For their first Valentine’s Day together, Mariella Souflis gave Mitch Kapsaskis a handmade picture frame that read, “Third time’s a charm.” That’s how many times it had taken the pair to start dating after meeting in Greek youth group in high school.
Something was always getting in the way; they went their separate ways to college, and Mariella left to study abroad. Their paths finally merged in 2005, and two years later Mitch proposed on a bridge in Central Park.
Mariella and Mitch, both 26, were married October 10, 2009, in a traditional Greek ceremony at St. John the Theologian in Tenafly.
The bride wore a Stephen Yearick gown with gold and silver crystal embellishments and a lace mantilla similar to the one her mother had chosen for her own wedding.
Mariella’s eight bridesmaids wore fall-inspired, burnt orange dresses by Badgley Mischka, and she carried a bouquet of mini calla lilies, roses, and cymbidium orchids.
The reception for 340 guests was at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville. Mariella got her color inspiration from her November engagement. “She literally came to us with paint chips and actual dried leaves that she had saved from the year before,” says her planner, Tina LaMorte of Oh So Fabulous in Maywood. They enhanced the room with lighting and draped fabrics in rich fall colors, and added tons of warm, gold candles. “We didn’t want to be typical with just branches and leaves,” says LaMorte of the centerpieces. “Mariella found fall-inspired, glitzy, sparkling things that we were able to put into all of them, like pinecones dipped in gold.”
Guests selected from several different food stations, including sushi and an outdoor grill with meats and vegetables.
The eight-tiered red-velvet and chocolate cake caused the only drama of the night; it was cut too early and the bride’s mother missed it. “It was pretty dramatic for fifteen minutes,” Mariella says.
A friend of Mitch’s created the unique groom’s cake, a lamb roasting on a spit. Favors included engraved glass candy dishes, and the place cards—pillow boxes tied with custom-made monogrammed ribbon and filled with Jordan almonds—doubled as favors, too.
After a two-week honeymoon in South Africa, the couple now lives in Jersey City.
WEDDING PLANNER: Tina LaMorte, Oh So Fabulous, Maywood
BRIDE’S GOWN: Stephen Yearick from Bijou Bridal, Paramus
SHOES: Giuseppe Zanotti
BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Badgley Mischka, from Bride’s Best Friends, Englewood
GROOM’S ATTIRE: Dante Tuxedos, Freehold
HAIR: Cherie Dacko, Fort Lee
MAKEUP: The Glam Fairy, Riverdale
BAND: Musical Fantasia
DEEJAY: Privilege Entertainment
INVITATIONS: Robin K Design
PLACE CARDS & CALLIGRAPHY: Laura Hooper Calligraphy
FLOWERS: Floral Designs by Cindy, South Bound Brook
RINGS: Diamond Castle, Manalapan
CAKE: Cakes by Stef
LIGHTING DESIGN: EventLights1
CUSTOM ROOM DRAPING: Jeanne Costello Designs
LINENS: Cloth Connection
CHAIR AND CHARGER RENTALS: Something Different Party Rentals
AISLE RUNNER: The Original Runner Company