After hanging out as “just friends” at Hamilton College in upstate New York, Alex and Jon coincidentally moved to Manhattan after graduation and started meeting up with their old college crowd.
Although both had been seeing other people, their stars aligned in 2008, when both happened to be unattached at the same time and their long-term friendship grew into much more.
Jon, originally from Long Island, is now an accountant, while Alex is a congressional staffer in West Windsor, originally from Pennington. After visiting several of the state’s top wedding sites, Alex read that the Ryland Inn, a landmark known for its outstanding cuisine, was about to reopen after years of renovation. Being a resourceful bride, she tracked down the owner’s email address and managed to book the very first wedding at the updated Whitehouse Station location.
“My parents have always liked the Ryland Inn, so we were very happy to be able to reserve it,” Alex says. “Although the inn was still renovating its banquet hall when the big day arrived, the owners went all out to tent an outdoor patio for us. It was jaw-dropping gorgeous, so our backup plan actually turned out even better than our Plan A.”
The June 29, 2013, country wedding was elegant but simple, made special by the venue itself. Since Alex likes a laidback color palette, she chose fun floral-printed bridesmaid dresses by Ralph Lauren, found on the rack at Macy’s, which then inspired her wedding color theme of white, pink and gold, punctuated with calla lilies and lilies of the valley for the bride, and white peonies and pink roses for the maids. Alex and Jon wanted their menu to be extra special, so executive chef Anthony Bucco created a unique farm-to-table experience for their 120 family members and friends. Entrées were halibut and lamb, accompanied by asparagus salad and followed by strolling cupcakes, cheesecake lollipops and milkshakes. “It was a memorable menu and, best of all, we can dine there every year on our wedding anniversary, or for any special occasion, since the Ryland Inn is open to the public,” Alex says.
After a November honeymoon in Yelapa, Mexico, the couple is at home in Jersey City.
Bride’s Gown: La Sposa by Pronovias, from Designer Loft, NYC
Shoes: Jimmy Choo, Saks Fifth Avenue
Bridesmaid Dresses: Lauren by Ralph Lauren, from Macy’s
Rings: Stanford Liebross & Son Jewelers, NYC
Hair: Panache Hair Salon & Day Spa, Whitehouse Station
Makeup: Amie L. Brady, Mary Kay Cosmetics
Flowers: Adriene Presti, Dahlia Florals, Pennington
Cake: Palermo’s Bakery, Ridgefield Park
Reception Music: Hank Lane, Livingston