Thanks to her mother’s eye for the perfect guy, Suzanne and Luigi were brought together at one of our very favorite restaurants! From Suzanne:
“We met at Patrizia’s on East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. Patrizia’s has been my family restaurant since I was a little girl. So my mom and I went to eat there after visiting family. Luigi’s brothers own Patrizia’s, and he happened to be working that day. While we were eating my mom pointed to Luigi and we started talking about how cute he was. HA HA HA (my mom is hilarious) When it came time to pay the bill, my mom made me go up to the counter to pay (AKA: Go Talk to Luigi). We started talking and exchanged numbers. We hit it off right away so we decided to go out that same night. Since then Luigi and I have been together… that was seven years ago.”
Long-distance relationships are never easy, but neither Suzanne nor Luigi planned on letting that come between them, especially since they each knew the other was the one:
“Our relationship was extremely difficult at the beginning because we lived so far away. I saw him all the time but I felt like we were both literally not sleeping, living out of our cars for the first couple years. We were very close from the beginning, so one day we were talking and he asked me to move in with him. I couldn’t help but think about how we were inseparable to begin with now this is it…we are going to be together forever.”
Luigi didn’t let the fact that his romantic plans for a grand proposal fell through…he went ahead with what in the end was simply perfect. From Suzanne:
“Luigi had this wonderful plan to purpose to me under the Christmas tree in the city. It was so romantic but I found out about the proposal before it happened. I knew something was happening I just didn’t know what exactly. So I got it out of my sister-in-law Lorenza. Luigi should have known she would tell me…she is my best friend. That night, Luigi was in his underwear and he purposed to me. Not ideal but it was totally us. I love him so much that it didn’t matter how he did it, just that he asked.”
When these two became engaged, Suzanne was in nursing school, and so she and Luigi decided to set a date 2 ½ years in the future – September 27, 2014. After all, planning a wedding after graduation would be much more fun! And what a great process it was:
“I had the time of my life during the planning process. I did not find it stressful just a lot of fun. I started about a year before the wedding and every second of the day I was thinking about the wedding. My theme was a romantic fall setting and I just took it from there.
My mom Susan was amazing in helping me plan. We did everything together and I must have sent her a million emails. We are both having post wedding depression together. I love her so much and she was so supportive. I also owe so much to my wedding party my sister-in-laws and my mother in law. We are all so close and I was so excited about sharing every detail with them all. It was so nice to have them be excited with me through the entire journey. I love tradition but I put my own twist on everything to make it my own, and they all understood all my visions. I had everyone involved and we all just had a blast planning!
We had the ceremony and reception at The Old Bermuda Inn in Staten Island New York. When Luigi and I went to see it we both fell in love with the venue. The feel of is so warm and the look is vintage. Cindy and the entire staff was so amazing and accommodating. Whatever visions or ideas I had they made a reality. From the food and venetian hour to the décor and ceremony, they customized every aspect of the wedding. The food was absolutely delicious and they had so many different selections. They made my dream wedding come to life!”
Finding the right dress took her all over the area, but once she found the right one, she knew from the moment she slipped it on. From Suzanne:
“I had a vision of exactly what I wanted to look like which actually made it difficult because I wanted to find it. My dress was the hardest part. I went to every dress shop including those in Connecticut. I finally found myself with my mom and Roxanne (my sister-in-law to be) at Fontana in Greenwich, Connecticut. The dresses they have are so exquisite and unique. The staff was also so amazing and helpful. When we found THE DRESS it was everything I could imagine. Simply stunning and I couldn’t believe I found it. The designer is Stephen Yearick & Ysa Makino. Such talented designers.”
The next stop on Suzanne’s search was to find the perfect finishing touches for her sensational wedding day look at Bridal Styles Boutique!
“For my accessories I had an exact vision also. I went to Bridal Styles in Brooklyn, New York. When my mom and I walked in my heart stopped. Everything was just absolutely stunning and one of a kind. The staff was also amazing and they actually helped me match my headpiece, earrings and bracelet to a picture of my dress. It could not have matched better when I put it all together. It looked like I had my accessories custom made. For my hair I was debating up or down but went for comfort and I’m glad I did. Both hair and make-up I used House of Trends in Staten Island, New York. My headpiece and accessories really pulled it all together.”
When their September day arrived, everything fell flawlessly, wonderfully in place. Even the weather cooperated! From Suzanne:
“The wedding day was so perfect. I woke up to the most beautiful weather. I had my entire bridal party and all of my close family stay with me at the Hilton Garden Inn. We all gathered in my bridal suite. We had such a blast getting ready, it was a time to remember. The ceremony started at 6:20. We were all waiting to walk in and my entire bridal party was in tears. It was very emotional because each and every person in the bridal party took this entire journey with me. We walked in to the instrumental Christina Perry “A Thousand Years” which was also our first dance.
The ceremony was so beautiful with fall leaves and candles lining the aisle. There were also leaves circling the trestle and matching centerpiece flowers on white pyramid stalks. The room was so perfect I was in tears when I walked in. We had a rose ceremony and presented each of our parents with a rose to thank them for giving us to each other. We used the Unity candles, which were lit to the song “Ave Maria” by Andrea Bocelli which meant a lot to my mother.
After the ceremony we greeted each one of our guests on the way out and they were escorted to the cocktail room downstairs. This room is so unique because of the architectural work. It looks like a small village and there is also a full mahogany bar. We also came up with two signature drinks which were The Suigi, a caramel apple martini, and also The Falling in Love, an Autumn sangria.
Following cocktail hour, the guests were escorted to the reception room on the third floor. From the centerpieces to the elevated dais surrounded with candles and chairs with diamonds on them, the room was perfect. The flowers by Sam Gregorios in Staten Island, New York were so beautiful along with the bouquets. Sam incorporated every color I wanted and even included some sparkly autumn leaves.
The venetian hour we also completely customized with many Fall delights. It was filled with apple cider donuts, pumpkin pie, apple pies, all different cakes from red velvet to classic chocolate, caramel popcorn, banana flambé with an ice cream sundae station, classic cheesecakes, Italian cookies, mini pastries, candy bar, a chocolate bar which had chocolate Twinkies, Oreos, pretzels, and fruits, and last but not least a caramel apple dipping station. The guests were able to dip their own apples in caramel and also choose to dip the apple in assorted toppings
We also customized the cake and picked pumpkin spice with cream cheese filling. It was beautifully covered with fall flowers and leaves. There was also a cordial station and a coffee station.
The DJ we choose was Next Generation Entertainment. DJ Squints had us dancing all night long. He was so amazing and we even had a half hour of just disco. Both of our families could not sit down. DJ Squints also did a photo montage which he completely customized for us. We had a photo recap and all of our photos were done by Alexia Photo and Video. They were so amazing and accommodating with everything that I wanted. Everyone of our picture were perfect. The entire day was perfect, nothing went wrong and I couldn’t of asked for a better wedding.”
From her unique brooch bouquet to how she and Luigi honored loved ones no longer with us, a few of Suzanne’s one-of-a-kind wedding day details were near and dear to her heart. From Suzanne:
“My mom made everyone bring a brooch to my bridal shower, and I made my bouquet from all the brooches I collected so that each person who came to the wedding was also part of my bouquet. I received such unique brooches but two of them really stood out:
My mother gave me the last gift my grandmother gave her before she passed, which was a beautiful purple brooch. Loraine Dama, which is Luigi’s aunt, also gave me a very unique brooch. Loraine knew I just finished nursing school and I am very passionate in oncology, so she gave me a brooch that was given to her by one of her patients. It’s an antique brooch, and the woman actually had cancer and was one of her most memorable patients. Loraine also gave me the brooch to take with me when I take my state exam.
After I completed my brooch bouquet, I took pictures of four very special people to Luigi and I that are no longer with us and hung their pictures from my bouquet. My two grandmothers, Angelina Doino and Mary Weyant, my godmother Denise Scalere, and Luigi’s grandparents, Luigi Dama and Adeline Dama. I also gave my mother and my mother-in-law brooch corsages so they would have them forever.
I also wore these amazing shoes covered in diamonds and pearls. I ordered them online and when I received them my mouth dropped. I decided I needed matching flat shoes so I made those also and covered them with diamonds and pearls to match.
Our unique cake topper was custom made and it was an exact replica of me in my wedding gown with a nurse’s hat, and Luigi in his police officer uniform and our two dogs Bruno and Big Ang in front of us. It’s also something we can have forever. Lastly, one of the gifts I made for all my bridesmaids was very special to me. It is a Christmas ornament with our shredded wedding invitation inside. I also attached a tag with a message to each one of the girls and also for my mother and mother-in-law.”
Weddings are made up of wonderful experiences and memories and, though Suzanne and Luigi loved every second of their day, a few moments stand out most:
“Luigi says the most memorable moments for him are during the ceremony when we exchanged our vows and when we presented the roses to both of our parents.
I actually have three very special moments. My dad (James Cole) was diagnosed with lung cancer last year. My family was not sure if he was going to be at the wedding. So one of my most memorable moments was being able to dance with my dad to Stevie Nicks “Landslide” and to have him dancing like crazy and smiling and laughing at my wedding. I am truly blessed for that moment.
The next memorable moment was from my aunt Mary Masullo who is my grandmother’s sister. She had just turned 96, and I had received a reply back that she was not going to make it to the wedding. After Luigi and I were pronounced husband and wife and we were walking down the aisle, I saw her face right in the front. I couldn’t help myself from crying I was so filled with joy!
Last but not least, my most memorable moment was when I was walking down the aisle with my dad and I looked up and saw the man I love at the other side of the aisle. At that moment, I couldn’t believe how far we both came and what we accomplished, at that moment I felt such comfort and gratitude that I would be able to spend the rest of my life with someone so remarkable. That for me was truly memorable.”
These two lovebirds have some great advice for other couples in the middle of planning their own weddings:
“Budget and shop around. As a bride and groom you have to set a realistic budget and stick with it. Also, if you have an idea you must shop around for prices and if it doesn’t fit into the budget try to make it yourself. Another word of advice is to be flexible. Nothing is perfect and if something does go wrong don’t get stressed just work it out. There is always a solution! Lastly, enjoy every moment because it goes fast. Just have fun through the entire process and stick to what you want and not to worry about everyone else. It is a special day for the two of you and if you two are happy that’s what matters in the end.”
Thank you so much for sharing your day with us, and best wishes!
Suzanne and Luigi’s wonderful wedding vendors:
Headpiece and Jewelry: Bridal Styles Boutique
Dress : Fontana’s
Hair and Makeup: House of Trends
Flowers: Sam Gregorios
Photographer and Videographer: Sydney at Alexia Photo and Video
DJ: Next Generation Entertainment (DJ Squints)
Jeweler: Buono Jewelers
Limos: Reliance Limousines
Venue: The Old Bermuda Inn