Karli and Cody at Crystal Springs Resort

Karli and Cody at Crystal Springs Resort

Photographed by Daniel Nydick

How did you meet?

We went to high school together. I was a freshman when Cody was a senior, and we actually never spoke. Cody was in the “popular” crowd and I was a total nerd and kept to myself/was involved in school clubs. However, he was on the baseball team and basketball team and I did the stats for the team so we were on the bench together and busses together a lot. Cody graduated in 2011.

I think sometime in 2016, Cody and I matched on Tinder. But nothing ever came of it; we never messaged each other.

Fast-forward to 2017, I had Cody’s phone number in my phone because he was friends with my older sister in high school and I had all of her contacts in my phone from when she gave me a hand-me down phone. I added Cody on snapchat on my 21st birthday. We then talked non-stop for months. Cody had shingles when we first met and had a long recovery, so we didn’t actually hangout for another eight months, but I would drop off food and medicine on his porch often.

When I first started talking to Cody, he told me that the next girl he dated he was going to marry—he didn’t want to date around for fun anymore. It took a really long time for me to break down his walls (eight months), actually. The week before we started dating I ended things with Cody because he hadn’t asked me to hangout in eight months. Cody was going to the Poconos with a group of friends for a weekend and in a last ditch effort to get me to keep talking to him, he invited me. I spent 48 hours in the Poconos with people I just met for the first time. Cody called it the “sink or swim” weekend. I passed with flying colors, getting every single person out in a game of paintball and impressing him. I am not athletic, so I even impressed myself!

After that weekend, I changed mine and Cody’s relationship status on Facebook to “in a relationship”… he never asked me to be his girlfriend, I just decided on my own. After I forced Cody to take this leap, our relationship was incredible. I was still in school when we started to date, so I was driving home every weekend to see him. My last year of college I decided I didnt want to be too far away, so I moved myself into his apartment and commuted 90 minutes a day to and from Rutgers so I could live with him.

In February 2020, we both moved in with my parents to save money for a house. In December 2020, we got engaged on Christmas. In December 2021 we purchased our own home and in October 2022, we got married on our five-year anniversary.

How did you get engaged?

On December 25, 2020, at my house, Cody gave me a scratch off that said “will you marry me?” We had already been set on getting married. I booked our venue in November 2020 because I knew I would be competing with a lot of Covid brides for a specific date, and I was set on getting married on our five-year anniversary. I wore a fake engagement ring when we went and booked our venue and we made up a story about how we had gotten engaged.

Details of Your Day:

We wanted our colors and our day at the Crystal Springs Resort to mimic the outdoors on a colorful autumn day-meets-bonfire, and our flowers were the colors of fire—red orange yellow. Our bridesmaids dresses were olive green to give a natural look, and our wedding song was “Bonfire Heart,” by James Blunt. For favors, we had banana pudding in mason jars made by one of our great friends (jbuzz.bakes). We had her banana pudding many times during weekends in the Poconos where our love story really began so this was very fitting.

Why did you choose your venue?

We chose the Minerals Hotel at Crystal Springs Resort in Vernon, NJ, because it was in the mountains and we knew the fall wedding foliage would be beautiful. We also wanted an outdoor wedding and the Sweetgrass Pavilion allowed us to do this (even in 50-degree weather). We also were set on having a venue with a hotel, this way our guests could stay with us for the night before and the night of so the party could continue and so nobody would have to drive. 

What was on your menu?

Our menu at Crystal Springs had chicken cordon bleu, mushroom ravioli and New York strip steak. (Cody and I love steak. He makes great steaks but we also always go to Rodizio to see who can “out eat” the other person.) Our appetizer was fontina pasta with pear bundles and a toasted prosciutto garnish. If you know me, you know I love prosciutto. And our salad had a warm bacon vinaigrette—we are bacon lovers! We actually didn’t have a cake! We had a gummy bear bar to pay homage to the gummy bears I used to drop off at Cody’s when we first started talking and he was sick, and the banana pudding bar to pay homage to the Poconos trips!

All about your wedding gown

My wedding gown—”Fiona” by Maggie Sottero—was a mermaid style. I initially wanted an A-line or ballgown that was whimsical and fairy-like, but once I tried this dress on something felt different. I wound up trying on other dresses and they were all beautiful, but when I put this dress back on and took a second look, I said “No, this is my dress.” I love that it was able to show off my tattoos. I also loved the train and the detailing. It was just such a beautiful dress! 

Favorite moment

I think our butterfly release (or failed butterfly release) was my favorite part of our day. It truly captured how we are as a couple and how we handle hard situations. We wanted to release the butterflies in memory of Cody’s cousin Jessi, my Aunt Lee and our grandfathers. It was far too cold and the butterflies did not cooperate. The whole thing was hilarious and people near the speakers said they heard Cody and me talking to each other under our breaths and it was just very characteristic of us. Laugh it off!!! Note: The butterflies survived and I released them the next day when it was much warmer…YAY!

One detail you couldn’t live without?

The book I wrote my vows in, called 300 brooms. There is a candy shop in the Poconos that we visited after the “sink or swim” trip. I bought the book on the trip (the day before we started dating) and I told everyone we were with that I was going to give it to our first child someday, and we weren’t even dating yet. Anyway, as soon as we got engaged I knew I wanted to write my vows in this book. I lost the book in the move, but luckily I gave a copy to our friends Pie and Kait’s new baby because it was their house in the Poconos that we went to. They let me borrow their book to put my vows in, and they saved the day! 

Did anything go wrong?

My sister did our signage and one of the signs I was most excited about was this huge beautiful gold-trimmed mirror that said “Darling, you look incredible now go grab a drink” Well, it was freezing the day I brought it up to the venue and the entire mirror shattered. Yes, I shattered a mirror the day before our wedding day. My sister wound up going to Home Goods one hour before my rehearsal dinner and buying a new mirror and remaking it the night before the wedding. 

First dance song

“Bonfire Heart,” by James Blunt.


We cruised to Bermuda! Highlights were LOTS of food and gambling, for sure! Check this out: We were in the Bermuda Triangle on Halloween and the power on the cruise ship went out! We did win quite a bit at the casino though, and we went into the Crystal Caves, which were gorgeous. 

The Team

Photographer: Daniel Nydick Photography
Venue: Minerals Hotel at Crystal Springs Resort, Vernon Township, NJ
Officiant: Our friend Christine Zaher DeEsposito, Universal Life Church Clergy Member 
Gown: “Fiona” by Maggie Sottero
Shoes: Barefoot down the aisle, baby! Very me!
Hair: Rebecca Kiss @rebeccakiss_styles5). For the bridesmaids: @Jaycie.ry
Makeup: Glam With Galina and @bridgetd.mua
Bridesmaids Dresses: Revelry
Groom’s & Groomsmen Attire: GenerationTux
Flowers: Whisper & Brook Flower Co.
Pudding: JBuzz.Bakes
Videographer: Oculr Media
Invitations: Zazzle
Music: DJ Toro of Posh DJs
Signage: Bianca Boniello of @ByBBoards
Butterflies: Cloverlawn Butterflies 
Audio Guestbook: After the Tone 
Jewelry: Macy’s
Tie Patch for Dad: ShannahJSmith
Wood Signs: Carpenter Farmhouse
Dog Animation Image: Infiniteartus
Doggie Treat Bags: Couple of Cokers
Acrylic Numbers: Z Create Design
Gummy Bear Bags: Plum Grove Design
Socks: Personalization Lab
Groomsmen Flasks: Tooned Up Gifts 
Bouquet Charm: Tooned Up Gifts
Ring Box: Ms Green Green

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