. We also had these beautiful big tree with hanging crystals. For our cake, I chose a plain cake, but it was decorate blue to match our theme. I had crystal snowflake toppers, glittered pinecones and fake snow all around the cake. My mom thought I was crazy when I said I wanted a blue cake but when she saw it she knew why.

Why did you choose your venue?
We chose the EL Caribe for many reasons. My sister was married at the El Caribe and you can’t beat their food or service. We both have big families and we knew good food was important, and El Caribe’s food is excellent. Their cocktail hour has such a large variety, the venue is also beautiful and they have gorgeous Christmas decorations which won me over. I also wanted a location that was convenient for everyone.


My gown was one of a kind. When deciding on my look I knew I wanted to be different. I was going for a retro ice queen / princess feel. I actually picked my headpiece and how I wanted my hair and makeup before I got my dress. I knew I wanted something fitted with sleeves. One day when searching on Pinterest I saw a picture of a dress and I knew that was the one! I didn’t tell anyone and I went to various stores through NY and NJ trying on dresses. Although so many of the gowns were beautiful, no-one had the dress and I couldn’t get it off my mind. After calling a bunch of stores looking for the dress, the only one who had it was Kleinfeld Bridal. When I got there for my appointment, they brought me the dress and I put it on. I began to cry. From the belle sleeves to the beautiful accents to the way it glittered when the lights went out I knew it was the one.

It’s so hard to pick a favorite moment because every second of the day was amazing from when I met him at the alter to our first dance and when my parents surprised us with Jersey Boys on Broadway.

I forgot my earrings for church and didn’t have them untill I got to the reception.

“Perfect Symphony” – Ed Sheeran and with Andrea Bocelli

My advice for brides is know what you want, do your research and stick to your gut. If you don’t like something say it! Expect things to go wrong. Make a list and appoint someone to handle everything on your list so you don’t have to worry or forget anything – it helps. Most of all just be in the moment and enjoy it. It is the best day of your life.

We went to Punta Cana where we went for our first vacation because it was sentimental. Thats where it all started.

the details


Hazlet Township

Reception Location

El Caribe Caterers




Father Adamo

Bride’s Gown

Stephen Yearick

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