“Matt and I met at O’Callaghans Pub on Monroe Avenue in Rochester where we connected after mutual friends recognized each other. After we all chatted, we parted ways and my friends and I went to the other side of the bar. After an hour or so, this guy approached us with a smile on his face; he lifted up his hand and asked “if a girl is engaged, what hand does she wear her ring on?” as he tried to address the group and not stare right at me. I wore my grandmother’s engagement ring on my right hand and had experienced the same confusion before so I piped up with a smirk and told him it was the left hand. Matt dropped his hand, swooped around two of my friends and beelined it for me. Apparently his friend (best man four years later) didn’t know the answer either and to keep Matt from kicking himself later, he convinced him to give it a try and just ask. Thank goodness he did!
“We moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan in April of 2015 and got engaged there on January 3, 2016. We were out walking our dog in the winter with some friends. I’ll always remember Matt dressing in jeans and a sweater and me throwing on ratty sweatpants and no makeup before we left. He asked “are you really going to wear that?” to which I was really offended and confused why I needed to get dolled up for a hike…and I still did not change or put makeup on. After walking for a bit, we crossed a bridge where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
“Some of the unique aspects of our wedding weekend were our rehearsal dinner at The Rochester Brainery, the Airbnb studio in an old school building on Goodman to get ready in, and our first look and wedding party photos that were outside 300 Alexander, the former Rochester Divinity School. Our reception decor was romantic with warm lighting in an industrial setting overlooking High Falls with touches of burgundy, gold, blush, and white. Our place cards were marble tiles with names in cursive gold, which Matt wrote all of! We love all things vintage and especially love design that mixes vintage and modern decor well. Our wedding featured antique furniture from Revival Rental, mirror trays, glass vases and decanters, antique picture frames, hundreds of dessert china plates, and homemade teacup candles. My mother-in-law and I collected from estate auctions and garage sales for over a year. It was fun to slowly piece together the decor just choosing things we liked as we went.
“My favorite moments were getting ready with my girls, getting dad to finally shed a tear, reciting our own vows, and dancing the night away. Getting ready was a weird feeling. I wasn’t nervous but couldn’t sit still. Being in the event planning business, I’ve always been the one managing the event and keeping everyone happy. Rather than just sitting down and relaxing, I was up steaming dresses, making sure everyone ate, and keeping everyone on schedule. It wasn’t until after the ceremony when I was able to ‘let go’ and really enjoy the rest of the day.
“We were married at Granite Mills Park in Brown’s Race Historic District near High Falls under an arch that my dad made. Our good friend, Nate, married us out of a Dr. Seuss book. We wrote our own vows and had the whole audience in tears. It made our wedding so personal and we loved making our promises in front of our dearest friends and family. Our dinner was served family style and we had the wedding party sit with their friends, spread out throughout the room, rather than all together. I loved the mix and match of the tables as well as being able to seat guests down for a communal dinner. Matt is Italian and big family dinners are a must so it was great to do that for our wedding reception. We ended the night by heading back to where it all started, O’Callaghans Pub, wedding dress and all.
We’re so grateful for the village that came together to make our wedding so amazing – friends, family, family friends, and vendors who are now good friends as well. It was truly magical and we wish we could relive it again and again!