How did you two meet? My dad had passed away from cancer when I was 26 years old and in one of our last conversations, he told me to “take care of mom”. When he died I was living and working in NYC and had the Carrie Bradshaw dream of meeting my “Mr. Big” then all of that changed. I started coming home every weekend to the Jersey Shore to spend time with my mother and help her out with things around the house, take day trips, etc. Three years later at 29, I was lifted out of my fog by a friend asking if “I had been dating and would I like to date?” I agreed to meet a friend of her husband’s for drinks together as a group. When I met Matt, I knew he was special because I was instantly able to talk to him about anything and I felt completely comfortable and like myself. He awakened something in me that I had never felt, what I would now call true love. He kissed me that night when he walked me to my car and the rest is history.
How did he ask? Matt and I had been dating for about two years and I had moved my life from NYC to Red Bank to be with him. We talked about marriage and our life together often. One night after going out to dinner, he asked if I wanted dessert, I obviously said yes and we went to the cannoli store. When inside romantic music started to play, he asked if we wanted to walk and sit on a bench to eat our cannoli and I thought “this is it, he’s going to propose.” As we ate our cannoli, I waited and it never happened. I told my mom and eventually told him the embarrassing “proposal that never was” story and we all laughed. About five months later on August 4th, 2016 he proposed using cannoli to spell out “will you marry me?” I returned from a beach day with my mom to find him on one knee and saw the cannoli. Then he had both of our families waiting at his mom’s house to celebrate the occasion!
Details of your day- Our colors were mint and peach, however we didn’t have a bridal party so the colors were found in the details. We used Flowers by Melinda in Point Pleasant Beach and she did an amazing job of making my envision into a reality. I wanted a romantic, cascading, botanical garden feel and she did just that with garden roses in antique peach and white. Juliette roses and peonies in blush and for greenery she used eucalyptus. My bouquet was all white peonies, roses, and ranunculus.
Wrapped around the bottom of my bouquet I had a handkerchief made in memory of my Father which is embroidered with blue writing and says, “your guiding hand is always on my shoulder, especially today and always. In loving memory of DSP.” I also had my grandmother’s rosary beads wrapped around the bottom.
We used Dovetail Vintage Rentals and rented antique woodencandle molds for the escort cards, a large wooden birdcage for the cards and gifts and an old fashioned chalkboard which was made into a welcome sign…which is how I met our calligraphy artist, Mary Kate Moon. She created our invitation envelopes, signage, and escort cards. The escort cards were done in a palette of green shades to create an ombré pattern using paint chips. Our signature drinks were Beatles themed and named “The Yellow Submarine” and “Strawberry Fields.” Mary Kate Moon also hand painted the most beautiful sign to match and give a description of our drinks. Matt’s mom created our favors with love, she made Italian wedding cookies in our palette of peach and mint to give to our guests. The menus were done in mint water colors to tie everything together on the table.
Why did you choose your venue? Matt and I were looking for a balance of indoor and outdoor. We grew up living at the “Jersey Shore” so it was important for us to be on the water since it has been such a symbol to us both growing up. The Molly Pitcher has it all! We were able to have our cocktail hour outside overlooking the Navesink River and the sunset was beautiful! The ballroom was perfect for our “medium sized” wedding of 110 people, it wasn’t too overwhelming like a lot of the other spaces we had looked at. We loved that the Molly Pitcher offered a balance of romance and classic beauty with still having the feeling of being at “the beach.”
What was your wedding menu? The appetizer was a lump crabmeat stuffed artichoke with blood orange sabayon, basil infused olive oil and rainbow microgreens. The salad was baby a baby spinach and red oak said with shaved Pecorino Romano and spiced pecans with a white balsamic vinaigrette. The intermezzo was lemon sorbet with fresh berries and a mint garnish. For an entrée, guests had a choice between a duet of filet Mignon and lobster tail with black truffle sauce and Chive Buerre Blanc OR frenched veal chop with Caramelized shallot Madeira jus. For dessert there was a Viennese table and coffee service and our course wedding cake.
Your wedding cake? Our wedding cake created and baked by Ye Olde Pie Shoppe in Little Silver. It had four tiers, the top and bottom were red velvet and the third was carrot cake all with cream cheese icing. The second tier was vanilla with European buttercream. The whole cake was iced with European butter cream. We had fresh flowers as our topper and also on the side of the cake. Description of your dress. How did you know it was “the one”? I went dress shopping with my mom in NYC and we found “the one” at Lovely Bride in TriBeCa. When I put it on, it felt like heaven. It was so soft and flowy, I felt like a Greek Goddess. The wedding dress was designed by Theia and was satin faced silk georgette A-line. It had a beaded V-neck bodice. Then my plan took a turn when I was approached by designer Keren Craig of Marchesa. She was the parent of a student in my classroom and she offered to give me the dress of my dreams as a gift.
The dress I chose by Marchesa was an ivory ball gown with an intricately beaded yoke neckpiece and had asymmetrical tiered tulle skirt with horsehair detail. I truly felt like Cinderella walking down the aisle, it was a dress designed for a princess. So you may be thinking, “What happened to my silk, felt like heaven dress?” I wore the Marchesa dress for the ceremony, pictures, and cocktail hour. Then I changed into my beautiful Theia dress for the reception and I was able to dance the night away. Both were “the one!” What was your favorite moment? I know everyone says that their favorite wedding moment is waking down the aisle and the moment they made eye contact with their significant other at the end of the aisle. Leading up to my big day, I had a lot of anxiety and sadness surrounding walking down the aisle without my father. It is something I had dreamt of forever…But when I walked down the aisle with my mom, I had never been more present, more happy or more in the moment. Matt and I locked eyes and my mom and I’s arms were linked and I just felt as full as one could feel in this moment.
One detail you couldn’t live without? The detail I couldn’t live without isn’t a physical item but a moment. I had of sadness when thinking about the father daughter dance and knowing that I would not be dancing with my dad. I had decided not to do anything in keeping the moment special and not dancing because my dad wasn’t there. However, two days before the wedding I heard the song “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty and I took it as a sign from my dad in heaven. I decided to dance with both of my brothers to the song. Starting the song with one and ended it with the other. We practiced a bit the day before and when the moment came it was so special and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I know is proud of all three of us and I am so happy that I chose to add this “detail” to my wedding day.
Did anything go wrong? I honestly can not say that one thing went wrong. The day was calm and surrounded by love and support from the moment I woke up. Everything and everyone was amazing, I truly feel blessed.
First dance song? We danced to Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You.” We chose this song because we both felt like it symbolizes a love that is ever lasting and forever. We both know at times marriage is going to be difficult and to us this song represents walking the miles through life together through the good and the bad until the end. Matt and I took dance lessons for about three months leading up to the wedding and the dance and the song and the feeling of dancing with my husband for the first time was magical.
Advice for other brides? Don’t sweat the small stuff, remember a wedding is about two people committing their love to each other forever. Make sure you always keep this mind. I know a lot of people say this but it’s advice that was given to me and I think it is very true…you only get married once (hopefully)… so make sure from the moment you wake up until you go to bed, that you enjoy every second of the day because it goes by in the blink of an eye and then it’s just a memory. So make it the best one!Where did you go on your honeymoon? We went to Hawaii for two weeks. First we went to the island of Kauai, and then we traveled to the island of Maui. It was magical in every way! Often in this day and time, we are often consumed with the stresses of work and our phones…email…etc and it was so wonderful just to be able to spend real quality uninterrupted time with each other. It was the vacation of a lifetime and I will treasure it forever.
Officiant: Father David Swank
Bride’s Gown: Custom Marchesa
Bride’s Shoes: Bagdley Mischka
Bride’s Jewelry: Marchesa
Hair: Unveiled by Anna
Makeup: Eva Make Me Up
Groom’s Attire: Peter Millar and Brooks Brothers
Flowers: Flowers by Melinda
Cake: Ye Ole Pie Shoppe
Invites: Mary Kate Moon
Music: DJ Kris Pbrahamsen of Elite Entertainment
Transportation: Preferred Limousine LLC