Hudson Valley Vows
Tell us your love story!
"I’m gonna marry that girl" probably wasn’t the first thing Michelle thought (after some awkward behind the scenes debate) when she reached out to Gina on match.com. Gina probably didn’t think, “yup – I’m gonna marry that girl” either when she decided to give it a shot just because Michelle happened to be within her 2 mile dating radius. However, after Michelle sent Gina a picture of herself dressed as a taco, Gina decided to let Michelle in on the big secret that she was BatGirl and at that point I’m pretty sure they both thought, at least for the moment, "YUP, I'm Gonna Marry That Girl!"
What about the proposal?
On the tailgate of a pickup truck in the woods by the water in view of maiden's cliff in Camden Maine on the 4th of July!
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
As soon as we realized both our mothers were named Barbara, our middle names are Marie, we each had a maternal bond with our grandmothers, even though Gina had lived the last 20 years in Florida we had grown up a few miles from one another, worked at the same mall in the same store at the same time, skated at the same roller rink, both had worked law enforcement, loved live music and are avid football fans of rival teams! That last one was almost a deal breaker!
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
We knew we wanted the Ceremony to be about us and the rest of the event to be about our guests! We also knew that the most important components in order were Family, Friends, Music and Food.
What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
We were surprised by how fast and furious our event was! Choosing our venue, food, flowers, jewelry and planning our music with the DJ was so very easy! We never knew we cared about table linen! (Tip: we bought ours online and then sold it to our venue as part of our contract)
The most difficult part of planning the wedding was having everything we wanted and paying for it before the wedding. We had to shop - prioritize and get creative! The family photos were tough because it required a bunch of time and patience but we don't regret one moment of that and Jay made sure to get them all! Lastly it was difficult having half of our wedding party in Florida and the wedding in New York in September - hurricanes are not something you think of before hand!
Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
We wish that we had known when we sent out our invitations to put both our guest and our address on the return envelope of the RSVP. We had a table side ordering / menu for our wedding so our RSVP didn't have choices - just a place to check attending or regrets. Not too many thought to put a return address on the RSVP envelope - we had invited 300 people and when the RSVP started coming in many times we had no idea who was responding! That is a planning nightmare! The other thing that we wish we knew: even when it seems the best idea in your mind - your vendors have the experience. We originally planned not to see each other before the wedding having separate rooms the night before. We had two pages of family photos planned. Our photographer Jay had suggested that we do a private first look before the wedding but we said no... by the end of the planning we gave in because we really wanted to participate in our wedding - not be absent for pictures half the night. It ended up being our second favorite moment of the day! We could not have anticipated what those few minutes alone in the woods before saying our vows would mean to us later on! PS : a tip from Jay - look up and breath so the happy tears don't ruin perfection!
Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?
We would advise taking your time and making it exactly what you want, we moved our date by one year so that we could have it our way. Also, finding the perfect wedding attire can be tricky, start that search from day one. Try on as many ideas and outfits as you want. I ended up in a dress from a store I would never thought to shop in with shoes from overseas and Gina had hers custom made with shoes that required a special trip to NYC. Do participate - we almost didn't create a website www.gonnamarrythatgirl.com, take the dance lessons or the engagement photos! We are so glad we did - it was fun and private endeavors, unlike your wedding day!
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
It was the best day from start to finish - Our favorite moments were the ceremony and the first look. I can't express enough how important it was for the event to be so successful that the reception is for the guests and the ceremony for the couple. We had a photo slideshow of our guests in the ceremony room to engage them immediately on arrival. We had 3 second cards on the table as conversation starters between guests. We kept the traditional wedding dances etc. short and sweet to minimize "spectator time" for our guests. It goes so fast - we really wanted maximize being with our family and friends together.