Today’s real wedding is very special to me because the bride Marilyn is one of my oldest friends in the world. We’ve been best friends for 18 years and I was luckily able to witness the beginning of her and her awesome husband Joey’s love story, which began in high school. It was an honor to be standing by their side as a bridesmaid and watch them start a new chapter in their lives as husband and wife (cue the tears)!
Okay now that I’m done being sentimental, their wedding was gorg, fun and full of awesome surprises…Giant vodka ice luge? Check. Cigar and whiskey bar? Check. Live drummer alongside the DJ? Check!! Here’s our Q&A with the bride.
When was your wedding and where did it take place?
When did you know that your wedding dress was “the one”?
I had a pretty clear idea of the dress style I wanted, so that helped narrow down the options when I went dress shopping–I also knew that I would definitely be a Pronovias bride (since they specialize in lace), so booked my only dress appointment at their beautiful flagship store in NYC. I only tried on three dresses before I found “the one” (which was dress style Leroig). I felt stunning in the gown, but what really sealed it for me was the look on my mother’s and sister’s face–I knew then and there that it was the one!
Rank your top 10 favorite memories from your wedding day!
#10 – Seeing our vision and personal touches come together. I have a Type A personality, so making sure every little detail was perfect was crucial. Since I’m all about the personal touches, walking into our decorated reception venue for the first time was definitely one of the highlights of my night. From the candlelit orchid centerpieces, the perfect placement of the beautifully wrapped favors and the sixty-eight hurricane candles that lined the bay windows to the vintage birdcage card holder, everything was absolutely perfect.
Choosing a DJ for the wedding was also very important to us as we both LOVE to dance. We decided to go with DJ Serg, a DJ we’ve seen spin since we started going to clubs as teenagers! He had also DJ’ed at some of our favorite weddings, so hiring him was a no-brainer and one of our best wedding decisions. He kept the dance floor packed and provided the amber uplighting for the entire room. He also prepared our wedding slideshow, which was one of the most emotional parts of the wedding for us. Seeing pictures of us as children with our dearly departed grandparents as well as pictures of us at the Prom was truly special.
Last but not least, the vodka ice luge was not included in the original plan–it was actually a last minute gift from our banquet manager. Anyone who knows me knows that there are few things I love more than drinking and reminiscing about college, so of course proving to everyone that I could still chug ice cold vodka from an ice luge shaped like a martini glass without choking was one of my favorite wedding moments!
#9 – Cutting the wedding cake. Cutting the wedding cake was a lot of fun because it showed what a pair of spazzes we are. We started cutting the cake and couldn’t get the knife through–turns out we were cutting a layer that wasn’t actually cake! After the maitre d’ took over and showed us how to properly cut the cake, we had a blast taking huge spoonfuls of cake and force feeding them to each other. Yet another reason we are perfect for each other!
#8 – Opening my wedding morning gift. I will honestly say I was not expecting a wedding gift from Joey. I thought my engagement ring and wedding band were more than enough so I was extremely surprised when my matron of honor gave me a gift from him. The box was almost too stunning to open! But of course I did, and inside was an exquisite gold swarovski elephant.
Not only am I completely obsessed with collecting elephants but it was gold, one of our wedding colors. From the moment I received that beautiful symbol of good luck, I knew the wedding would be perfect.
#7 – Getting ready with my friends and family. I chose to get ready in a hotel suite rather than my childhood home for several reasons–location, comfort, and because it would guarantee that my family wouldn’t be late! We had two makeup artists and three hairstylists to help me, my mother, several of my 10 bridesmaids and flower girl get ready. I also had the hotel set up a breakfast buffet in the suite so we could drink champagne and eat while we got ready. My best friend Martine set up the coolest playlist which had us all singing and dancing. Getting ready in that room with my closest friends and family was one of my favorite memories from my wedding day.
#6 – When my mothers buttoned the back of my dress. When Pronovias told me I could alter my wedding dress to have buttons run all the way down the back of my dress, I was over the moon! But of course I didn’t realize how much work would go into buttoning the entire dress, so it became quite a task on the day of the wedding. Originally, my mother tried but she only got halfway through, so my stepmother stepped in and buttoned the rest. Having both my mothers help me get ready was such a touching and personal moment.
#5 – Taking pictures! One of the reasons I think our wedding was so perfect was definitely the weather. It was neither hot nor cold and there was not a cloud in the sky. This stroke of good luck, combined with our super talented photographers and the most scenic wedding venue ever resulted in the best wedding pictures we could have asked for. I’m pretty sure a lot of brides wouldn’t say that taking pictures is one of the highlights of their wedding day, but it actually was for me.
It was so fun hanging out with our bridal party near a stone castle in the woods and our photographers turned it into quite the adventure–they even had me and Joey climb rocks! It was a lot of fun but it was also one of the few private moments that Joey and I got to spend together on our wedding day. Even though we had our videographer and photographers with us, it still felt very intimate. I think you can truly see how much we love each other in those particular photos.
#4 – Sparkler Send Off. I was definitely a Pinterest bride–I actually can’t imagine what planning a wedding without Pinterest is like! So of course a lot of my ideas came from there. One idea that I saw on Pinterest quite a lot was the Sparkler Send Off. It looked like a lot of fun and the pictures always turned out so awesome but putting it into practice was a lot harder than I thought. I had so many questions! How many sparklers did I need? How do I let the guests know when it was supposed to happen? Where will it take place? How do I make sure it happens before everyone leaves?
Luckily, my amazing banquet manager Rocco and superstar photographers, Forged in the North, knew exactly how to make it happen. It turned out perfectly and was so much fun that we ran through the “guard of honor” twice! Not to mention, the photos were pretty amazing!
#3 – Dancing with my father. They say weddings are about the bride, but I believe that they are also about the father of the bride. Not only was he at my side for the biggest day of my life, but he was glowing just as much as I was. My father and I have come a very long way in our relationship so having the perfect father/daughter dance was very important to me. I actually chose the song we would dance to before I was even engaged. My father’s favorite band is Guns N’ Roses so I wanted to dance to one of their songs but it was very difficult finding a song that wasn’t too fast or rock-and-rollish. With the help of my fabulous DJ, we were able to find a rare acoustic version of “Sweet Child of Mine“. The look on my father’s face when the song started playing was priceless. It was truly a perfect moment.
#2 – Our First Dance. There were many songs in the running for our first dance as husband and wife. I always imagined that my wedding song would be “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS but that was before I was even with Joey. It dawned on me that I should probably include my future husband in the decision for our first dance song, and he actually surprised me with the perfect choice. He told me that when we were together as teenagers, he always thought of me when “The Scientist” by Coldplay came on. I realized that I too always thought of him when that song played.
Even though the song may seem like an odd choice for a first dance (since it’s about a breakup) given our history, it was the perfect song for us. With lyrics like, “I had to find you/ tell you I need you/ Tell you I set you apart” and “Tell me you love me/ come back and haunt me/ Oh and I rush to the start/ Running in circles/ Chasing our tails/ coming back as we are“, it was literally our song. I still get teary-eyed when I think of us dancing to that song.
#1 – Walking down the Aisle. I loved our wedding ceremony so much but walking down the aisle was one of the most nerve-wrecking moments of my life (comparable only to walking on stage to get my law school diploma). I did not expect the church to be filled to capacity nor did I anticipate what it would feel like to have all those eyes on me. However, once I got over the initial shock and found Joey through the crowd, we just locked eyes and I pretty much floated towards him. We didn’t have a first look, so seeing him at the altar with that look of happiness on his face was truly one of the best moments of my life.
Photographer: Forged in the North Photography
ReceptionVenue: Glen Island Harbour Club
Ceremony Venue: St. Luke’s Catholic Church
Florist: Arcadia Floral
DJ: DJ Serg
Videographer: Patken Photographer
Limos: Ultimate Class Limo
Bridesmaid Dresses: My White Wedding Bridals
Photobooth: Send in the Clowns
Favors: Casa del Corredo