How we met: My husband Dan and I met through a mutual friend in early 2011. We went on our first date in January but didn’t really hit it off, so we decided that afternoon we were better off as friends. For the next couple of months we would occasionally go on “just friends” dates and grab sushi or ice cream in Westfield just to catch up on life. It wasn’t until that July that something changed. There was a different connection—fireworks I suppose—and no not the Fourth of July kind! I can’t tell you what exactly changed, but I felt things I didn’t before and vice versa. From that point on what was initially “just friends” developed into what everyone now knows as “Dan and Susy.”
Will you marry me? Dan proposed on December 14, 2014, after a night out in NYC watching Cinderella on Broadway. We headed back to New Jersey to West New York where we planned to meet a friend for dessert at Son Cubano (or so I thought). To kill some time while we “waited for our friend,” Dan asked if I didn’t mind taking a seat overlooking the Hudson River and look at the photobook he created for us. Every chapter was a trip down memory lane. I held it together the entire time until I got to the final page, which read “Susy, will you marry me and start a new chapter in life together?”
Forget it, I was a mess—ugly cry, like Kim K ugly cry! He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife, and suddenly out comes my sister, her boyfriend, Dan’s sister and husband who were hiding taking pictures of the whole thing.
Details of the Day: Our theme was romantic chic. Our wedding colors were white, blush pink and silver.
We wanted our wedding day to feel ultra romantic so we made sure to include a ton of candles and rose petals.
I wanted everything to be very detail-oriented but also tasteful. Our florist created full centerpieces, both short and tall. We also had small votives on the tables with roses and candles.
Our head table was quite possibly my favorite décor of the wedding. We rented our humongous love seat and table from Rent4Parties.com. Our florist added additional silver decorative pieces and candles to the table. At the foot of the table were large lanterns, which were the perfect touch.
To this day we still have guests that rave about our details. Oftentimes wedding guests attend a wedding and vaguely remember the flowers or décor, however our wedding was definitely memorable.
Why the Grand Marquis? Dan and I visited about eight venues before we narrowed it down to the Grand Marquis. They were actually the first venue we visited and also the only venue to offer us not only a beverage but some food upon our first meeting. They were having a networking event and were kind of enough to give a taste of their menu.
From the very beginning they left such an impression on us. Nertila and Joe were our coordinators and they went above and beyond to ensure our wedding day was spectacular. My husband and I are of Portuguese descent and it was extremely important to us to incorporate our culture into our reception.
The Grand Marquis allowed us to have a traditional Portuguese “Farturas” truck at the end of the wedding night serving up traditional churro-like sweets for our guests before heading home.
They were a huge hit! The owners of the Grand Marquis were also exceptional. It’s rare to see an owner of an establishment serve the tables, but the owners were hustling and bustling ensuring everything was running smoothly.
The menu: For dinner we had stuffed flounder with crab meat in a white wine lemon burr blanc; French-cut chicken breast stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, prosciutto, and boursin cheese served with champagne honey burr blanc; and Chateaubriand.
The cake: For dessert, we had a Viennese hour and a vanilla cake with lemon mousse.
The gown: I had my eye on a Berta bridal dress even before I was engaged. When I found out L’Fay Bridal in Chatham was having a Berta trunk show, I knew I had to attend! I’m a huge believer in fate and here is why. I went to the trunk show with my mother, sister, mother-in-law and sister-in-law.
Upon arriving, my bridal assistant was Juliana. Right away I had a great vibe because the mutual friend that introduced Dan and I was also named Juliana. I tried the dress I had my heart set on from Pinterest. Unfortunately because I’m a little on the curvy side, the dress refused to go past these hips of mine.
I was disappointed, but Juliana assured me I would find the right one. I tried on five other dresses, but still my heart was set on that first dress.
Then, Juliana remembered the one on the window display was possibly the next size up and could fit. Sure enough it fit like a glove and it was perfect! When I walked out of the fitting room, everyone nodded that this was the one, and suddenly on the radio started playing our anticipated wedding song. There was no doubt that dress was meant to be, and it was then I said yes to the dress.
Your favorite moment: After our ceremony on the way to Westfield to take pictures, Dan and I rode alone in the escort car while the bridal party was in the limo bus. At first I contemplated if we should hop on with the bridal party to get the party started early. But it was the best decision we made having that moment alone to take it all in.
The day went by so fast. We still partied with our guests at our reception, but the moment we shared alone was incredibly serene and one I will always cherish.
One detail you couldn’t live without: I was extremely close to my paternal grandmother who sadly passed away in 2008. My maternal grandmother passed before I was born, However, it was incredibly important to me to still have a piece of them with me on my wedding day. I made charms for my bridal bouquet with their pictures to carry with me every step of the day.
First dance song: Dan surprised with a live singer in the name of John Jorge who I’ve been a fan of for a long time. He sang a compilation of two songs: Michael Buble’s “Close Your Eyes” and Lifehouse’s “You and Me.”
Advice for other brides: As hard as it may be try to squeeze in a moment, even if just for a few minutes, where you and your husband can be alone to take everything in. The day goes by so quickly and your adrenaline is running the entire day. It’s important to take some time to cherish the moment. That was the best advice given to me and I’m so glad we were able to do it.
Honeymoon: We started our honeymoon in Athens followed by the Greek Islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Crete. We ended our trip in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Bride’s gown: Berta Bridal from L’Fay Bridal in Chatham
Bride’s shoes: Christian Louboutin
Bride’s jewelry: Rings from Greenwich St. Jewelers in NYC
Bride’s accessories: Givency
Bridesmaid dresses: David’s Bridal
Hair: The Colour Room by Jennifer, Kenilworth
Makeup: Makeup by Romina
Groom’s attire: Ludlow by J. Crew. Bow tie at ceremony by Ralph Lauren. Bow tie by Yves St. Laurent for reception.
Groomsmen attire: Perry Ellis from Cozy Tuxedo, Nutley
Flowers: More than a Gift, Newark
Cake: Palermo’s Bakery, Ridgefield Park
Invites: Oscar de la Renta from Paperless Post
Music: JG Music Productions (deejay) and John Jorge (singer)
Videographer: Eduardo Duran Productions
Transportation: NJ Limo Bus and Limousine
Favors: Crystal wine stoppers from Things Remembered