Learning to compromise was key when Dina D'Angelo and Patrick Dibre became engaged and began to plan their wedding. "I wanted a romantic, over-the-top wedding, and Patrick wanted a family-only affair," says Dina. They settled on "an intimate wedding in an extremely elegant location." Their love for the outdoors made choosing their site simple. The couple decided to hold both their ceremony and reception nearby at the Pleasantdale Château in West Orange, NJ, where the lush foliage and scenic lake provided the perfect backdrop.
On August 29, 2004, Dina and Patrick were married during a romantic ceremony completely awash in white. Everything—from the aisle runner to the chair damasks to the gazebo dripping with flowers—was in shades of white. "I wanted to make a statement by having an all-white ceremony," says Dina. "Then, we used the reception to introduce color." After the cocktail hour, guests were ushered indoors to the reception where blush tones took center stage. Each candlelit table featured a floral centerpiece that included copper calla lilies, ivory stephanotis and pale-pink roses. As the couple and their guests dined on baby greens, lobster bisque, filet mignon and pan-seared sea bass, a live band serenaded the crowd with jazz tunes. After dinner, the couple cut the cake, which was a three-tiered confection designed to mirror the centerpieces. Both Dina and Patrick agreed that their big day couldn't have been any better: "It was amazing," Dina recalls. "Walking down the aisle, looking at all the details, I felt as though I were floating in a fairy tale."
Learn From Dina and Patrick
Consider your guests and plan ahead: Dina and Patrick were married during the summer and wanted their guests to be comfortable in the heat, so they arranged for their outdoor cocktail hour to have an additional indoor area where guests could go to cool off.
Have a monochromatic ceremony: But don't forget to incorporate different shades of the color into your palette. Dina and Patrick varied the hues of whites they used, adding ivory, cream and off-white.
Relax: "I wish we had taken our time planning!" says Dina, who organized the whirlwind celebration in less than two months. Don't rush the process; have fun with every aspect of preparing for your big day. —Cristi L. Hansen