How did you meet? Chris and I met at a mutual friend’s house the summer before my junior year and his senior year of high school back in 2005. Once the school year started a few weeks later, we soon discovered that we were in the same gym class. Laps around the track were mostly spent “jogging” (since I didn’t want to break a sweat in front of Chris) and getting to know one another. Between friendly competition in gym and passing notes to one another in the hallway, our feelings toward one another started to flourish.
How did he ask? Over the years, Chris and I have developed a great love for travel. In April of 2015, Chris and I traveled back to one of our favorite countries, Italy for the Passover/Easter break. Little did I know, Chris had tucked away an engagement ring inside of his luggage. We had an incredible week traveling through Milan, Cinque Terre, and Florence.
At the leg of our trip, Chris had arranged for us to visit San Miniato Al Monte, a basilica in Florence, overlooking the city. It was at this magical location, Chris got down on one knee a proposed. The proposal wasn’t the only surprise. Chris had previously contacted an Italian photographer, who was dressed as a tourist, to capture our proposal.
Details of the day! My color palette included muted purple and lots of ivory. My bridesmaids wore Bill Levkoff chiffon gowns in Wisteria purple. I wanted my bridesmaids to look and feel their best so I provided them with different neckline options, which also added diversity and uniqueness. Our wedding venue, the Westmount Country Club, radiates modern style coupled with timeless elegance. This is also the style I envisioned for myself, as a bride.
Rather than displaying traditional escort cards, one element of our travel-inspired wedding that we incorporated were luggage tag guest cards. We found an amazing Etsy vendor, Porter Leather, who created beautiful leather luggage tags with the motto, “Let the Adventure Begin”. They were such a creative way for guests to find out where they were sitting, and they also doubled as a favor! We also named each table after a destination that we have traveled to together (Milan, Barcelona, Pisa, etc.).
Since the Continental ballroom at the Westmount has a crisp, modern feel, I wanted to keep with a neutral palette, by including lots of ivory, and subtle hints of muted purple (to tie in the bridesmaids dresses), green, and pink. Guests enjoyed the escort table luggage tags as their favors. Chris and I did’t waste anytime using ours on our honeymoon to the French Polynesia.
Why did you choose your venue? My mother and I looked at about 10 or so venues across the tri-state area. Chris and I absolutely loved the ambiance and vibe of the Westmount. It was so different from a lot of the more traditional venues we had seen. We were also highly impressed by the service and professionalism of the Westmount staff.
Our event manager, Bobby, was very accommodating with any request and helped to ensure that our day ran smoothly. I loved the tall windows in the ballroom, allowing tons of natural light, as well as the details in the cocktail room and outdoor space. We also heard rave reviews about the food. The Westmount did not disappoint!
What was on your menu? After a full-loaded, cocktail hour, guests started their meal with a tricolor salad. They had a choice of Alaskan cod, Chateaubriand, Eggplant parmigiana, and Roasted French Breast of Chicken for their entree.
What flavor was your cake? Our cake tasted as good as it looked! We worked with Calandra’s Bakery in Caldwell, NJ. We chose a pound cake with strawberry filling and butter cream frosting. It was light and fluffy, and absolutely delicious. Cake wasn’t the only way to satisfy a sweet tooth at our wedding. We also had a viennese service with every type of dessert you can imagine. We were able to bring Italy to us by having a gelato cart as one of our viennese stations for guests to enjoy.
All about your gown! I absolutely loved my Pronovias gown, which had everything on my dress wish list, including straps, beading, and lace. The seamstress at Aleana’s Bridal, tailored my dress to fit me like a glove. I wanted a dress that was timeless and elegant. It was everything I wanted and more!
What was your favorite moment? It is so hard to choose just one favorite moment since I have many, but one of the highlights of our wedding was our first dance. You might not believe this, but Chris expressed strong interest in taking dance lessons and choreographing our first dance, shortly after our engagement. Chris did all of the research into studios & dance instructors. We began taking swing and ballroom lessons with Laurie Shayler from Dance Connections, located in Brooklyn, back in January.
Our bi-weekly dance lessons became a fun date night for us. Our first dance was a mash-up, created by our DJ, Jay from Elite Sound Entertainment. We began dancing to Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight”, and surprised guests with some rock n’ roll and hip hop. We had the best time letting loose and seeing our hard work come to life, as we were cheered on by our closest family and friends.
Did anything go wrong? Although most of my friends and family would consider me to be type A, I told myself on the day of the wedding to enjoy myself and that not everything is going to be perfect. The professionalism and organization and of all of my vendors helped to ensure that everything ran smoothly.
First dance song? Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.”
Any advice for future brides? Although future brides hear this time and time again, it is so important to take time to soak everything in and to truly enjoy yourself! I also made a point to not be one of those brides who said that they barely ate anything. During the cocktail hour, Chris and I took about 30 minutes to enjoy our first meal as husband and wife, and taste a ginormous sampling of the cocktail hour dishes. I also made sure to enjoy some of the delicious desserts and our wedding cake.
Officiant: Cantor Beth Garfinkle Hancock
Bride’s Gown: Pronovias
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bride’s Jewelry: Jewelry by Esther
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff
Hair: BeYoutiful Bride
Makeup: Jennifer Leigh Beauty
Groom’s Attire: Biltmore Tuxedos
Groomsmen Attire: Biltmore Tuxedos
Flowers: Dalsimer Spitz and Peck
Cake: Calandra’s Bakery
Invites: Rockland County Invites
Music: Elite Sound Entertainment
Videographer: AJ Ingoglia Films
Transportation: Broadway Elite
Favors: Porter Leather
Honeymoon: Moorea, French Polynesia