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Amanda and Frank exchanged their vows on a beautiful, windy, Long Island day among their family and friends. The New York natives beamed as they stood beside the peaceful shore and celebrated the joining of their blended family. The ceremony and reception took place at the lovely Moriches Yacht Club, providing the perfect backdrop to this rustic, laid back celebration. The ceremony was held by the water where a beautiful hand-made wooden arch created a window to the bay behind the bride and groom. The most adorable vintage cocktail trailer served out drinks while the guests played lawn games during cocktail hour. Dancing took place under an enormous tent with light blue hanging lanterns giving off a perfect glow to the Brooklyn Bluegrass Collective (band) and the dance floor full of elated guests. The wedding ended with long goodbyes and many well-wishes for the happy newlyweds.

How did you meet?

We met one night at a local bar, after I had finished work at a restaurant down the street. After running into each other a couple of times, we realized that I knew his sisters from high school and we quickly became friends. We remained good friends for a couple of years, and after my relationship ended, we started spending more time together. We both had children from previous relationships and found comfort in each other. We would meet for dinners & drinks and eventually our relationship grew – getting more and more serious as the months went on.

What is your proposal story?

We had been together for about four years, and had talked about getting engaged and married all the time. I was hoping it was going to happen soon, but didn’t want to get my hopes up. On Christmas Day 2019, he proposed. We had our kids that morning and after breakfast & exchanging gifts, the kids left to be with their other parent for Christmas dinner. We were relaxing and waiting to go to my sister’s for dinner when he told me to get my stocking, which was hanging next to the others, empty. I grabbed it and jokingly said something about it having nothing in it, while putting my hand in to the bottom and there it was. I quickly felt a little wrapped box and stood still and stared at him for a minute. He got down on one knee as I pulled the box out of the bottom of my stocking and he said “Will you make me the happiest person in the world, and spend the rest of your life with me?” I quickly said yes and he put the ring on my finger!

Tell us a little a bit about your wedding (your vision, color, style, and location choices).

We pretty much had our wedding planned before we got engaged. We wanted to do a DIY wedding-rustic and simple, so we had it at the local yacht club on the bay. It was everything we wanted! Our colors were all different shades of dusty blue/navy blue and grey. We kept our flowers simple – baby’sbreath and a couple bits of greenery and a rose here and there. We got a great bluegrass band for cocktail hour and had yard games. Our goal was to have a fun, easy going wedding where the food was good, the drinks were delicious and there was lots of good music. We rented this awesome mobile bar called the Vintage Cocktail Camper which was a huge highlight of the party. It set the tone for the rustic theme we wanted and everyone loved it!

Tell us about your attire choices.

My wedding gown was the Naomi dress from BHLDN. It was absolutely stunning and 100% my style (& it was only $800!). I knew I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a wedding dress and found BHLDN online, booked an appointment, and found my dress within an hour. It was beautifully beaded and fit me perfectly, all I needed was to have it hemmed. Frank bought a grey Kenneth Cole suit from Macy’s, which fit him almost perfectly, all he needed was a hem. He also wore suspenders with his suit, so when he took his jacket off, he was comfortable. As for my bridesmaids, I wanted them to feel comfortable in their dresses. I let them each pick the style they liked best and felt good in and let them choose their shade of blue. I wanted them all to have a different dress and a different color and it really worked out well. Our groomsmen wore suits rather than tux’s – grey pants, white shirts and their choice of suspenders or a vest. They all had blue/tan/grey patterned ties.

What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?

We really just wanted everyone to have fun. You always hear while planning a wedding that the bride and groom are usually pulled away and don’t always get to enjoy the wedding reception themselves and that was something we did not want to happen. We planned everything out so our photos were mostly done before the ceremony and we were free to eat, drink and dance with all of our family and friends.

What were your favorite parts of the day? (memories and stories)

It is really hard to pick a specific part that we loved more. I would say doing our first look and having about an hour before our ceremony to have a drink, see each other and spend time with our wedding party before everything started was a really nice way to start the day. Our kids were in the wedding as well as our closest friends and all of our siblings, so it was really nice to have that time to joke around & relax before the ceremony started.

Tell us about your wedding flowers.

We wanted to keep everything simple and not have too much going on. We did all baby’s breath bouquets for the bridesmaids. I had a beautiful wildflower bouquet and the tables had baby’s breath with a bit of greenery and a few pink roses throughout the tables.

Tell us about your wedding cake.

Our caterer happened to use our favorite bakery for our cake. We had a “naked” style wedding cake with fresh berries on each layer. It was delicious and beautiful!

What did you do for favors?

Cupcakes and Everything Chocolate did our favors and did not disappoint! We decided to do cake pops. Christina (the owner and baker) makes these amazingly beautiful popsicle style cake pops that were both delicious and stunning. We explained our theme and colors and sent a couple of Pinterest posts to her and she went above and beyond. Each cake pop was wrapped with a cellophane wrap and twine bow.

Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.

Almost everything we had was DIY/handmade. Our centerpieces were all made by us (aside from the mason jars with flowers). All of the decorations we put together and made (with a little help from family) including the pallet with the timeline for the day, the photo booth, the backs of the ceremony chairs, etc.

Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?

No. We kind of wanted to do a semi-non traditional wedding. I did wear my grandmothers diamond earrings that were given to her by my grandfather though!

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?

Do what you and your partner want to do! When planning a wedding, everyone is going to tell you what they think you should do. At the end of the day, this is your wedding with the person that you want to share the rest of your life with and it should be everything you want. Whether that means a backyard BBQ or a romantic wedding in a church – do what suits you and your partner!