Sometimes love blooms where you'd least expect it. For Jessie Riccio, 29, and Mike Mantyla, 39, romance struck at the office. Part of Jessie's job working in the compliance department of a financial institution was meeting with new employees. "One afternoon I was asked to meet with a guy we had just hired," recalls Jessie, "and much to my surprise, in walked this rugged, athletic, handsome man. It was love at first sight!"
Jessie found excuses to be on Mike's floor, even convincing a co-worker to help her strike up a conversation in front of him. The two began talking, then eating lunch together. After four months as friends, he asked her on a date. "The rest is history!" says Jessie.
In July of 2012, two years into their relationship, Jessie came home from the gym expecting their weekly "Taco Tuesday" dinner waiting for her. Instead she found rose petals on the floor, leading to the living room where Mike was standing, ring box in hand. After he proposed — and she accepted — he told her to shower and get dressed so they could go out for a celebratory dinner. "It was such an extraordinary surprise, during such an ordinary work week," she says.
For the next the 15 months, the couple planned a simple, yet beautiful wedding at The Old Field Vineyards on Peconic Bay, where Jessica grew up spending summers with her family. The two asked New York City photographer Cappy Hotchkiss to capture the spirit of their September 28, 2013, nuptials, and John Perry of A Small Affair to help coordinate the event.
Jessie's mom passed down her own mother's blue rosaries, blue handkerchief and bride's manual from her wedding. "My grandma Ellie is so special to me," says Jessie. "She cried when she saw me come downstairs in my wedding dress!"
Breaking with tradition, the bride and groom chose to see each other before the ceremony, which allowed Jessie to reveal her ethereal Jenny Packham gown, with sheer cap sleeves and a beaded A-line skirt. "I wanted to wear something that Mike would never expect, and look like the best version of the girl he fell in love with," she explains. The early meeting also allowed Jessie to admire Mike's tailored Tom James suit.
Jessie carried a lush bouquet of seasonal flowers including blush pink garden roses, dusty miller and kochia. Sag Harbor, New York florist Karen Lenahan left the stems expose and tied them with burlap ribbon.
The groom and groomsmen wore matching Tom James suits, as well as matching pink ties with blue and white stripes, and boutonnièeres of succulents.
The entire wedding party took pictures on the beach at the bride's parents' home before the ceremony. The bridesmaids wore silk chiffon J.Crewdresses in dusty shale. "I wanted the girls to have straps on their dresses. It worked out nicely that the neckline was similar to mine," says Jessie.
The afternoon ceremony took place on the grass overlooking the bay at The Old Field Vineyards, beneath a rustic altar beautifully adorned with peach and pink roses. Vintage metal containers filled with white hydrangeas, leaves and twigs lined the aisle.
"With the guidance of Dr. Janine Burns, an interfaith chaplain," explains Jessie. "We essentially wrote our own ceremony. It was very individual and unique, which was so important to us." As a nod to their chosen venue, the couple placed a bottle of wine and a wine box at the altar. They each handwrote a letter to the other and put it in the box to be read on their first anniversary. "We hope to continue this tradition every year," says Jessie.
Jessie let her gorgeous gown — composed of shimmering fabrics and beads — take center stage, opting to wear simple stud earrings and no necklace.
The couple purchased tea-stained escort cards and hired a calligrapher to write each guest's name. A family friend loaned them a weathered door in a washed-out blue hue. "My mom and I hung all 210 name cards from the wires on the door," says Jessie of her DIY project. "It definitely fit right in with our rustic look. We leaned it against a table during the cocktail hour so guests could easily find their names."
The evening reception took place beneath a tent lined with strings of white lights. Guests, seated in classic Chiavari chairs, dined at a mix of farm tables and round tables, topped with either a natural linen runner or white table and low floral centerpieces.
On some tables, the centerpieces were displayed in rectangular wooden boxes and featured seasonal white, ivory and blush-colored flowers with green accents. Seashells were scattered around as a nod to the wedding's seaside locale.
Other tables featured arrangements with hints of pink, purple and yellow in mercury glass vases, alongside small mercury glass votive candleholders. Still others held succulents, white dahlias, mini hydrangeas and more in glass vases. The mix of vessels made each table feel distinct from the next. A bottle of wine from The Old Field Vineyards, tied with a tea-stained tag, served as the table number.
An Irish linen napkin was set on each plate, folded neatly to fit a printed menu card and a sprig of rosemary inside. Jessie's aunt, a fudge maker in Huntington, NY, wrapped pieces of her homemade fudge in little boxes, then tied them with burlap and topped them off with a sand dollar, fish or shell ornament.
The couple opted for a simple three-tiered wedding cake adorned with succulents. The vanilla cake, with raspberry and chocolate filling, was coated in a textured layer of vanilla buttercream.
Jessie and Mike chose a song they heard on a commercial, "Overwhelmed" by Tim McMorris, for their first dance. "The first time we heard that song," recalls Jessie, "Mike said, 'This is how I feel, and this would be the perfect wedding song.'" Their band, The Stingers, kept the guests on their feet all night long. For their honeymoon, the couple jetted to Hawaii, spending a relaxing 11 days on Kauai and the north shore of Oahu.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Old Field Vineyards || Wedding Coordination: John Perry of A Small Affair, Lello Ryan of Little Bit of Lello || Officiant: Dr. Janine Burns || Bride's Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham || Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair and Makeup: Beautiful by Katy and Dina || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew || Groom's and Groomsmen's Suits: Tom James || Florist: Karen Lenahan Designs || Invitations: Crane & Co. || Music: The Stingers || Catering: A Small Affair || Cake: Junda's Pastry, Crust & Crumbs || Favors: Karla Bayon || Tent: Sperry Tent || Videography: Well Spun Weddings || Photography: Cappy Hotchkiss of Cappy Hotchkiss Photography