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Paul and Daniela met at a dive bar on the Upper East side of New York City. When Paul saw Daniela, he immediately felt the need to talk to her. Daniela left that night thinking Paul was really cute and funny and she hoped to see him again. They hung out often after this and eventually made it official after a few months. Later, they moved into their first apartment together. Paul asked Daniela to marry him while they were in South Africa at a vineyard in Stellenbosch. They spent nearly two hours talking and sipping on champagne alone just processing the event before going out to celebrate with family and friends later that evening.

Daniela and Paul’s wedding weekend at The Wilburton highlighted all the classic aspects of the state of Vermont. Since Vermont is a special place for Daniela and Paul, they wanted their wedding to be a chance for their family and friends to experience all the magic it offers. They kept their decor and color scheme centered around the October foliage by choosing easy neutrals with gold and burgundy accents to tie the surroundings into the day. The bridesmaids wore deep red velvet dresses of differing styles. Daniela wore a timelessly chic gown and later changed into a cute mini dress. The marble floors of the reception tent made the celebration feel whimsical and enchanting once the sun had set. All the extra effort put into arranging the tea lights, built-in fairy lights, and candles had an added effect in bringing the outside in. Scroll to see everything captured by Abigail Grey Weddings.

How did you meet?

Paul and I met in July of 2015 at a dive bar on the Upper East Side in NYC. It was a Saturday night in the summer and I was out with some friends for a birthday and Paul was out with friends who lived in that neighborhood. Paul’s memory of the night is that he saw me come in to the bar and felt like he needed to talk to me. I left the bar that night thinking how funny he was and how I hoped I’d see him again like we planned. A few months after that we began officially dating and in February 2018 we moved in to our first apartment together in Midtown East.

What is your proposal story?

In December 2019 Paul and I took a trip to Africa to Zimbabwe and South Africa. While in South Africa at a vineyard in Stellenbosch, Paul proposed in a sculpture garden on the property before dinner. It was such an intimate and special moment because it was just us two. Paul had arranged for a table to be set up in the garden with champagne, and we sat there for nearly two hours after drinking the champagne processing the excitement of the moment alone before eventually heading to dinner and calling family/friends. Stellenbosch is a particularly special place to me, because I studied abroad at the University of Stellenbosch in 2013, so to get engaged in such a meaningful and beautiful location was a dream come true!

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

Our biggest inspiration came from Vermont itself. When we toured The Wilburton in February 2020, we knew it was the perfect place for the wedding we envisioned. Vermont is such a special place to us both and we wanted to bring all our family and friends together in a place that felt like home and show them why we love Vermont so much. We wanted our decor/color scheme to be centered around the October foliage, so we really kept things neutral with gold and burgundy accents to tie the surroundings in to the day. We wanted a romantic, elegant vibe with a bit of rustic charm. The Wilburton has a beautiful reception tent with marble floors that could not have been more perfect for our vision. The tent has beautiful tulle draping and fairy lights built in to the ceiling of it, making the inside feel whimsical and enchanting once the sun sets. We asked our florist to keep the centerpieces simple, with votives ranging in height and width, tea lights and floating candles. The goal was to make it feel like we were bringing the outside in.

Tell us about your attire choices.

Paul had a custom suit made at SUITSUPPLY. He wanted something special and he was able to design the entire suit down to which buttons were used and the lining pattern on the inside. Monogrammed under his suit collar is our wedding date. His wedding shoes were from Allen Edmonds.  For my wedding dress, I chose Sarah Seven. The first time I ever looked online at Sarah Seven I saw the dress I knew would be mine. In September 2021 I went dress shopping with my mom and my best friend, and the first dress I tried on was not only the one I had seen online, but also ended up being my wedding dress. Sarah Seven dresses and timelessly chic and exquisite quality and since I loved my dress so much I bought a second look from Sarah Seven as well, a mini dress, which I changed in to mid-way through the reception. My wedding shoes worn with my wedding dress were from Stuart Weitzman and on the bottom of the shoes written in blue crystals they said “I Do”. The pink shoes I wore with my mini dress were from Schutz. My wedding earrings were from AuRate and the bracelet I wore was given to me by my mom, as it was hers from childhood. My veil was also Sarah Seven.

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

Both of us have the same favorite memory – our moment alone after the ceremony. Right after the ceremony ended, Paul and I were taken in to the Billiards Room of The Wilburton, where a small table had been set for us with champagne and hors d’oeuvres. We spent about 10 minutes alone in this room, just sharing our excitement from the moment and reminiscing on our earlier anxiety leading up to the ceremony. We were able to just hold hands and be together for the first time as husband and wife. It was such a special moment we will never forget.

Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.

I wanted our welcome sign to be a mirror sign, so I bought a large, somewhat intricately designed mirror off of Facebook Marketplace. A couple of weeks before the wedding my best friend (also my maid of honor) and I spray painted the entire frame gold on my balcony. I ordered a vinyl decal from Etsy, which I then carefully attached to the mirror. I’m not very crafty at all, so this was big for me and turned out exactly how I envisioned it to!

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

Everyone says this, but truly just savor every moment of your weeding weekend/day. It’s so hard to not get caught up in the adrenaline and excitement, and then before you know it – it’s over! We wish we could relive all the small moments over again of seeing our family and friends all together in a place so special to us. It’s your wedding, let it be the best day of your lives!