Joelle Caputa was not necessarily looking for a serious relationship when she met Frank Speranza. But once she learned he had a shelter dog, she decided to give him a chance. “I’m really big on rescuing dogs,” she says. “That definitely won me over.” Their romance blossomed, and the pair tied the knot on October 6, 2013. Having been married before, Joelle wanted this affair to be different, less formal and more intimate, and she obsessed over every detail. “I wanted to do it all myself,” Joelle says. “That’s the fun of it.”
Their Sunday brunch wedding combined her love of vintage and rustic elements—like antique-style skeleton keys—with bridal glamour and, of course, their passion for dogs. The day was laid-back yet had a distinctive and personal feel. “We wanted a very relaxed, casual kind of wedding,” Joelle says. “I already had the big wedding before.”
They married at Perona Farms in Andover, hoping to include a “nature vibe” by exchanging vows in the apple orchard. But a rainy day kept the nuptials inside. In Perona’s lobby, which features a grand staircase, pastel paper fans decorated the aisle and an archway made from tree branches was festooned with hanging mason jars holding baby’s breath. Joelle and Frank walked each other down the aisle.
“It was a celebration of us,” Joelle says. “It wasn’t just about the spotlight on the bride.” Joelle, 32, of Bloomfield, wore a strapless gown with a custom lace and ostrich feather shrug, her hair down with a rhinestone hair accessory, while Frank, 31, of Maplewood, looked sharp in a black tux. The 100 guests saw familiar faces as they found their seats for the reception. Each table was named for a dog Joelle or Frank owned over the years, and guests matched the dog on their escort card to the furry face pictured on their table. “The dogs had to be a part of the wedding somehow,” Joelle says.
There was music for dancing, and a midday meal featuring fresh doughnuts and waffles with toppings. “I’d never been to a brunch wedding, and that’s my favorite kind of food,” Joelle says. “Everybody loved it, and the waffles were definitely a hit.” With a teal and gray palette and a simple elegance, Joelle created just the wedding she wanted. “It was sweet and romantic but not over the top,” she says. “I was so happy the whole day.” After a January honeymoon to Jamaica, the couple and their two rescue dogs are at home in Lake Hiawatha.
BRIDE’S GOWN • David’s Bridal
BRIDE’S SHRUG • Mia Von Mink’s Wedding Couture, Etsy
BRIDE’S CLUTCH • Gracey Bags, Etsy
BRIDE’S HAIR ACCESSORY • Marie Hunt at Headpiece.com, Pompton Plains
GROOM’S TUXEDO & GROOMSMEN ATTIRE • Vera Wang for Men’s Wearhouse
BRIDESMAID DRESSES • BLCouture, Etsy
SKELETON KEY NECKLACES • Sparkling Waters Studio, Etsy
GROOMSMEN BOUTONNIERES • Forever Bouquets, Etsy
DEEJAY • The Pros, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
HAIR • Mandy Liento at La Sorella Bridal, Verona
MAKEUP • The Glam Fairy, Hoboken
FLOWERS • Floriography, Rockaway
CAKE • Palermo’s Bakery, Ridgefield Park