Real Long Island Wedding: Noelle and Michael
Mike and I met through an accounting internship during the summer between our junior and senior years of college. He switched seats to sit next to me on the plane ride to our training. From then on, we were best friends.
As soon as we graduated and moved back to our hometowns on Long Island we started hanging out. Mike immediately wanted to get serious. I didn’t think I was ready for a serious commitment, but Mike was persistent and well…the rest is history!
On March 31, 2009, Mike took me to a Greek restaurant in our town. When we sat at a table in the back, Mike seemed nervous (and a little sweaty!). I had recently fractured my wrist and was wearing a big, clunky cast; I wasn’t expecting or suspecting anything, when, after dinner, Mike pulled out a custom calendar filled with pictures of us. Suddenly our song “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison started to play. At this point, I turned to Mike and said, “You’re not about to propose to me, are you?” Sure enough, he pulled a little box out of his pocket, flipped the calendar to October (I always said I wanted to get married in October) and got down on one knee: “Will you marry me?” Of course I said yes!
As it turns out...earlier in the day, Mike had dropped off our camera, his iPod (cued to “Crazy Love”), and a bottle of champagne and roses.
Mike is Jewish and I am Catholic, so we talked about having an interfaith ceremony at whatever venue we chose. We knew it was important to us to combine both traditions, as well as incorporate all those things we loved from past weddings we had been to. We had a good year and a half to plan, so by starting early and not feeling rushed we got things done quickly without the stress of a time crunch. Mike was very helpful in the planning process. There were some areas of the planning process he wanted to help out with like finding the priest and rabbi, contacting the travel agent about the honeymoon and dealing with invitations - but there were other areas he gave me the reigns to pick what I liked such as all the details, flowers and favors. It was a good balance and working together made things more seamless and less stressful.
I always knew I wanted a vintage bridal style. I feel I'm an old soul at heart and always loved lace dresses, veils and anything with that antique, old Hollywood glamour style. I got my dress and veil at Kleinfeld's and it was the third one I tried on and it was perfect! It had a combination of everything I was looking for; lace, crystals and beading. For my jewelry , I knew there would be no better place to go than Thomas Knoell. He has the most gorgeous antique jewelry that complimented my theme perfectly. I have to admit I was a pretty simple bride; I knew what I wanted, chose it, and moved onto the next thing, never looking back or regretting any of my choices. The same goes for the color scheme. What else could be more fitting with a fall wedding than deep burgundies and reds, burnt oranges, and gold’s?
October 8, 2010 came along and it was the most beautiful, warm autumn day. The weather was picture-perfect. We wanted the ceremony to feel full of love, romantic and magical. It was truly spectacular. The sky was dark, candles were lit all down the aisle, and lights twinkled on top of the gazebo while the crickets serenaded us. It was like something out of a fairytale. The rabbi and priest worked beautifully together - they were so in sync with each other and really made the ceremony feel special and not about our different religions but about the love between the two of us. That night we exchanged vows we had written, and words seemed even more important and meaningful under the starry night sky and the gorgeous floral chuppah.
Our wedding and celebration was at Flowerfield. From the moment we heard about it and went to see it, we were blown away. As soon as you walk in the cocktail hour room which looks like a big greenhouse, complete with a pond and a bridge you feel like you are outdoors. It is truly breathtaking. The rest of the grounds are incredible, with a gorgeous wooden bridge over a pond leading to a gazebo area where you can hold the ceremony under big willow trees. We knew that if we got married in the fall at Flowerfield and the weather didn't allow us to have the ceremony outdoors, we would still feel truly honored to get married indoors because of the beautiful ambiance. Flowerfield is also a one-wedding-at-a-time venue, which was very important to us. It was a no-brainer and the only place we looked!
The reception was insanely fun! The best part was coming out and dancing as husband and wife surround by 250 guests and Faze 4 Orchestras as they sang our song. It was perfection! The rest of the night was one crazy dance party! The band was unbelievable and the dance floor was packed all night. Guests kept asking if we had a DJ because they didn’t believe how amazing and authentic Faze 4 sounded. We barely sat down once and never left each other’s side.
When it came to capturing our memories... we chose Mariann Szucs at Blue Daisy Weddings. A friend had recommended her and as soon as I saw her work I was hooked. She is truly the most talented, brilliant and wonderful photographer. Her photos express and capture every single moment and emotion felt on your special day. That day I didn't have one worry - Mike and I knew we were in the best of hands and trusted her completely. Looking back at our photos brings back all the memories of our wedding day and brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes.
While everything WAS perfect as far as we're concerned, wedding planning does pose some challenges. I would say that for us our only real challenges were everyone’s opinions about “Well this is how the Catholic tradition is” or “This is what the Jewish tradition is”. At the end of the day, Mike and I weren’t concerned with “right” or “wrong” - we just wanted to do what was right for us, and that is what we did.
There are so many memorable parts of our wedding day. My top moments would be walking down the aisle and saying our vows. Walking down the aisle is something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little girl, so to have that moment come to life and be more beautiful than I could have imagined was very special.
The other big stand-out moment would be our first dance together as husband and wife. Even though the room was filled with guests, it felt like it was just Mike and me and nothing else mattered. It truly signified the beginning of our new life together.
When someone has an (unsolicited) opinion about the wedding, just say, 'Oh that sounds like a good idea. We will think about it', and later discuss it with your fiancé. You need to do YOU, no matter who shares what opinion.
Starting a marriage is like starting a team, and this is the best way to begin: discussing your plans together, brainstorming and problem solving, sharing your opinions and learning to honor where your partner is coming from.
My best advice to other brides: Don't sweat the little things, no one remembers or cares except you; there is no need to get stressed out over what kind of font to put on the invitation. People throw it in the garbage as soon as they get it anyway! Endeavor to never leave your new husband’s side on your wedding day. The day is such a whirlwind and people will try to pull you in different directions. At this point, you've planned too long and too hard to not enjoy the day with each other. Hold hands and never let each other go!