The Reception

Our wedding reception was held at The Palace in Somerset Park. It was everything we could’ve ever dreamed of. From the wedding planner to our bridal assistant and maître d, everything was handled from day 1 of booking our event.

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Once we arrived at The Palace, our bridal party was escorted into our luxurious bridal sweet. It was enormous- with several rooms and bathrooms, places to change, and comfortable seats to relax. I had made the decision early on that I did not want to join cocktail hour, as I wanted to have the grand entrance down their magnificent staircase. Most of the bridal party did attend cocktail hour, and I was able to sample the hors d’oeuvre because they set up stations in our bridal suite.

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After taking many pictures out on the expansive balcony, it was time for that grand entrance.

Our parents walked down first to “Yeah 3X” by Chris Brown. They followed by our bridesmaid and groomsmen pairs, who all walked down to “Barracuda” by Heart. The pairs each had their own fun entrance, but the fan favorite had to be Dr. Matt & Jackie doing their Tebow.

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Pete and I walked in to “We Used to Wait” by Arcade Fire. It was really important to us to have our taste in music represented at our wedding, and we choose times like this to do so.

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Our bridal party made a path for us to walk through, which was incredible to do with all of the music and cheering.

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Following the walk through the bridal party was our first dance.

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We danced to “Sparks” by Coldplay. I cried again, but was able to get it under control fairly quickly. We realized that being along on a dance floor is rather awkward, so if you are planning a wedding, you might want to consider only dancing half of the song!

Next up was the Father/Daughter dance, which was to “In My Life” by The Beatles. My dad is the hugest Beatles fan I’ve ever met and he raised me on their music, so the choice was fairly easy for us.

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Pete and his mother danced to “Long as I Can See the Light” by CCR.

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Our dances were followed by the Best Man and Maid of Honor speeches. They were fun, embarrassing at times, and certainly heartfelt.

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Then…dancing commenced! There are 100’s of pictures I’d love to share, but here are a few of my favorites.

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During the dancing time, many pictures were taken. Two of my favorites were when we called the whole family outside for a group shot. Here is my whole huge family.

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This photo is of Pete’s whole family.

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The family shot is something (at least in my experience) that is always looked back upon, so it was imperative for us to take these.

Time to cut the cake! Our cake cutting song was “Touch Me” by The Doors.

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Our cake was in our black and white theme with a touch of hot pink. It was made by The Palace pastry chefs and was absolutely divine.  I’m sooo looking forward to our return from Baltimore when we can dig into that top tier!

The traditional events followed. Bouquet toss. Garter Removal to “She’s so Heavy” by The Beatles.

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This is possibly my favorite pic from the wedding. It’s just such a candid, honest moment.

Garter toss. Garter application.

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That’s my bro!

The last hour was the Venetian hour. The entire cocktail hour room was filled with decadent desserts.

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My only wish was that I had eaten more of these goodies. More of the food in general. But being swept all over to talk with guests and take pictures, we hardly ate any of the food. That is our one regret!

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The night ended with one last song. Juicy by Notorious B.I.G. This song (for whatever reason!) bonds my siblings and I. We got in a group huddle and just rapped it out, holding nothing back! What an end to the night!

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We’d love to one day to attend a wedding at The Palace as a guest because it was absolutely phenomenal.

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 I hope you’re enjoying our wedding series. There are 2 posts left…Details and Our Parents.

The Ceremony

When I think about the ceremony, I kinda roll my eyes, laugh, and get embarrassed all at once. It was interesting to say the least.

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First, the limo picked up Pete and the groomsmen from his uncle’s house where they got ready. The photographer began snapping pictures of my handsome groom outside of the church. Pete and I were married in a Catholic church in the town I grew up in.

After dropping them off, the limo came to my parents house for the ladies.

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The photographer had the idea of taking pictures of me still in the limo with my father outside. I just wish you couldn’t see the creepy limo driver in the reflection as well.

Getting out of the limo, walking up the stairs into the church, and waiting in the foyer, I was doing JUST FINE!

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Now beforehand, we had met with the organist to determine which music we wanted played during the entrances. Traditional music was played while the bridesmaids walked down the aisle, but my father and I wanted something that was meaningful to us. We choose the song “Buongiorno Principessa” from the movie Life is Beautiful (here’s a YouTube link to the instrumental version). My mom actually had to find the music to purchase and provide to the organist.

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When we walked into the church, it was all smiles. Until I heard the song play. And saw Pete at the end of the aisle. Surrounded by all of our family members and friends. I LOST IT. I mean total hysterics, sobbing, making noises. So embarrassing. I’m not cheesing it up real big in that pic- I’m sobbing.

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It was so bad to the point where the priest kinda pulled me aside to ask me if I was ok, ok in the sense of do you want to go through with this marriage. HA! Yes! I was just so overwhelmed and overjoyed.

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Well, from then on I couldn’t keep it together. I was either crying or laughing hysterically throughout the entire ceremony. When I was laughing, Pete couldn’t stop laughing, and vice versa.

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Who knows what it was. From our priest’s huge shoes, to him making inappropriate comments, to him messing up and having Pete kiss the bride TWICE…

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I don’t think we could’ve gotten out of there any faster! It was pretty much a disaster, but our disaster :).

Our exit was a dream- surrounded by all those we love clapping, cheering, and blowing bubbles.

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We were married!

After the ceremony, we went back into the church for some formal family photos.

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And a few private moments with just Pete and I.

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Now that the crazy ceremony was over, it was time to PARTY! Tune in tomorrow for a recap of the reception.

 

Groomsmen

It’s here- the first glimpse of the groom and groomsmen!

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Pete’s groomsman count was also 8.

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An amazing group of guys.

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1 brother, 3 brother-in-laws, and 4 friends.

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Also in our bridal party was Pete’s nephew Augie, who was the ring bearer.

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Pete has just a phenomenal group of friends that he’s known since childhood. It’s that type of bond and closeness that many people (including myself) envy.

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We did not have a photographer at the house where the groomsmen were getting ready. It was something we debated and would’ve been really nice to have, but we decided against it. The only picture I have of guys getting ready was my dad helping my sister’s husband, Jimmy, get his tux all situated.

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The groomsmen wore black and white tuxes from Men’s Wearhouse.

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Except for Pete’s Best Man, his brother Derek, who wore an ivory vest. His ivory vest matched my sister’s ivory cummerbund.

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Pete and his brother have a very close relationship despite their distance. Derek lives in Florida and we are here in NJ. They talk all the time, have millions of inside jokes, and are so similar in many ways.

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Here’s a few fun shots of the groomsmen as the drinks kept flowing night went on.

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They somehow even “found” an old banner from a job they worked at together.

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Boys will be boys.

See you tomorrow with a recap of our wedding ceremony.

Bridesmaids

*Welcome to the second installment of our wedding series. Since we are celebrating our 1 year anniversary, this week’s posts will be recapping our wedding, as I was not blogging a year ago and wanted to capture our day!*

Before getting into our ceremony and reception, there are a few other posts I wanted to do first: one for the bridesmaids, and one for the groomsmen.

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My bridesmaid count was 8.

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My sister, my niece Stephanie, 2 friends, and 4 cousins.

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All amazing women who were by my side every step of the way.

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We also had 2 flower girls. My niece Isabella. Pete’s niece Alexis. Both girls are our goddaughters, so it was really special having them as a part of our day.

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This is one of my favorite pictures of us, and one of my favs from all of the wedding photos. Barefoot, silly, beautiful gals just having a good time!

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The bridesmaids wore a silk strapless dress from Watters. It was black, short, and had a white cummerbund that tied in the back. My vision was always to have a black and white wedding with ivory and pearl accents.

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The girls were able to do their hair and makeup as they pleased. The only thing I requested was that they wore black open toed shoes.

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As a thank you gift to my bridesmaids, I gave them each a Lia Sophia Pearlette necklace, which can be seen up close in this picture.

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I also bought them each a Coach wristlet. I was unable to find any pictures of the wristlet, but it was an iridescent white color with sequins.

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I was blessed with the most amazing Matron of Honor. My sister was there for me through dress fittings, planning, tastings, my bachelorette party, and every detail along the way. She was supportive, kind, thoughtful, and honest. I’m a lucky girl to have her as my sister.

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As much as she might hate me posting this picture, it just cracks me up because it’s so us.

So you may be wondering where the groom and the groomsmen are? They’ll be making their first appearances in tomorrow’s post!

Getting Ready

*Welcome to the first installment of our wedding series. Since we are celebrating our 1 year anniversary, this week’s posts will be recapping our wedding, as I was not blogging a year ago and wanted to capture our day!*

Gosh it’s nostalgic thinking back to our wedding day! I don’t even remember waking up…the first thing I recall was my family and 8 bridesmaids being swept to and fro to get our hair and makeup done! Our photographer was not present during that time, so I do not have any professional pictures until it was time for me to get dressed.

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I know many brides share this moment with their bridesmaids, but it was really important to me to keep that moment sacred and special. Therefore, I only asked my mom and my sister Vickie (my matron of honor) to help me get ready.

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First step was getting into the dress.

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The photographer asked my mom to tell me something that would make me laugh, and she really came through! I’ll keep what was said between me and her, but we were cracking up for a good 5 minutes!

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My sister and mom helped me with my jewelry next.

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For my something borrowed, I was going to wear my Aunt Nancy’s pearl necklace and my mother’s pearl earrings. The Maria pin was passed down to me by my grandmother, who was not able to be present during the wedding. It was planned to be my something old. I did not end up wearing the pin, as I wore this amazing ring instead.

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On the left is my engagement ring. On the right is a family heirloom that was presented to me by my mom at our rehearsal dinner. She took my nonna’s old earrings and made them into a new ring for me…aquamarine stone surrounded by diamonds. It was my something old, something new, and something blue. And having my nonna with me in that way was priceless. My mom and sister also have matching rings and it means the world to me for us to share this reminder of my grandmother.

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Welp, we ended up breaking the clasp to my Aunt Nancy’s pearl necklace while trying to get it on, so I ended up wearing a back up pearl necklace with a Swarovski crystal that I had purchased months earlier before my Aunt offered to let me wear hers. (Don’t worry, we got the clasp fixed on her necklace after the wedding!)

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Since it was so important to me to have my mom and sister be the first one’s to see me ready, I wanted my father to be the next. He stood at the bottom of the staircase with his back to me as he waited for me to come down. The photographer took about 30 pictures of me walking down, his reaction hearing me, his reaction seeing me for the first time, him crying, us embracing. It is the most beautiful sequence of pictures I’ve ever seen. I chose 3 of my  favorites to share with you.

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Daddy’s little girl ready to head off to the ceremony.

To be continued tomorrow…