Real Wedding | Mary & Tony

I love the use of purple and peacock feathers at this wedding.  The accents are just right.  And the purple wedding cake….Amazing!

Mary & Tony | November 14, 2009 | Stevensville, Maryland

How he proposed
We first met at a “tenant meeting,” where our neighbor introduced us. We lived in the same apartment complex (933 Hudson Street, Hoboken).  It was a beautiful 1920’s building, located right next to the famous Elysian Park, where a few scenes from “On the Waterfront” were filmed.  After meeting, we both knew we had found something special.  Two years later, Tony proposed at the Elyssian Park one late evening. To make a long story short, I was in the process of cooking dinner when I received a text message from Tony: “meet me where we first met and shared our first kiss…” I immediately ran out of the house in my sweats and ran about 3 blocks away to the Elyssian Park.  I saw Tony in the distance, standing next to the park bench where we shared our first kiss, with a box in his hand.  The rest is history.

The ceremony
Along with our closest friends and family, our ceremony was held on a roof top deck which overlooked the Chesapeake Bay.  This bay is special to me, as I drove over it many times as a child-heading to the beach in Ocean City, Maryland.   Growing up on the Jersey Shore, (not like the MTV show), Tony also appreciated the venue as it had a “beachy” feeling.  Throughout our wedding, I incorporated peacock feathers to signify how beautiful our love is.  With my three cousins as our string cortet, a blazing fire, banana leaves and calla lilies down the aisle…peacock feathers were at the head of the deck; our altar.  Since neither of us are extremely religious, we had a reverend marry us.  He was very quirky, funny and personable all at the same time.  We exchanged traditional vows, but Reverend Bill added in our love story and a few jokes as well.  My bridesmaids all wore Diane Von Furstenburg plum silk chiffon wrap dresses, while our groomsman dressed in black tuxedos with plum ties.  Although it was overcast and a bit chilly outside that day, I didn’t take my eyes off Tony the whole ceremony.  I was too in the moment to notice.  It was truly an amazing feeling.

The reception
We wanted both our cocktail hour and reception to feel warm and inviting.  Our cocktail hour was held in a beautiful room with bay windows which allowed guests to view the lit up, sparkling bay bridge under the moon.  A cozy fireplace with our engagement pictures on the mantle added a personal touch.  Cocktail tables with floating candles, banana leaves, river rocks and rustic candle holders created a relaxed and homey environment for our guests to mingle and drink!   Moving into the ballroom, our reception glistened like a star lit sky.  Candles were everywhere!  Floral peacock feather centerpieces and tall gold candle holders were both simple and fun!  Our whole wedding party danced into the ballroom to “Where the Streets Have no Name,” by the Police.  It’s the Baltimore Ravens opening song, what can I say!  We served a fall garden salad, and Maryland inspired surf and turf; crab cakes and filet minon along with a vetebale medley and roasted potatoes.  Our wedding cake, made by Ace of Cakes from TLC, was plum and gold to complete our color palette…and of course, peacock feathers topped the cake!  A seven piece band got the party moving while playing “old school” style songs, such as Jackson Five and Tine Tuner!

The moment Mary will never forget
At the end of the night, everyone let loose.  My dad and brother were singing with the band…My bridesmaids and I took over some instruments…All the guests were dancing…and I thought to myself, “everything went perfectly, this is exactly what I dreamed of…I’m having the time of my life!”

Savings and Splurges
Luckily, I have amazing parents, who were very generous with their budget. At the same time, we’re in a recession and I didn’t feel right about going WAY overboard on spending money for just one day. We thought spending our budget on a nice venue, great band, photographer and food was the most important aspects of our big day.  We paid very close attention to detail, but balanced the event by not breaking my parents’ bank account!  In other words, we didn’t want to overspend on decor that wouldn’t be noticed, so we cut costs on smaller things.  For example, we had a lot of trouble finding inexpensive gold candle holders.  So, we ordered silver candle holders and spay painted them gold!  They turned out beautiful, and no one noticed!!!

My husband is a former Mac artist, so he was able to create all of our programs, menus, donation cards, and save the dates.  We simply bought pretty card stock and printed them out ourselves.

In addition, we ordered our formal invitations and rehearsal dinner invitations online.  My mother and I stuffed each one and had a local calligrapher add our guest’s addresses.  There is absolutely no reason to splurge on invitations!  Most people look them over and then toss them on their refrigerator.  No big deal in my opinion!

What made her wedding dress “The One”
Initially I bought a beautiful fit and flare gown that was absolutely stunning.  Unfortunately, when it came in I tried it on again and realized I couldn’t walk in it! If I couldn’t walk, how could I walk down the aisle, dance, eat…etc? Luckily, the boutique allowed me to apply my money to another dress.  After much thought, I opted to try on dresses that were more comfortable the next time around.  I tried on a few, but ultimately knew the Amsale dress I picked was the best of the best.  I never had a moment where I said to myself, “this is the dress”.  A lot of the dresses were amazing, and they all are very pretty.  I simply chose one that looked good on, felt good on, and I knew fit my personality.  As a woman, you know what looks good on.  You know your body better than anyone else, and understand what needs to be seen and what should be hidden.  In this dress, I was able to cover up what needed to be!  Coming from a fashion background, I knew the dress could use a little extra “something”…so I had halter straps made by the designer to wear during the ceremony.

Her advice for other brides
Enjoy the whole planning process…It’s over before you know it! Don’t get overwhelmed with your ‘things to do’ check list!  Somehow, everything falls into place!  Trust your vendors to do their job!  That’s what you’re paying them for.  Understand that your wedding day is to marry your fiancé, and that it’s your day to commit your life to one another.  Don’t let the small things get in the way.  Come up with a budget and try and stick to it.  Don’t stress about spending too much on one thing; spend less on the next.  If you’re going to splurge on anything, do so on your honeymoon!!

Mary’s Wedding Dress: Amsale Tyler / Photography: Don Bryant