Written by: Gwen Sagula
Featured Adore Vendors
|| Alison Conklin: Lehigh Valley, Pa || Allium Floral Design: Bethlehem, Pa || DPNAK Weddings: Lehigh Valley, Pa || Fox and Finch Vintage Rentals: Bethlehem, Pa ||
This love story begins with young professionals, Amy and Joe, both working in Jersey City but, unfortunately, never crossing paths. Urged by their friends, they each download an obscure dating app “Happn”. The app matches compatible singles who are in the same place at the same time who might not meet otherwise. Prompted by the app in Nov. 2014, Joe and Amy “crossed paths” at Cooper’s Union on the Hoboken wharf. One witty opening line by Joe, “nice golf swing”, led to a conversation about collegiate golf. They both felt an instant connection, “as if they had known each other for years,” remembers Amy. They began dating – counting that night as their first date!
Fast forward two years later on a dreary Saturday in February, full of errands and chores, and you find the happy couple taking a break for lunch at their favorite local pizzeria, Napoli’s. After lunch along the same Hoboken waterfront where they first met, Joe suggests going to their favorite frozen yogurt stand for dessert. Just as Amy discovers the stand is closed for the season, Joe suddenly drops to one knee and proposes. It’s a scene straight out of a romantic movie and framed by the NYC skyline. Amy’s enthusiastic “YES” rings out before Joe even presents her with her ring. Overcome with happy tears, she can’t even see the ring at all and doesn’t even care. The magic of their engagement day continues when he surprises her with dinner with their parents and a celebratory after- party with all of their friends.
Amy and Joe start planning their wedding, mixing a modern approach using Instagram and Pinterest with traditional touches inspired by their parents. Instagram is where they discovered a gorgeous wedding by Alison Conklin Photography. They contacted the list of vendors posted by the Instagram bride and then incorporated the help of DPNAK weddings to bring their wedding vision to life. They incorporated tradition by choosing Brookside Country Club as the perfect place to hold their wedding reception. After all, the happy couple had spent many memorable times there with family and friends and knew it would be the perfect setting for their big day.
During their romance it became obvious that Joe was quite the foodie and it was very important to both Amy and Joe that all their guests would “eat and drink well!” Tasting and menus were a highlight of the wedding planning. They worked with the staff at Brookside Country Club to create the “Hurricane Amy” and “Not Your Average Joe” signature cocktails, as well as hand-picking as a special menu including a delicious spinach salad that Amy still craves! Their chocolate banana and sea salt caramel wedding cake, with accents of gold dust, sugar coral charm peonies, and black and white stripes was custom designed by Piece’ of Cake as the perfect sweet ending to the wedding feast.
Further incorporating a sense of tradition Amy and Joe decide to bury a bottle of bourbon in their yard before the big day. Amy has a love for the South from her travels and knew of a pre-wedding tradition where the bride and groom bury a bottle of bourbon a month before the ceremony in order to keep the rain away. At the reception the bride and groom then toast each other with a glass from the un-buried bottle. A final, and very important, step in their planning was to set a day aside each week to deal with “wedding stuff”. Their day was “Wedding Wednesday”. It was important for both Amy and Joe to avoid the pre-wedding stress that comes along with planning the perfect day. The best advice they would like to pass on to all other couples planning “their own special day”.
The morning of the wedding, April 28,2018, it appears the “burying the bourbon” tradition is working. The sky is crystal clear with no rain clouds to be seen anywhere. Joe and his groomsmen enjoy shaves at Jimmy’s Barber Shop and a delicious brunch at Billy’s Diner. Meanwhile, the bridesmaids are relaxing chicly in bright floral robes, a gift from Amy, and festooned with her beloved coral charm peonies and enjoying coffee, mimosas and a catered lunch. Amy and her entire bridal party spend their morning being pampered with hair by Rooted Salon and makeup by Lauren’s Makeup Design. When dressed for the ceremony, Amy is a beautiful radiant bride in her Blue Willow Bride by Anne Barge “Eleanor” dress accented by rose gold Badgley Mischka pumps and sparkling J Crew jewels. She incorporated wedding traditions of “something new” with her gorgeous dress, “something borrowed” with a clutch from Rent the Runway and “something blue” by carrying an embroidered hanky which is a nod to her father. She also gifted a personalized one for him to also carry for good luck. The bridesmaids were visions in “Azalea” dresses by Hayley Paige and more J Crew jewels gifted by Amy. Amy is brought to tears of joy when she sees her bridal bouquet for the first time. She had specially requested Allium Floral Designs to include coral charm peonies with their perky yellow centers in her bouquet because she loves “fun pops of color”. She knew they were out of season and would be hard to find. To top things off, her breathtaking bouquet was made even more special by including a faux flower from her mother’s bouquet from her own wedding 39 years ago. Thus, completing bridal tradition with “something old”.
Walking down the aisle at St. Thomas More Church Amy’s joyous tears continue to flow. Looking back now Amy remembers this as her favorite moment of the day “finally seeing her handsome groom as well as all the people gathered there to support them”. Both Amy and Joe were choked up by Monsignor Murphy’s touching speech about them meeting each other and describing their romance and commitment to each other as the “answer to each of their prayers”. Being whisked away after the ceremony by their wedding coordinator Danielle Pasternak allowed Amy and Joe a private moment by themselves. Instead of exchanging gifts, the newlyweds chose to exchange cards with personal notes continuing a tradition they started their very first Christmas together.
Not even the rain clouds that suddenly appeared just before their 5pm outdoor pictures could diminish the happiness of the day. Amy joked that “they should have buried a second bottle of bourbon at Brookside” as they posed for outdoor pictures with clear umbrellas. When the happy couple and guests entered their wedding reception room at Brookside Country Club, all were enchanted by the beautiful details surrounding them. The room was aglow with shimmering golds (including special Chivari chairs rented by Brookside CC), warm whites, the vibrant pops of pinks, peaches and greens that Amy desired for her special day and whimsical touches of black and white stripes. The wedding’s beautifully cohesive color story was echoed throughout the ballroom in the magnificent centerpieces and floral arrangements all highlighted with specialty lighting by Wesley Works. The wedding cake by Piece’ of Cake adorned with sugar coral charm peonies was a showstopper. Amy recalls many guests describing it as the “best wedding cake ever!”
The wedding festivities continued into the evening with a stirring speech by the best man (Joe’s brother) and Amy and Joe dancing the night away with many of their guests. Many special moments were captured by Alison Conklin Photography including one shot catching Joe’s dad fast asleep on a couch and a later picture of him doing pushups on the dance floor post nap (that the happy couple were delightfully surprised with when they received their wedding photos)!
Amy and Joe celebrated their honeymoon (and their love of pizza) with a two-week trip to Italy. Their first meal off the plane to Italy is pizza! They decided to incorporate a challenge to try pizza in every region of Italy they visited. They started in Lake Como, then travelled south to Tuscany, Sorrento, Capri and Positano and finally enjoyed one night in Rome. The lovebirds agreed that they had the best pizza in Naples (which shares an interesting name connection to their favorite Jersey City pizzeria Napoli’s). The Naples pizzeria is the one featured in the book/movie Eat, Pray, Love. Ever the foodies they stood in line for a takeaway order. In between changing trains, they shared a romantic pizza picnic back at the train station. And even though they didn’t serve pizza at their wedding, it continues to play a big part in their wedded bliss!
|| Photographer: Alison Conklin || Videographer: Abominable Productions || Floral Design: Allium Floral Design || Event Planner: DPNAK Weddings || Ceremony Venue: St. Thomas More Church || Officiant: Monsignor John Murphy || Reception Venue: Brookeside Country Club || DJ/Lighting: Wesley Works || Rentals: Ms. Goldfinger Settee – Fox & Finch; Chivari chairs were rented through Brookside Country Club || Cake: Piece ‘of Cake || Invitations/Calligraphy/Signage: Kate Cassidy Design; Christmas City Printing || Favors/Gifts: Chocolate by Premise Maid; Marble escort card / coasters DIY’d by the bride || Wedding Gown: Blue Willow Bride by Anne Barge in “Eleanor”; Shoes were Badgley Mischka “Maria” in Rose Gold || Bridesmaid Dresses: Hayley Paige in Azalea || Jewelry: JCrew || Menswear: The Black Tux || Hair: Rooted Salon || Makeup: Lauren’s Makeup Designs || Transportation: Limo Today || Guest Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Allentown West || Travel/Honeymoon: Heather Christopher Travel ||
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