Real Long Island Wedding: Heather and Pete
Pete and I come from very different backgrounds, which made
our wedding planning a very fun and interesting process. Whereas I am from Long
Island, Pete was born and raised in Serbia. In fact, he had only been in
America for a year when we met in July of 2011. His home country and culture is
a big part of who he is, and so we knew we wanted to infuse it into our wedding
Of course, the first thing we had to tackle was finding a venue. Although we looked at several places, once we walked into Westbury Manor and were introduced to a banquet manager who also happened to be Serbian, we knew that was it. I mean, seriously, what are the chances? She was very receptive to our ideas and also offered some of her own as to how we could make sure the wedding had authentic Serbian components. We immediately felt like what we were going for was understood and that Westbury Manor could accommodate our requests. Plus, we absolutely fell in love with their beautiful grounds! We knew that we wanted to have our ceremony on-site and preferably outdoors, so once we saw the stunning gardens that would be the backdrop for both our ceremony and cocktail hour, we were officially sold.
Once we decided on the venue, the rest of the planning went very smoothly. We really enjoyed the process and had fun with it. I was never a girl who grew up imagining her wedding, so I didn't really have a specific theme or vision that I was going for. However, throughout the planning, I found myself gravitating towards things that were simplistic and had a romantic feel to them. Both mine and Pete's favorite color is purple, so we went with a color palette that incorporated light purples, as well as greys, ivory, and blush. I had no idea how it would all come together in the end, and in fact was pretty convinced that everything would wind up being disjointed and weird. Thankfully, that was not the case!
The day of the wedding, everything came together seamlessly. Seriously, everything was perfect and beyond what I could have ever imagined. It was a true celebration of love and by far the best day of our lives. We owe everything to our vendors. They were all awesome and great to work with. Throughout the planning process I relied on their expertise a lot, and they all delivered as promised on the day of.
Perhaps my favorite thing about the wedding was how flawlessly mine and Pete's two different cultures came together. I really wanted the wedding to be a representation of BOTH of us, and I think we accomplished that. Serbian-style food was represented in one of our cocktail hour stations, and a special Serbian dish that we requested was even added to our menu. The kitchen at Westbury Manor clearly did their research and did a great job preparing the dishes. We also had a special Serbian alcohol served at the bar, and our DJ played a couple traditional Serbian songs, which wound up being one of my favorite moments of the whole night. Our Serbian guests got so excited, and my own family jumped up to join them on the dance floor. It was crazy and magical and hilarious. It meant so much to us to see everyone so open to embracing each other and celebrating together. It was truly a special and symbolic moment!
Photography by Lighthouse Photograph