Rebecca and Michael’s Christmas-themed wedding at The Palace at Somerset Park was a celebration of their love and commitment to each other. The festive holiday season served as the perfect backdrop for their wedding day, with the venue decked out in an abundance of Christmas colors and decorations, tailor-made by Rebecca’s mother.
“Michael and I met in a very non-traditional way,” says Rebecca. “We met in jail . . . literally! When I was in college, I was studying criminal justice and interned at a county jail where Michael worked. He was on the night shift, but happened to come in early one day and was assigned to the post where I was working. One of Michael’s co-workers encouraged him to talk to me, which led to him giving me his phone number. I made him sweat it out for a bit: I waited about two weeks before texting him, but once I did, he responded within about a minute. We went on our first date and the rest is history—we’ve been together for almost eight years!
Will You Marry Me?
One Saturday night, Michael made a reservation at one of the restaurants that the couple loves. Before they went inside, he popped the question. “I was absolutely shocked, and spent the entire night crying my eyes out,” Rebecca says. “Michael kept asking me if he did something wrong and I told him they were tears of happiness and I couldn’t help it! We went home that evening and couldn’t wait to see our parents and closest friends the next day, but that night Michael felt very sick. He ended up testing positive for COVID in the morning and we had to quarantine at home for two weeks. We joked with each other that this was the true relationship test. Ultimately, it ended up being the best two weeks of uninterrupted quality time together!”
Details of the Day
Rebecca’s mother put together all of the decorations herself, which added a deeply personal and meaningful touch to an already perfectly laid out design for her daughter’s wedding. From the twinkling lights to the garlands of evergreens, every detail had been thoughtfully chosen and expertly executed, creating a festive atmosphere.
“Christmas has always been one of the most special holidays to us,” says Rebecca, “so we decided to have a Christmas-themed wedding. The goal was for the wedding to feel like a Christmas Wonderland! Our colors were red and gold. We had an entrance sign that said ‘Welcome to Our Merrily Ever After.’ My mom decorated the cocktail-hour room with an assortment of Christmas decorations, which included personalized stockings that were hung off the fireplace, Christmas trees, reindeer, poinsettias and many more!”
“The name cards were each attached to a miniature Christmas tree that had little ornaments and a red bow on top. Our centerpieces were two-foot Chritsmas trees that were decorated with ornaments, lights and pinecones. We also had the florist add real red roses to each tree.”
“The favors were small candy boxes with bows that looked like presents, and each was filled with Lindt chocolates. Our cake topper was two little snowmen. For the photobooth, we had a few buckets of Christmas-themed props. And last but not least, we had a snow machine!”
Why Did You Choose The Palace at Somerset Park?
“We toured a couple different venues, but the Palace really stuck out from the rest” Rebecca says. “I loved everything about it, from the beautiful bridal suite, to the ballroom, and of course, the beautiful Christmas decorations that are displayed during the holidays. In New Jersey, there are tons of wedding venues so it can be a bit overwhelming at first, however, I felt that once I started visiting the venues in-person, it was much easier to make a decision. Similar to trying on wedding dresses, there’s just a gut feeling that you have when you find the right venue.”
“I know everybody says this, but I truly felt like my dress was made for me,” Rebecca says. “It was a fit and flare with long sleeves. It had a lot of beading and it really sparkled! I knew this was the one as soon as I put it on. I walked out of the fitting room and within seconds, my mom and I made eye contact and both agreed this was absolutely the one. It fit me like a glove and I’ve never felt so beautiful. Every time I put the dress on (including on the wedding day), I did not want to take it off!”
What Was on Your Menu?
For cocktail hour, there were a bunch of different hors d’oeuvres that were being passed around, and a variety of different stations, including hibachi stir-fry, sliders, fresh seafood and carving station to name a few. For dinner, the appetizer was an arugula and burrata salad with three entrée options that included filet mignon, prosciutto and basil stuffed chicken, and salmon. “We had a lemon wedding cake, and probably any other dessert you could imagine,” Rebecca says. “Personally, I have a huge sweet tooth, so this was my favorite part of the food. The cannoli station was by far my favorite!”
Before the dessert room was opened for everyone else, Michael and Rebecca were brought in to the fire and ice station where they made Belgian waffles with Bananas Foster. “We also had two signature drinks,” Rebecca adds. “Mine was Santa’s Milk, which was a chocolate martini and Michael’s was Jingle Juice, which was a French martini. We wanted to have fun signature drinks that matched the theme of our wedding!”
Reading their wedding vows to each other in front of all the people that they love. “We decided to write our own vows, which is something that we’re both so happy we did,” says Rebecca. “This was such a special moment that neither of us will ever forget.”
The second favorite moment was the first look. “Truthfully, I was very much against doing a first look, but ultimately I’m so happy that I took [photographer] Daniel’s advice and we did one,” Rebecca adds. “Aside from reading our wedding vows to each other, this was the second best moment of our wedding day. It was so nice to be able to have some time for just the two of us. Seeing Michael’s face when I tapped him on the shoulder was priceless. It was such an emotional moment for both of us.”
One of the most memorable elements of the wedding for Rebecca was the stunning snow on the dance floor, which added a touch of magic and whimsy to the occasion. You couldn’t help but be enchanted by the sparkling flurries during their first dance, which made for an unforgettable moment—not to mention one-of-a-kind photos!
“Everything,” by Michael Buble, which perfectly captured their relationship.
Advice for Others
To never lose sight of the fact that the most important thing is that you will be marrying your best friend!!
Switzerland and Paris. “This was the first time that either of us had been to Europe and it was truly a trip of a lifetime!” Rebecca explains. “Switzerland was a magical place at Christmas time, especially with all of the charming Christmas markets! And of course, the cheese and chocolate did not disappoint!! We both gained 10 pounds on this trip :)”
Photography | Daniel Nydick Photography
Officiant | Ben Hickey
Planner | Rebecca’s mom
Gown | Martina Liana from Seng Couture
Shoes | David’s Bridal
Jewelry | Macy’s
Hair | Ashley Raibick
Makeup | Mary Belford
Bridesmaid Dresses | Bridal Suite Boutique
Groom’s Attire | Dante Zeller Tuxedo
Groomsmen Attire | Dante Zeller Tuxedo
Flowers | A Touch of Elegance
Cake | Palermo’s Bakery
Videographer | Live Picture Studios
Invitations | Paper Princess by Melissa
Music | POSH DJs