I always find wedding recaps or details on blogs fun to read, and since I wasn’t part of this blogging world when I got married last year, I never got a chance to tell our story. So in lieu of this week’s Friday Favorites, and in honor of our 1 year anniversary on March 20, I decided to write out our story! (Feel free to skip these posts if weddings aren’t your thing, or you’ve heard this story 1000 times 😉 )
Our Wedding Story: Part 1
How We Met
AJ and I met on June 8, 2012. As I had mentioned in the past, we work together. When I started my job, he was actually a company sales rep in Connecticut, so I worked there a full year before we actually met. When he came back in-house, we actually didn’t even start talking in the office. Our company was running a wellness fair at a Brooklyn elementary school and we both volunteered. The funny thing was, I wasn’t even supposed to be there, it was a total last minute thing. And AJ was just getting back from a business trip and had no interest in going, but decided to just do it. We made some small talk that morning. I thought he was pretty cute, and when our team went to a late lunch/happy hour afterwards, we found ourselves talking more and more!
AJ proposed on June 8, 2014, exactly 2 years after we met! People ask if I had any idea and my answer is yes and no.
Yes because it’s something we talked about often and I knew we were going to get engaged sooner rather than later so it’s not like it was a shock.
No because even though the thought was always in the back of my mind, I didn’t shower that day, was in sweats, with no makeup on. If I had a serious inkling, I would have thrown on some mascara and I don’t know, actual pants.
We had made plans to recreate one of our early dates, which was dinner on AJ’s rooftop in SoHo, overlooking downtown Manhattan and the sunset. AJ made his meat sauce and I whipped up a batch of my chicken wing dip, an odd pairing, but we both decided to make our “specialty” dishes the first time we did this. We paired our food with Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio.
This time was a Sunday night, and I was kind of tired from visiting my cousin in Philly earlier that weekend, and it was pretty windy on the rooftop so I was thinking we wouldn’t be up there very long. I was starting to look forward to finishing the wine curled up on the couch and settling in before the week ahead.
As we finished eating, AJ says he has an anniversary gift for me and presents me with this beautiful scrapbook filled with pictures, ticket stubs, and mementos from our entire relationship.
As I was flipping through, I was equally laughing at some of the memories, and reminded of little things we did, but also tearing up because this was actually the most romantic thing ever. My mind was racing a million miles a minute, so I wasn’t fully comprehending what was going on.
As I flipped to the end, AJ had saved some crossword puzzles that we completed together with the words, “I think we make a great team….How about forever?” My mind was still not putting all the pieces together, and I look up and see him on one knee, ring in hand! I start laughing/crying/all of the emotions before I look up and see his roommate and brother coming out from around the corners. They were strategically positioned with cameras during our dinner waiting for him to pop the question!
Still shaking, AJ leads me downstairs to his apartment courtyard where we are greeted with both of our families! I think the first words out of my mouth were, “But I’m in my pajamas!”
I might have filled AJ in on the type of ring I wanted ahead of time. I mean, as friends were getting engaged around us, the topic of conversation would come up and I knew I wanted a round solitaire diamond on a platinum diamond band. I also might have had a secret Pinterest board filled with my photos of my ideal ring that I kept open on AJ’s ipad one day. Guess what, it worked 😉
The Wedding Planning
As the reality of being engaged sunk in, our talk quickly turned to wedding planning. I pictured a fall wedding, but wasn’t married to that idea (<–haha get it? ;)). AJ had zero interest in a long engagement. He said, I was ready to marry you when I proposed, I don’t want to wait to get married. Fortunately that meant any date really worked for us and we decided to just start researching venues.
When we chose our venue (details coming in Part 2!), we were basically at the mercy of their calendar and decided on March 20, 2015 as our wedding date. The first day of Spring it is! This meant we had a 9-month engagement. Not terribly short, but not terribly long either so we couldn’t waste much time. It was time to kick the planning into high gear!
The Wedding Bands
Wedding band shopping was a fairly simple process for us. AJ and I went back to Phillips and Fredericks Jewelers where he purchased my engagement ring and I knew I wanted a thin platinum diamond band. I was between two bands – one where diamonds went halfway around and one where diamonds went all the way around. I opted for the full diamond band because I’m fancy like that. Haha, truthfully though, it’s what I really wanted and I figured if it’s something I’m wearing every day, I want to love it.
AJ wasn’t quite as excited about the wedding band idea. He’s not really a big jewelry guy, he wears a gold cross around his neck always (#italian), and once in a while wears a watch, so the idea of wearing a ring wasn’t his favorite. Not wanting to spend a lot of money on his band, he opted for the titanium ring, and truthfully, it didn’t matter to me what he chose. Fortunately we did go with the less expensive option because his original wedding band is at the bottom of the Mediterranean, we’re already on band #2!
We engraved both of our bands (including AJ’s second band), with the phrase, “I just love you” – it’s something we always say to each other and I love that we wear that phrase on us every day.
I chose 6 bridesmaids who were the best and consisted of my sister Bethany (matron of honor), AJ’s sister Alyssa, my childhood bestie Amanda, my college bestie Amanda, my original NYC roommate bestie Jillian, and my work bestie Nikki.
Even though I had girls from all different parts of my life, everyone just clicked and got along so well throughout the whole process. It made the planning, showers, bachelorette party, and just general wedding festivities such a blast. Love my girls!
Being a New Yorker, my closet mostly consists of black, white, and gray – it’s simple, but it’s classic. So I knew I wanted my bridesmaids to wear black dresses.I decided on these black J.Crew bridesmaids dresses, and got each girl a statement necklace (also from J.Crew). Everyone looked so beautiful!
The Hair & Makeup
If you are looking for Bridal Hair & Makeup recommendations in the North Jersey/NYC area, I HIGHLY recommend Mary Wallis Makeup (<– you might see me featured on her site!) and Mad One Jacks Hair Salon. Both traveled to my hotel that morning and were amazing!
Alright, I’ll stop here for now, but come back on Sunday for more on the dress, the shoes, the beautiful venue, the SNOW…and more!