Couple: Carla & Michael
Wedding Date: October 20, 2012
Wedding Location: (ceremony) Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, South Orange, NJ; (reception) The Mansion at Bretton Woods, Morris Plains, NJ
Wedding Theme: Traditional Elegance
Digital Dating “We met on Match.com,” reports Carla when asked how she met her husband Michael who she affectionately calls Mike. She continues, “My first impression of him was that he was preppy, handsome and unpretentious.” Michael thought Carla was pretty easy on the eyes, too. “I immediately thought she was very attractive,” he shares adding that he also found Carla to be intelligent. The pair enjoyed their first date in NYC where Michael resided at the time. However Carla was based in Silver Spring, Maryland (a Washington, D.C. suburb). The smitten duo was up for the challenge! “From that point on we knew that we’d be willing to give long distance a shot,” Carla recalls.
Going the Distance Juggling blossoming careers and a new courtship from 200+ miles away is no easy feat but Carla says it was worth it. “I have great memories of waiting anxiously for the workday to end on Friday so I could hop on the train/plane/bus to NYC to see him!” she remembers. (In addition to her 9-5 as a public relations guru, Carla muses on all things beauty in her blog, The Pretty Dish). Eventually they became a bona fide couple and realized they wanted to be closer to each other beyond weekend visits. “Carla ended up relocating from the D.C. area to N.J. so that we could be together. We moved in together shortly after she relocated,” Michael explains.
[All images excluding honeymoon pic by Chris Jorda Photography.]
Through the Fire During Carla’s relocation from Maryland to New Jersey, the couple experienced quite a few unfortunate events including losing electricity, Michael getting robbed and Carla’s grandmother passing away. It was a challenging time to say the least. But like so many couples, Carla and Michael feel these events only strengthened them. “There were many ups and downs. It was the first time that we had to work together as a team to accomplish something. We learned that we are a pair and needed to work together,” says Michael.
Classically Chic The couple’s engagement officially began in Carla’s old stomping grounds of Washington, D.C. “I chose the Jefferson Memorial in D.C. to propose because it was in D.C. that I realized Carla was “the one,” and we shared many special memories there when we were dating,” says Michael. The couple’s wedding was a reflection of them: sophisticated yet down-to-earth. The nuptials were pulled off tastefully last fall in their homestate of New Jersey — sans wedding planner. “I’m way too much of a control freak!” laughs Carla. The duo said “I Do” before 150 guests in a traditional Catholic church ceremony and then danced the night away at The Mansion at Bretton Woods. “It was important to us that we be the only couple celebrating in the venue during our reception, so we avoided places that hosted multiple weddings at once. The Mansion at Bretton Woods was perfect – we had the whole house to ourselves and there are many quaint details inside that spoke to us.”
Carla’s Budget Tips for Future Brides
Paper Chaser “We used Wedding Paper Divas for our invitations and thank you cards, and are so happy we did. We saved a few hundred dollars (spent much less than we would have spent at Papyrus, or similar stationery stores) and the results were very high quality.”
Remove the Veil on Veils “Do not get swindled into paying hundreds of dollars on a veil! I was freaking out at the last minute because I didn’t have one. Typically the bridal boutiques try to “style” you, including veil, and the veil alone can ring in at a few hundred dollars. I ordered mine online and spent under $100.” Editor’s note: Revisit this post for deals on wedding veils.
Think Outside the Bridal Box “Mike and I didn’t like the unity candle sets we found available online; they were $30-$60 and the look of them wasn’t working for us. We ended up going to Pier One and picking out our own candle and taper candles, and the candleholders to hold each. We saved and got something we really liked and that we’ve now incorporated into our home décor.”
***Did you or someone you know recently tie the knot? Complete this brief form and the wedding might be featured in an upcoming Black Bridal Bliss feature!***
Take a look at past Tie the Knot Tuesday features here.
Wedding dress: Enzoani
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Photographer: Chris Jorda Photography
Hairstylist: Leon Howell
Makeup artist: Nicole Lyons
Entertainment: Ray Jarrell of Jarrell Entertainment
Bridesmaid dresses: Jasmine Bridal
Florist: J&M Floral and Event
Groom’s Attire: Tommy Hilfiger
Groomsmen Attire: Vera Wang