Melanie and Steve at the Nassau Inn

Melanie and Steve at The Nassau Inn in Princeton

Wedding invitations at the Nassau Inn in Princeton, NJ

Their Story

Melanie and Steve matched on a dating app on December 3, 2018. Melanie was living in Queens at the time, but was back on Staten Island to get her car serviced—she was on the app killing time at the dealership when Steve showed up as a potential match in the area. Meanwhile, Steve had recently moved back to Staten Island after a short stint of living in New Jersey and happened to sign onto the app that same day.

“After we matched, we started chatting and realized we had similar interests in music–particularly when it came to Linkin Park, our mutual favorite band,” Melanie says. “We talked about what the music meant to us, how the passing of the lead singer affected us, and about the solo album that one of the band members (Mike Shinoda) had released earlier in the year. We learned that we’d actually been to many of the same Mike Shinoda events in the months before we met, but somehow never crossed paths.”

Melanie and Steve at the Nassau Inn

They quickly knew they wanted to meet in person, so they arranged a coffee date at a local Starbucks for the following day (December 4). When they met, Melanie went for a handshake and Steve went for a hug. “It was immensely awkward and we laughed because we were so nervous we’d both done the exact opposite of what we normally do. I’m very much a hugger, and Steve was more of a handshake guy. We talked for so long we closed the place down!”

During the date, Melanie mentioned that two days later (December 6th) she was going to a show in Brooklyn where Mike Shinoda would be performing along with other artists, but she would be sitting way up in the nosebleed section. Later that night, Steve quickly purchased a last-minute ticket in a section much closer to the stage. The night of the concert, right before Mike Shinoda took the stage, Steve told Melanie there were “a bunch of empty seats” in his section and told her to run down and sit with him. Melanie never ran so fast, and she’ll never forget spotting Steve in the crowd, waiting for her outside the section. “He grabbed my hand and pulled me into the seats just as the lights went down, and suddenly we were seeing one of our favorite artists together, which was the reason we’d started speaking in the first place,” Melanie says. It wasn’t until months later Steve admitted that he actually purchased two tickets to ensure that Melanie could come sit with him. Since then, they’ve shared their love of music and gone to countless shows together.

“What makes our story even better is this: Just 3 months before we got married, I found a selfie I’d taken of myself and my sister at Mike Shinoda’s concert in June of 2018—six months before Steve and I actually met that December,” Melanie explains. When she saw the photo, she couldn’t believe it—right behind her sister, you can clearly see the top of Steve’s head, backwards baseball cap and all, with his eyes looking right in Melanie’s direction. Talk about meant to be!

Bride and groom at Nassau Inn, Princeton, NJ

Will You Marry Me?

The day Steve proposed, the couple went to see “The Book of Mormon” together for the first time. Steve said the fact that he was able to actually laugh and enjoy while nervous about the proposal was a testament to how good the show is! After Broadway, Steve surprised Melanie with a trip to the High Line–a place they’d wanted to visit together for years. In a perfect spot overlooking the city, he got down on his knee and asked Melanie to marry him. He even invited both moms to come be part of the moment—they jumped out from hiding as soon as Melanie said yes! After taking photos and exploring the High Line/Little Island, Steve whisked Melanie off for a romantic dinner at the River Cafe. In a garden under the Brooklyn Bridge, surrounded by twinkling lights, they toasted their future.

Melanie at the Nassau Inn wedding
Wedding bouquet

Details of the Day

“We chose a galaxy/starlight theme with a color scheme including shades of blue, green, purple and gold,” Melanie explains. “Our favors were very personal to us: Black & Tan coffee from our favorite local NJ roastery, Booskerdoo.” Jamie at Keep It Sweet Studios designed a personal label for them: “Melanie & Steve’s Hybrid Theory” (a nod to Linkin Park).

Melanie and Steve at the Nassau Inn
Audio guest book at the Nassau Inn in Princeton, NJ

Why Did You Choose The Nassau Inn?

“We started looking at venues at the end of 2021. Covid-19 was still very much a concern, so everything was done online via virtual tours,” Melanie says. “When we met with Jamie Wolf from the Nassau Inn, we knew almost immediately that this would be the venue. It struck the perfect balance between historic and modern. It also offered onsite accommodations, meaning our guests could stay for the weekend and wouldn’t have to worry about transit. Also, Nassau Inn’s location in the heart of Princeton furthered our love of the venue; we knew that our guests would love the town—and they did!”

Bride and groom cutting cake at Nassau Inn in Princeton, NJ

Menu

Favorite selections were the cocktail-hour sushi station, wild mushroom risotto appetizer and Korean BBQ short rib entrée. They also featured drinks at the bar with nods to their three dogs: “Oscar’s Favorite” (an Old-Fashioned), “Chester’s Favorite” (a White Russian), and “Henry’s Favorite” (which was guest’s choice–Henry is just happy to be included). The large wedding cake was triple chocolate mousse, and Steve’s wrestling cake was vanilla pound cake with cannoli cream filling.

Bridal party at Melanie and Steve's wedding at the Nassau Inn in Princeton, NJ
Bride holding bouquet at Nassau Inn wedding in Princeton, NJ

The Gown

“I had a very specific vision for my gown,” Melanie says. “Since I’d chosen a large white ballgown with lots of lace appliqué for our Ireland elopement, I wanted my reception gown to give a very different flair and fit the “party” vibe we were aiming for. The dress I chose was grand, sparkly, champagne-colored, and gave me plenty of twirl-ability (essential for me on the dance floor)—it was absolutely perfect for our special day. I felt like the embodiment of starlight.”

Groomsmen at Nassau Inn in Princeton, NJ
Melanie and Steve at wedding at the Nassau Inn in Princeton, NJ

Favorite Moment

“We actually have two—one planned, one a complete surprise to us both!” Melanie explains. “The first was our dance. We had spent hours upon hours coordinating it with our amazing dance instructor, Dasha, and it brought us such joy to see all that work pay off. The second was pulled off by our band, Cause and the Effects. They knew how much Linkin Park meant to us, so they surprised us at the end of the night by learning one of our favorite songs, “In the End.” They gave an incredible performance, and it is a moment we will never forget.”

Melanie and Steve at the Nassau Inn, Princeton, NJ

Favorite Detail

“Every single element of our day–from our vendors to our décor to loved ones in attendance, from the moment we started getting ready to our last shared pints of Guinness at the end of the night–were absolutely essential in making our day as incredible as it was,” Melanie says.

Bride and groom holding umbrella on wedding day at Nassau Inn in Princeton, NJ

Did Anything Go Wrong?

“We can’t really pinpoint anything that went ‘wrong'” Melanie says, “but we were definitely competing with the weather that weekend. Thankfully we were able to embrace the rain (as it had rained on our Ireland elopement day as well), and we were extremely fortunate to have some breaks in the downpour so we could take outdoor photos at the venue and Princeton University.”

Bride and groom on dance floor at Nassau Inn, Princeton, NJ

First Dance

“Starlight,” by Muse, a special arrangement of the song was created and performed by their live band, Cause and the Effects.

Bridal party at Nassau Inn, Princeton, NJ

Honeymoon

“Over the summer we eloped in Northern Ireland, and followed our symbolic wedding day with an Ireland road trip, and then flew to Paris for a week to cap off our romantic adventure,” Melanie says.

Advice for others

“Wedding planning is fun, but also very stressful,” Melanie explains. “It’s especially during those stressful times that you need to remember to breathe, that you’re working on this as a team, and that at the end of the day, the thing that matters most is that you’re marrying the love of your life.”


The Team

Photography | Daniel Nydick Photography
Venue & Hotel | The Nassau Inn, Princeton, NJ
Band | Cause and the Effects; @causeandtheeffects
Wedding Gown | Maggie Sottero Designs at Kleinfeld Bridal; maggiesotterodesigns @kleinfeldbridal
Bridesmaid Dresses | Revelry; @shoprevelry
Engagement Ring | Heidi Gibson Designs; @heidigibsondesigns
Bridal Jewelry | Sofia Zakia; @sofia.zakia
Shoes | Tieks; @tieks
Hair | Rebel Hair Studio, Nutley, NJ; @rebelhairnj @strazzabeatdown @hairbytatiananj
Makeup | Makeup By Alyssa
Cake | The Caketeria, Newton, PA
Flowers | Petal Pushers, Hamilton, NJ; @petalpushersnj
Lighting, Media Wall, Photo Booth | Making MemorEase Events, Staten Island, NY; @makingmemorease
Videography | Herinso Torres Fotografía
Cocktail-Hour Entertainment | Magic by Vincent; @magicbyvincent
Dance Lessons | Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Staten Island, NY; @fredastaire
Decor Items and Details | Keep It Sweet Studios; @keepitsweetstudios
Audio Guest Book | Fetefone; @fetefone
Cocktail Bar Sign | Marissa Scalero
Favors | Bookserdoo Coffee; @booskerdoo
Ireland Elopement Photography | Rob Dight of Epic Love Photos; @robdight
Ireland Elopement Video | Nigel Ivy Film; @nigelivyfilm

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