Bride and groom at the Grand

Erika and David at The Grand

Bride and groom

Their Story

We were high school sweethearts. We started dating senior year, which was in 2011. Our first date was actually to a car show. One of the members at the car show had asked if we had been dating because we make a cute couple; truthfully, we had only just started seeing each other and were not officially boyfriend and girlfriend. The couple (Rich & Kathy) said that they hoped we’d date because they could see the chemistry. Later that night David asked me out officially as a couple! After this, we went back to the car show a month later but never saw Rich & Kathy ever again. We do believe this was an angel sent to us because the car shows are so small that usually repeat members attend each time.

Will You Marry Me?

Our engagement was on December 31, 2021. We got engaged on New Year’s Eve. It was so magical having both of our families together in our tradition that we have been keeping alive since 2011. We always spend NYE together as a combined family, going out to dinner and coming back to a family member’s house. As we love ringing in the New Year with all our loved ones around us, David dropped onto one knee and asked me to be his wife!

Bride getting ready

Details of the Day

Our wedding was filled with so many special moments. To begin, we signed up with Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Rutherford. They choreographed our first dance to the song “You,” By Dan & Shay. We then got into more details of our wedding at The Grand such at the cake; the cake was from Calandra’s and the flavor we picked for our guests was chocolate mousse with fresh strawberries. Our top layer, which we got to save, was vanilla cake with the flavor raspberry. Our wedding was on a Sunday afternoon, and the weather could not have been better! Our color scheme was pink, blue and cream.

Bride and groom entering the Grand ballroom

Why Did You Choose The Grand?

The Grand has beautiful grounds; the food that was included and the extras just made so much sense. We walked in and said “yup” this venue is for us!

Groom reading letter

Favorite Moment

Our favorite moment was our first look. The emotions were real, and knowing each other for 12 years, it was amazing to see us all grown up. We have been dating since high school, so seeing where we began and where we are now was so emotional. We did the sand celebration during our ceremony and felt that it really showcased us becoming “one.”

Wedding painter

Favorite Detail

All of our vendors were our favorite—we wouldn’t have changed anything for the world! The unique vendor we had was our live painter. Guests would not stop watching her paint us and sat there in amazement. Our other favorite detail, was wearing my mom’s wedding gown turned into a robe. Unbox The Dress did a fantastic job using all the details from her dress. Her dress also had long sleeves and the buttons from her sleeves were on the belt; the lace and front lace were all from her gown and train.

Bride and bridesmaids

Honeymoon

We took a Royal Caribbean Cruise to The Bahamas. We are frequent cruisers, who love new sights. It was so peaceful being alone together for 10 days where we could just be ourselves. The cruise departed 2 months exactly to our wedding date; this helped us calm down, catch up and have something to look forward to. Being together alone on an island for 10 days truly got us back into the excitement of our wedding. Ironically, we did not get the wifi package but with some crazy weird luck from above, our wedding video was sent to us and worked! We were in the middle of the ocean and the emotions that we had together, sitting on our balcony was such a romantic experience.

Advice for Others

Definitely do what makes you happy. While wedding planning, the hardest thing to hear or work on is other people’s opinions. Definitely go for what your vision is because I left the night of my wedding with no regrets; I didn’t wish I had done something because it was all there that night. Go for the clouds, sparklers and extras. Do it!

Bridal party at the Grand
Bride and groom kissing

The Team

Photographer | Lisa Blanche Photography
Venue | The Grand, Totowa
Deejay | 1800 Jam Music Entertainment
Wedding Gown | Stella York from Say I Do Bridal
Tuxedo | Tux By Sarno
Hair | Simple Elegance
Makeup | Jillyan Scarpa/ Skin Bar & Paint
Cake | Calandra’s
Videography | 4KWeddings
Bridal Shower | Upper Montclair Country Club
Live Painter | ArtViva Events
Ceremony Arch | B&V Events
First Dance Choreography | Fred Astaire, Rutherford
Bridesmaids Dresses | Color Ballet from David’s Bridal
Bridal Robe | Unbox The Dress (mom’s wedding dress turned into a robe)
Flowers | Ling’s Moments

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