In August 2013, as many modern love stories now begin, Matt and I both fatefully swiped right’ on each other’s profiles and ‘matched.’ Matt had just graduated from Penn State and moved to NJ to start his new job in NYC. We began chatting and quickly started texting all day, every day. We decided to meet up for dinner and drinks in Hoboken and were instantly drawn to each other. From there, dates turned into days and days turned into weekends and we became inseparable!
On August 18, 2018, Matt and I made plans to have dinner with my parents in Hoboken, little did I know, he was planning to propose! Matt had asked my parents for their blessing and bought the ring a couple weeks prior, but needed the perfect excuse to get me out of the apartment. As we waited for our reservation time downtown, Matt suggested going for a walk by the waterfront, where we had walked on our first date. Since this is a popular area in town that we often walk by, I thought nothing of it. As we made our way down the pier, Matt pointed out buildings in the NYC skyline that he’s worked on as an electrical engineer- trying to distract me from seeing one of the couples sitting in the grass. After a few minutes, Matt got down on one knee, said a bunch of beautiful things that neither of us can remember and I said “yes!” The couple sitting in the grass turned out to be friends that Matt had arranged to be there and take pictures of the entire proposal. Matt then suggested getting drinks together at a nearby bar before dinner and upon walking into the bar, I was shocked to find my parents, Matt’s parents, siblings and other family and friends all ready to celebrate!
We decided to keep bridesmaids and groomsmen in neutral colors (taupe dresses/black tuxedos) to let the burgundy, pink and blush flowers shine. With ivory tablecloths, burgundy napkins and gold accents, we used laser cut acrylic names to assign guest seats. Our favors were mini olive oil bottles from my family friend’s olive oil company in Izmir, Turkey. We also hand wrote 3×3 welcome cards to each guest/couple with a nostalgic photo enclosed and adorned with a custom wax seal to match the invitations and menus.
After three venue tours left us feeling indifferent, we knew Perona Farms was the perfect place for us from the moment we walked in. The Reserve ballroom matched our personalities – rustic but glam. Since we live in Hoboken and work in the city, the quiet contrast of being on a farm put us right at ease and we were always at peace during each visit.
The evening began with a cocktail hour featuring an assortment of 12 passed hors-d’oeuvres like buffalo chicken dumplings, mini mason jars of tomato soup topped with grilled cheese. There were also various unique stations like smoked salmon, autumn tortellinis, “backyard BBQ” sliders, “Oktoberfest” pretzels/schnitzels, hand rolled crepes and more. The dinner menu included Maine lobster tail with chivery butter and lemon as the starter, followed by an autumn harvest salad with greens from Perona Farms’ very own greenhouse, crumbled feta, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and white balsamic dressing. The entree was a duet of sliced chateaubriand of beef in a bordelaise sauce and grilled “Hidden Fjord” salmon in a whole grain mustard beurre blanc sauce, served with garlic mashed potato & roasted baby carrots. For dessert, our wedding cake flavors were vanilla cake with french cream and raspberry marmalade filling or devil’s food chocolate cake with raspberry truffle filling. Toward the end of the night, there was a fresh made apple cider donut machine and an assortment of fresh pizzas. Guests definitely left happy and stuffed!
We both agree the first look was the best part of the day. We felt immediate relief, happiness and couldn’t hold back the tears! We both believe it didn’t take away from the “walking down the aisle” moment at all, and it was so special to have some time alone (with just the photographer, videographer and day of coordinator nearby).
The neon sign! Matt built a gold metal sign holder to sit behind our sweetheart table to hold a neon sign that read “The Webbs”. We loved seeing guests take pictures with it and having it now to use as a home decor piece.
As we were waiting to rehearse at Perona the afternoon before the wedding, we got a phone call that one of our hotel blocks (housing the entire bridal party, families and 50 other out-of-town guests) unexpectedly lost power. The bridal party was relocated to another nearby hotel but we weren’t sure if they’d be able to stay there the entire weekend or have to split up into other hotels on the actual wedding day. Guests were sent to various hotels in the area – some not even alerted until they arrived. April from Details Made Simple handled it all with grace and made sure guests were on the appropriate shuttles to and from all the various hotels. She was a true life saver! The good news was that the everyone ended up getting their rooms refunded for the trouble and it ended up being the best, worst thing that could have happened.
“Powerful” by Ellie Goulding and Major Lazer. We took dance lessons with Dylan at Jersey City Ballroom with the intention of not having a choreographed dance but ended up loving the dance lessons so much that we left with a three-minute choreographed dance.
Besides the usual advice of have fun, don’t sweat the small stuff, etc.
1. Hire a day-of coordinator. you never know what may go wrong, whether it be before you arrive at the venue, during or after! It shouldn’t be on you, your bridesmaids or family to fix!
2. Spend the first 15 minutes of cocktail hour alone with your spouse and then join the party! There is no reason to hide and miss out on the fun
3. Download and ask guests to use “The Guest” app – they collected 900+ guest photos that they may have never seen otherwise
4. Don’t tell everyone all the details and specifics unless you want their opinions!
5. Outline your expectations to all your vendors whether it be a shot list or decor set up instructions, etc. so there is no opportunity for disappointment.
We spent five days at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa and five days at the Four Seasons Bora Bora – it was like living in a post card, truly a bucket list magical place.