When you've been with someone for eight years, more often than not a proposal will come at the least expected time. That's what happened to Kristina, who was sorting through the mail when John came home, plopped down on the floor next to her, and casually said "Hey baby, will you marry me?"
Kristina admits that she and John love to procrastinate, so narrowing down the venue and date helped all the details come together in under 10 months. For their September 9th, 2012, wedding, John and Kristina headed to Laurita Winery. "It was the perfect combination of nature and elegance," says Kristina. And the September date meant they'd be able to marry at sunset and benefit from the early fall warmth.
Once they'd chosen a venue, the rest of the details "just fell into place," says the bride. She and her now-husband used a deep purple hue to enhance the vineyard's rustic-natural feel. "All in all, the planning process was pretty easy," says Kristina. "We weren't too stressed out. We knew what we had to do, and we got it done." This laid-back vibe carried through to the wedding itself, where even a fainting groomsman couldn't faze John and Kristina. See how, with everyone back up the aisle in one piece, they celebrated on this gorgeous New Jersey vineyard.
Kristina used her jewelry to add some shimmer to her A-line lace Maggie Sottero gown. She borrowed her infinity bracelet from her Maid of Honor for good luck.
The couple focused on their vineyard location, as well as their shared love of the outdoors, when planning the wedding details. The invitations featured a bicycle silhouette, while bunches of grapes made appearances throughout the floral decorations.
Around Kristina's bouquet was a gold locket with a picture of her grandparents. "I never met my grandmother, but my grandfather was a huge part of my life," says the bride. "He passed away before getting to walk me down the aisle, so having the locket with me made me feel like he and my grandmother were there with me."
White peep-toe pumps peek out from beneath Kristina's gown. Instead of dress socks, John wore black cycling socks. "They represent the mountain biker in me," he says.
Kristina's bridesmaids helped her pick the eggplant hue of their chiffon gowns. "Since the beginning of September still feels like summer, I thought they'd be more comfortable in short dresses," she says.
The ceremony took place at sunset, overlooking the vineyard. Simple jars of baby's breath lined the aisle, while wine barrels overflowing with hydrangeas, roses, and orchids flanked the altar.
Halfway through John's vows, one of his groomsmen fainted. Thank goodness one of Kristina's friends is an EMT (and his services weren't needed)! "We got him in a chair, and continued on with the ceremony," says the bride. "It's a story we all still laugh about!"
The couple ordered used wine corks to hold the place cards. "We tried to match the cork with something about the person who'd be getting it," Kristina explains.
Favors awaited the guests at their seats. The linens were kept neutral. "The room is so beautiful, so we didn't want to overdo our decorations," Kristina says.
The couple collected lanterns to use in their centerpieces. Purple and white lisianthus gave the arrangements a soft, lush feel.
Kristina's simple up-do was accented with purple Vanda orchids, which matched John's boutonniere. Her bouquet got its dark purple hue from Vanda orchids, anemones, and lisianthus. Ivory roses added a touch of contrast.
The couple swapped out a traditional guest book for a thumb print family tree. The wire cake topper featured two bicycles, as well as the bride and groom's names.
The four-tiered wedding cake featured vanilla cake layered with chocolate pudding and strawberry preserves. "We wanted it to be simple and delicate, while still being fancy enough for a wedding," says Kristina.
The bride and groom shared their first dance to Incubus's "I Miss You." After the wedding, they took a two-week trip to Japan and Hawaii.
"We've been together for so long, the wedding was a way to make it official," says Kristina. "We knew what it would be like to live as one, because we had already been doing so." And as a couple who already knew what they wanted, Kristina and John say to go with your gut. "Everyone will want to give you advice, but in the end, it's just the two of you. That's what matters."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Laurita Winery || Bride's Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero, from Nicole's Boutique || Shoes: Lulu Townsend, from DSW || Hair: Carmen Cortese of Studio 960 || Makeup: Nour Valese || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff || Groom & Groomsmen's Tuxedos: Chaz Ma Tazz || Florist: Skip's Florist || Invitations: Bicycle Paper Designs || Music: DJ Mike West of All Axcess Entertainment || Catering & Cake: Conroy Catering || Photography: Feuza Reis Studios