Real Long Island Wedding: Tanya and Robert
To make a long story short, Rob and I are both godparents to my niece. We met at the christening, but didn't start dating until about a year later, after my sister keep trying to set us up. When we started dating, I was going to college in Florida. Even long distance, our relationship was perfect. We dated 3 years while I was in school and after graduation we moved in together. He proposed about a year later.
I was totally shocked when Rob proposed. I knew he had wanted to—we always talked about getting married, but I had no idea he was about to pop the question. We went out to a really nice dinner at the restaurant where we celebrated our one-year anniversary. After dinner, we decided to take a drive to the beach to see the lighthouse. Well, oddly enough, the beach was closed due to erosion. Instead, we headed to Argyle Park (I had never been). He walked me to the water, told me he loved me, and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He got down on one knee and pulled out the most gorgeous, perfect ring. A marquise cut, pave diamond band.
There were so many things that made our wedding spectacular. I knew I wanted a vintage feel to my day without being too 'theme-y'. I love the glamour of the 30s and 40s, and I used that for inspiration. Working in the arts, I've always considered myself very creative, and I think it really helped us plan such a perfect wedding.
I knew the reception had to be in a house, a mansion, something with history. When I walked into Bourne Mansion, I knew it was perfect. I loved that it seemed almost untouched, and the fact that I had never heard of it made it that much better. I love that you can almost get lost in the space; the 40 ft ceilings with the dome window and the chance that you'll get to see deer on either side of the long, tree-lined driveway make it very memorable. Being run by Lessing's, I knew the food would be delicious, and they did not disappoint. Great food at a wedding is essential for a spectacular event.
I wanted a dress that made me feel as if I was walking down the red carpet at a 1930's Hollywood premiere. I wanted to feel glamorous. My mermaid style, ivory tulle, embellished Lazaro gown fit the bill. The flowers cascading down the back made it unexpected and unique. When the reception lighting went on in the bridal salon, I saw myself stepping out of the vintage Rolls Royce, and it was perfect. I selected black floor-length, mermaid satin gowns for my bridesmaids, and my maid of honor in a deep red. “Black gowns?” my grandmother said. I always thought of black to be very classic and elegant—not to mention the fact that everyone looks great in the color. I gave all my girls amazing black jewelry to complement their dresses, and they look stunning!
I'm a graphic designer by trade, so I knew my invitations had to be perfect. Designed myself, I went with a traditional flourish design with classic fonts, but went with a black reception card, and black envelope for a twist. I even did all the gold ink calligraphy myself! I think they really gave my guests a preview of the wedding— classic yet different.
The wedding ceremony would feature shades or ivory and white, while the reception would be quite the opposite. We selected deep shades of red roses and hydrangeas for the centerpieces, and added black ostrich feathers for that fun, vintage feel. The gold and crystal candelabras completed the look. We went with deep red satin tablecloths with sheer black overlays. It was all so different and all dramatic, and so me.
We had a fantastic DJ, which made for a lively and fun party. We decided to spend some extra money on a photo booth. It was a huge hit. We also knew we had to have room in the budget for a chocolate fountain. The hours my mom and I spent putting together the candy bar really paid off. All the little things here and there really made the wedding extra perfect—the slipper basket, the signature lychee martinis, the personalized match books at the cigar bar, and personalized cocktail napkins. We tried not to overlook anything. We even pulled the theme of the era through to the favors—stemless martini glasses with stainless steel stirrers. Down to the very end, we tried to make the wedding fun and interesting for all our friends and family.
I will remember forever how my husband goofed up the vows trying to get my wedding band on. I will remember the perfect toast my sister and Rob's best friend did, and the time they spent putting it together and practicing. I will remember the black and white striped stockings my other sister surprised everyone with when her boyfriend put the garter on her. I will always remember the way my husband looked in his tuxedo, and how beautiful all my bridesmaids looked. I will always remember how loved I felt that day. Oh and I will always remember how the Rolls Royce horn played 'Here comes the bride'.
Don't' let people convince you of anything, and truly follow your heart. It's your day and no one can tell you how to feel, or how to look, or who to invite, etc. Be open to advice, but make your decisions the way you want to. I would also tell brides not to stress the small things. Some things just aren't worth it. Lastly, I would suggest a savings tracker, and to stick to it. Determine how much you and your fiancé can save every month and keep a spreadsheet of your goal vs actual to see if you are on target. This really helps you stay on track with your end goal. When you're saving for years, it really is a life saver.