Though they’d known each other for years, Anna and Anthony have Anna’s grandmother to thank for bringing them together!
“Anthony’s sister Caterina and my cousin Pasquale have been dating several years before me and Anthony started dating. I had always seen him and thought he was absolutely adorable. When my grandmother passed away in 2006, Anthony was by my and my family’s side the entire time. I kept seeing him constantly and one day he asked me to go out for a drink. To this day I say my grandmother was the one who put us two together.”
Right away, Anna knew that Anthony was someone special.
“Our first date I said to myself ‘I’m going to marry this guy – he had something different about him- I couldn’t imagine myself with anyone else.’”
Anna wasn’t the only one who knew they’d found The One. After some time, with the help of their families, Anthony proposed to Anna in the sweetest of ways:
“His parents invited my parents, sister and grandparents for Easter Dinner. This was no surprise since both our families were so close, and spent several holidays together. Once we arrived, we started setting up the dinner table and helping out.
Anthony’s nephew, who was 5 months old at the time, was ready for a diaper change. So, I was summoned to do so… Again no surprise, since I always grabbed any chance I could to hold him. Once I was undressing the baby, Anthony came over and I noticed people with cameras and taking iPad videos, but thought nothing of it – perhaps they were just videotaping baby Rosario since he was the first Baby Boy of the family.
Once I removed his 1 piece jumper, I noticed blue Swarovski crystals on his onesie. Quickly I thought to myself ‘why the heck is this baby wearing crystals on his onesie?! ‘ My heart dropped just as I realized baby Rosario’s onesie read, “Will You Marry My Uncle?” I quickly turned to Anthony as he was on one knee holding this gorgeous diamond ring and he asked me to be his wife.“
The two lovebirds soon set the date of September 21, and, with the help of Anna’s mom, Patty, along with her sister Enza, began to plan.
“Planning was so much fun!!!! I wanted everything white and glamorous with a little bit of sparkle… planning was a second job! I would be out from 9am till 6pm just meeting with different vendors. Was so worth the outcome! “
Anna wanted many unique touches at the wedding and set out to find to right vendors to fulfill her vision.
“I somehow came across Angela’s Fantasy Creation on Instagram. She is based out of LA and custom designs anything you want. Money boxes, flower girl baskets, ring boxes, bouquets, memory bottles, frames, jewelry boxes just to name a few! She custom designs all this, of course, with Swarovski crystals. I had Angela create a giant money box for my wedding. I wanted different and she worked with me on everything! I am currently using the money box to display my wedding shoes in my closet. The flower girl basket was gorgeous! One of a kind! I didn’t want a regular pillow for my pillow boy, so Angela created a ring box. A two-tiered box with an opening to place the rings.
Having custom pieces at my wedding made it my own, and my wedding cake was one of my favorites! I worked with Gennaro at Palermo’s Bakery in NJ and we both came up with the design for a classy, Swarovski, all-white five-tiered wedding cake. I purchased crystal cake appliqués and Gennaro worked with them to create exactly what I wanted!”
As the wedding details began to take shape, Anna turned her attention to choosing the dress…and headed straight for Kleinfeld. From Anna:
“I’d always wanted (and envisioned myself in) that sexy mermaid tight wedding dress….until I went to Kleinfelds and fell in love with Pnina Tornai ball gowns. I wanted big , bling, and beautiful! My mother hated the dress when I told the consultant I wanted to try it, but once I stepped out of the dressing room my mom fell in love! My mom’s opinion had a lot to do with my wedding, there’s always that fear of not listening to mom and regretting it and having her say, ‘I told you so,’ but my gown was fun, different and full of Swarovski crystals.“
Next stop on Anna’s list? Bridal Styles Boutique!
“Once I said yes to the dress, they put on a veil and different headpieces and I immediately declined. I’ve lived in Brooklyn my whole life and always wanted to get my headpiece and veil at Bridal Styles.
When we arrived for our appointment, my mom and I were treated like royalty, and, after I showed the picture of my dress, they knew exactly what will go. I wanted a showstopper and that’s when the staff at Bridal Styles went in the back to the exclusive selection and pulled out the perfect headpiece! I went with a big, blingy and beautiful headpiece, and not only did I purchase my headpiece but also a custom-made cathedral veil with Swarovski crystal along the whole train all scattered up the veil. On my wedding day, all of my guests could not keep their eyes off of my headpiece! I also got my flower girl this adorable feathered and rhinestone piece, my mom and sister a Swarovski-encrusted piece and, of course, my diamond studded earrings that complemented the headpiece and veil and dress.
Next, I purchased open-toed Jimmy Choo pumps and had Swarovski crystals added to them – a little more bling, of course! My wedding look was exactly what I envisioned – from my hair, makeup and accessories, to the dress, shoes and flowers.“
Finally, the day arrived, and though the morning started nerve-free, as the moment when she’d (finally) marry Anthony drew near, Anna began to get butterflies! From that moment on, the day passed in a wonderful, unforgettable blur.
“Since I work at Mancini Giuffre Salon in Staten Island, I had the pleasure of having both Stephanie Russo and Melissa Scotti come to my home the morning of my wedding. The morning went by so smoothly. I wasn’t nervous until I started getting text messages from friends and family wishing me a lifetime of happiness- that’s when it became real!
There were a few raindrops early morning but when it was time, the sun was beaming and the clouds opened up – it was the perfect wedding day, and my bridesmaids looked phenomenal in their Tony Bowls royal blue gowns.
When it was time to meet Anthony at St. Teresa, I was getting nervous and excited. Once I arrived, all I could see was Anthony waiting for me with a smile, and definitely a nervous one! Afterwards, we headed to Lambert Castle to take pictures, after which was our party of 300+ guests at The Venetian and an abundance of food, dancing and love. From there on it was just magical. “
One of Anna’s favorite moments?
“Was definitely dancing with my daddy. All eyes on me and my father. Took me back to when we danced at my communion, my Sweet 16, and now my wedding. Our bond is one unlike any I have with anyone else – a truly amazing man!”
As for Anthony, he’ll never forget their first dance to “At Last” by Etta James.
Now blissful newlyweds, Anna and Anthony have this advice for couples planning their own weddings:
“Do whatever makes you happy. In the end, it’s your wedding and everyone understands that. Also, whatever goes wrong that day, brush it off. No one will notice except you.”
Best wishes, Anna and Anthony, and thanks so much for sharing your day with us!
Anna and Anthony’s wedding vendors:
Bridal headpiece, veils and flower girl hair accessories – Bridal Styles Boutique
Dress- Kleinfeld – Pnina Tornai
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Tony Bowls
Venue- The Venetian
Flowers- Flowers by Bernard
Invitations-Invitations by Jillianne
Favors -Special Touches
Cake- Palermo’s Bakery
Band- Opera 3000
Transportation- Diamond Limo (Brooklyn)
Photography- Fantasia Studios
Videography- Fantasia Studios
Accommodations- The Marriott
Hair & Makeup : Mancini Giuffre Salon
Custom money box, flower girl basket, ring box, cake topper and cake stand: Angela’s Fantasy Creations