For Barbara Landi of Tinton Falls, it was love at first sight. She was helping her BFF find Mr. Right on match.com when she stumbled upon the too-good-to-be-true photo and profile of Allen McGinley of Geneva, New York. Her girlfriend didn’t follow up, but several months later, Barbara couldn’t get that profile out of her head, so she contacted Allen herself. They arranged a meeting the day after Valentine’s Day 2011, and have been a couple ever since. As Barbara and Allen celebrated their first year together, he asked her to look at engagement rings, just for fun. Six months later, they visited Pier Village in Long Branch and he suggested a walk on the beach. “I was super-surprised and didn’t expect a proposal. In fact, I had come straight from work that afternoon and didn’t look very good,” Barbara says. “Allen opened his backpack on the beach and handed me a romantic photo album that he made. On the last page was a letter that included his proposal. When I looked up from the album, there he was, kneeling on the beach with a ring in his hand.” About a year later, on October 5, 2013, Barbara, a counselor, married Allen, a librarian, at the Water Witch Club in Highlands. The romantic pink, peach and ivory event for 70 guests included a buffet dinner of chicken and artichokes with sundried tomatoes, eggplant rollatini and prime rib—accompanied by plenty of iced beer in galvanized tubs for easy access. The vanilla wedding cake with raspberry filling was a real crowd pleaser, as were the fun favors—pie pops (like cake pops, but with mini pies). The barn-style reception was illuminated by globe lights on the porch and more bulbs strung from the ceiling. A huge baby’s breath wreath decorated the rustic fireplace in the great room and sentimental wedding photos from both families were framed and displayed on the mantle. “From the beginning, we envisioned a wedding that would be cozy, intimate and full of DIY touches. Our vision was enhanced tremendously by Pinterest and our wonderful floral designer,” Barbara says. “My favorite part was sitting at our couples’ table during dinner, just the two of us taking in our family, friends and the beautiful space. Everyone encouraged us to do this and it was our sweetest moment.” After a honeymoon trip to Aruba, the couple is at home in Tinton Falls.
Waterwich Club, Monmouth Hills
Jenelle Kappe Photography, Monmouth County+ more