We have quite the midweek treat for all of you today, with not one, but two Christian Oth Studio weddings, starting out with this supremely elegant affair at The Rockleigh Country Club. Classic through and through, this celebration leaves even the most radical of brides aching for blush, ivory and gold decor and florals, and you better believe I won’t be skipping over any of these pretty pics anytime soon.
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From The Bride… As funny as it sounds, Chris and I met on Match.com, however it’s not your typical online-dating story, at least we both don’t think so. It was August of 2009, at the time I was sick with Lyme’s disease and was pretty much bedridden that month being on a serious 21 day treatment. One of my close friends and I created a really funny, sarcastic profile and didn’t think anything of it at the time. It turns out Chris also signed up that same exact week and possibly the same day. We had never met anyone online and were both extremely skeptical of the whole “online dating” scene, but we were convinced by our friends after hearing about several success stories. We both worked and lived in Manhattan at the time. Living extremely busy lifestyles with and working very late hours made it nearly impossible to meet a normal person who was looking for all of the things in life we were looking for, so we both gave it a try. We had novels of e-mails back and forth to each other and really got to know each other the month before meeting. Through our e-mails were a million clear signs that convinced us both there was a reason we had to meet. It was like having that first crush feeling, we couldn’t wait until the other responded. His e-mails were truthfully what helped heal me and the fact that he waited over a month to meet me was the true sign that this guy was something special.
We finally met in person on his birthday, September 11, 2009. It was the most romantic date you could ever imagine. Our faces hurt the next day from laughing and smiling so much and from that day forward we continued on with many more casual dates filled with butterflies and laughter. It didn’t take long for us to realize what we had was special, and more than that, it was real and there was a reason we were meant to be together. I knew pretty early on that Chris was “the one” and he says he knew I was “the one” on our first date, the second I walked into the restaurant. I can’t remember the exact date but I just knew as soon as we got to know each other aside from many other reasons, it was the way he looked at me, smiled at me and held me… it was the kind of hug or kiss you get where you can actually hear and feel what the person is thinking without even saying a word. I think when you know, you just know. He’s my biggest supporter aside from my family, my best friend, and my everything. I’ve always wanted to marry a guy who my friends and family love just as much as I do and that’s exactly who Chris is, he’s just an amazing guy and exactly what I hoped for in a husband. There was definitely a reason we met on that day in 2009. Soon after, three years later, Chris proposed to me in New York City (the exact spot we went to on our first date) on my birthday July 14th and we got married on a beautiful, warm spring day full of sun and rain on May 23, 2014!
We toyed with the idea of a destination wedding in Italy, a vineyard wedding in the Hamptons or a New York City wedding, where we met. Since we are both pretty private, we loved the idea of it just being the two of us by ourselves on some exotic island. However, after spending endless weekends searching for the perfect venue, we realized aside from each other it was extremely important to have our family and closest friends with us on that day so we decided to go with a gorgeous country club on the border of New York and New Jersey. This was pretty symbolic to us since my family is from New York and Chris’s family is from New Jersey, it was the perfect in-between location for both of our families. When we first walked into the Rockleigh Country Club, we immediately fell in love with the gorgeous architecture, grand staircase, and the beautiful Parisian crystal chandeliers all throughout the venue.
Our vision for our wedding day was classic and timeless with a touch of glamour. I knew from the start I wanted very soft, angelic romantic colors and textures. After falling in love with my Vera Wang “Lillian” wedding gown, which was made of delicate French, ivory chantilly lace, tulle, horsehair and organza, I decided to plan the rest of the décor and colors around that. I chose blush colored chiffon Amsale bridesmaid dresses, a variety of my favorite white and fuchsia flowers and gold metallic accents throughout the entire wedding.
The invitations and detail cards were made by Bella Figura, which I immediately fell in love with. We chose letterpress invitations with gold foil and pale blush pink ink. For the day of wedding stationery I indulged my creative side and the use of my very talented, artistic and devoted Mom. We spent endless nights designing the perfect day of stationery to tie back to the invitations and rest of the wedding using the same gold and blush pink color scheme. Also with the help of my loving and supportive fiancé, we spent days before the wedding arduously tying ribbon for our programs into the perfect bow, folding all of the place cards perfectly, printing all of our last minute signs and “facts about us” booklet, which all resulted in beautiful DIY day of wedding stationery.
Among choosing the million little details that are necessary to pull a wedding together, there were a few elements I knew would be extremely important to both of us and that was photography (it lives on forever!), the music and the food. After a long search for the perfect photographer, I came across Sue Kessler from Christian Oth Studio and immediately fell in love with her work. She is also the most laid back photographer I’ve ever met and was so easy going and amazing to work with. I knew immediately she would be perfect to capture the day. We didn’t want the typical prom photographs, we knew we could count on Sue to give us shots that looked more editorial and less posed and that is exactly what she did.
One of the special memories I have of that day was the moment I had my veil on as I was getting dressed and my photographer was taking a few boudoir shots of me sitting on a red velvet tufted chair looking up at my wedding gown. I just began to tear up because it all started to feel real and sink in. I realized this was the moment I’ve always dreamed of, it was actually happening today, and this wasn’t a dream… I was getting to marry the man of my dreams and my best friend. I was the happiest I’ve ever been, I will never forget that moment.
For the beautiful ceremony we chose to use officiant, Reverend Richard J. Nelson, who from the moment we met him was the calmest most soothing part of the whole planning process. Despite both being Catholic we decided to have a Chuppah at the end of the aisle. White tulle and silk draped all throughout, dim lighting and candles, it felt like our own little, private room of heaven. Our priest blessed our rings, read a beautiful reading called “Blessing of the Hands” and walked us through our unity candle lighting. Every word and moment brought tears to my eyes and it was hard to keep composed the whole time especially since my sister (Maid of Honor) was standing to my right tearing up. Chris and I held hands and looked at each other with love and exchanged vows to each other while holding back tears. After being announced as husband and wife, we exited the ceremony and were soon after greeted by our loving and supportive guests at the cocktail hour. The party was just getting started.
We danced our first dance as husband and wife to the beautiful Ray La Montagne “Let It Be Me.” And our second dance later in the night which has been “our song” for many years, which was also blasting in the car as Chris was proposing to me the night of July 14th, 2012, SafetySuit’s “Never Stop” (the original version). This kicked off the night perfectly. In between the dancing, toasts and greeting our guests we ate and drank the most delicious food. Our meal was capped off by a beautiful and delectable wedding cake with fresh ivory peonies on each tier, made and designed by “A Little Cake.” It was five tiers of the most delicious red velvet strawberry shortcake with buttercream icing. As we cut the cake my nephew (one of our ring bearers) and my cousin’s daughter (one of our flower girls) just so happened to be standing watching us cut the cake in awe and it made for the cutest photo ever! After endless dancing, laughing and eating the entire night, we wanted to spoil our guests with a huge Viennese dessert spread. The doors opened up like something out of a movie with this pretty, colorful, dim lighting, filled with every dessert you could ever imagine. The room smelled like dessert heaven. It was everything we ever dreamed of.
Our wedding day itself was truly magical for us. It was full of love, happiness and endless dancing. And although it rained on our wedding day, there was something so romantic and cozy about being indoors amongst all of the gorgeous crystal chandeliers with the people who mean the most to us. There is a saying in Italy, “Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata,” which means that a wet bride is a lucky bride and that it symbolizes fertility and cleansing. It was also very similar to our first date, which was also a torrential downpour but ended up being the most romantic day ever because of it. We truly could not have done the entire day without the help of our amazing team of vendors and parents who made our wedding dreams come true! If only we could do it, all over again…..
Photography: Sue Kessler/Christian Oth Studio | Videography: Majestic Creative Films | Floral Design: Petals Premier | Cake: A Little Cake | Invitations: Bella Figura | Bride's Shoes: Charlotte Olympia | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Makeup: Ashlee Glazer | Hair: Nikki Avanzino | DJ: Extravagant Entertainment | Officiant: Reverend Richard J. Nelson | Dress Alterations: Sew Elegant Bridal | Flowergirl Dresses: US Angels "The Ballerina Dress" | Mother Of The Bride's Dress: David Meister Collection | Wedding Gown & Veil: Vera Wang | Wedding Venue: The Rockleigh