Below is their story, in her own words, so along with the images, tie it in with the text for a glimpse of what their wedding was like!

How

Santino and I met during our sophomore year of high school at Brick Memorial. A mutual friend introduced us and we quickly became close. We would talk on the phone every night for hours and hours, meet by our lockers to pass notes to each other between classes, shared an interest in the same music and went to concerts together. After our sophomore year, Santino and I grew apart and lost touch. Fast forward five years to 2010, I was on my lunch break and a co-worker and I walked next door to Jersey Mike’s to get a sandwich. While we were waiting in line, somebody called my name from behind me. I turned around to see this tall, dark and handsome man who I hadn’t seen in years! Santino and I spoke for a few minutes and decided we should hang out– we still had each other’s phone numbers. Two days later, Santino texted me and asked me to come to a party with him. I agreed to go and the rest is history!

Growing up, many people had told me that when you find “the one”, you just know. I never believed them. I thought there must be more to it– but there wasn’t! After a very short time of dating Santino, I just knew. It felt so right even though, at the time, neither of us were interested in a serious relationship. Santino was interesting, fun, challenging and smart– not to mention really ridiculously good-looking!

Santino and I love to be outdoors together and love bringing our two German Shepherds, Maggie and George, along for the fun. Some of our favorite outdoor activities are hiking, camping, kayaking, spearfishing and skeet shooting. We also enjoy traveling– together, we’ve visited 12 countries so far and plan to explore many more. We also love challenging each other and sharing our dreams and ideas. We both have creative minds and love to formulate and share business ideas, new inventions, house designs, new recipes, etc.

Santino proposed to me on Christmas Eve 2016. We had decided not to exchange Christmas gifts that year but as we were leaving my sister Lindsay’s house to go to his brother Frankie’s house, Santino insisted that we stop home to exchange gifts. I reminded him that I hadn’t bought him a gift and he told me he just got me something little. We got home and I started unwrapping the gift he handed me– it was a yellow watch box! As I opened the box to see my new watch, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said “wait, really?!” and immediately started crying and said “of course!”. He hid a ring in a watch box. I was so beyond excited and despite dating for over 6 years, I was so shocked and surprised! I’d like to note, however, that in typical Santino fashion, the decision to propose to me was made THAT MORNING. There was no prior planning but once his mind was made up, it had to happen. He borrowed a ring from his father to propose and told me that he was creating a custom ring for me. It was well worth the (short) wait to get my beautiful ring he designed with both our birthstones incorporated! Christmas Eve has always been one of my favorite days of the year and he found a way to make it even more special to me.

While looking at venues, the first thing we did was make sure that the cost aligned with our budget. We didn’t want to fall in love with a venue we couldn’t afford! Not only did the cost of The English Manor align with our budget, but the value was great. We were getting more for our money than we would have at the other venues we looked at. Beyond the financial aspect, we loved that The English Manor has character– the building itself is beautiful from the attention to detail in the decor to the beautiful archways throughout to the beautiful newly renovated ballroom. Outside the building, the grounds were absolutely stunning. We are outdoorsy people and we loved the beautiful trees, the meticulously maintained flower gardens, the stream that runs through and the awesome outdoor patio area. The biggest selling point for The English Manor was how helpful the staff was in bringing our vision to life. When we visited, they walked us through the grounds explaining how and where everything would happen on our wedding day and answered all of the never-ending questions we had. They made everything so easy and organized for us and gave us a sense of security that things would go exactly how we envisioned.

What is/was your first dance song? what made you choose that one?

Our first dance song is Fools Rush In, originally by Elvis Presley but we chose the version that is a duo with Andrea Boccelli and Katharine McPhee. We chose this song because we love the simple beauty of it– love cannot be conquered. It will find you even when you might not be looking for it, take you over and never let you go. We also love Andrea Boccelli. We saw him in concert together a few years ago and were amazed by his awesome talent.

ENJOY THE PROCESS. We only get one chance to plan our dream weddings! Yes, making sure every “t” is crossed and every “i” is dotted and everyone involved is on the same page can seem daunting and stressful but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. If you feel yourself getting stressed, step away. I promise this process can be enjoyable– give yourself time to gather your thoughts and envision your big day every step of the way. Go back to your task when you’re feeling less overwhelmed. Try not to worry too much about everything being PERFECT. At the end of the day, nobody is going to notice if the shade of nail polish you chose is a little too peachy or the flowers weren’t arranged the way you wanted. You will be happily married to your significant other in the company of the people who are most important to you and thats what matters most!

badgley mischka, wedding shoes, wedding details bride getting ready sheraton of eatontown johndefiora.com, john defiora photography, new jersey wedding photographers allaire state park sisters, allaire state park the english manor the english manor ceremony photos, the english manor, groom

Venue: The English Manor
Dj: Jason Jani of SCE Event Group
Associate Photographers : Nikki and Chip
PhotoBooth :  John DeFiora Photography

Wedding Dress : Monarch Gown by BHLDN
Shoes : Marla Peep-Toe Heels by Badgley Mischka and Tulum Sandals by Bella Belle
Accessories: Angel Aura Quartz necklace by Sara Weber Jewelry & earrings by Francescas

Tuxedo: Jos A. BankJoseph Abboud Two-Button Navy Super 120B.s Framed Notch Lapel

Hair- Lock & Shade in Asbury Park, NJ- Celeste Docherty
Makeup- Katie Paserba at K Kosmetics
Rings- Stuart at Gold Fever Catch It in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ