A best friend’s excellent matchmaking skills brought Maria and Joe together.
“My best friend Espie is married to one of Joe’s best friends, Adam. The first time she met Joe, she told him she had the perfect girl for him. And told me the same. She was very persistent on us meeting and going out. She even went as far as having us walk down the aisle at her wedding together, and knew we would one day walk down our own aisle. She was right on the money. Years later, they both walked down the aisle for us.”
custom pearl and Swarovski crystal crown, six-strand pearl bracelet with crystal flower brooch and classic CZ earrings – Bridal styles Boutique | wedding dress – Mark Zunino via Kleinfeld | photographer – Angelic Photo
Thanks to Joe’s incredible smile and personality, sparks flew.
“I knew Joe was ‘the one’ pretty quickly in our relationship. He always had this amazing spark about him, made me laugh at his cheesy jokes, and most importantly treated me with respect. We always have fun together. His gorgeous smile is my favorite thing about him. It is so infectious that I knew I would never want to live a day without it.”
A surprise proposal in a park and they were soon-to-be-wed.
“Joe took me to Blue Water Grill for my birthday. After dinner, we were heading back to the car, walked through Union Square park, and with a blink of an eye Joe was on his knee. His words melted my heart. I was literally shaking and crying. It was one of the best moments of my life. I said YES .”
It wasn’t long before the two set June 21 as their date. They planning process, however, took a little longer to get going!
“The planning process was fun, but I will embarrassingly admit, I was very laid back and waited LAST minute for a lot of things. I thought we had so much time, but time passed so quickly.
Our ceremony was held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn, with the reception at El Caribe.
I had always dreamed of a beautiful, elegant, and romantic wedding with white flowers everywhere. A beautiful ceremony in church was important to me as well. We incorporated my favorite flowers (orchids and peonies) in the centerpieces and my bouquet. For my bridesmaids, I wanted something airy and fun, since it was first day of summer. I loved how the color of the dressed would go with the all-white flower scheme.
Planning vendors was easy for us. We had seen some work by our videographer/photographer and knew we would use him come our day. My sisters had recently got married so we were able to utilize their vendors as well since we were familiar with their services. All in all, the planning process was fun. We were so excited for the day to come and have fun.”
When shopping for the dress, Maria ‘s laid back approach won her one gorgeous gown!
“I went to few places to shop for a dress to get an idea on what would look good. We finally went to Kleinfeld to check out a dress I had in mind, but was not blown away by it. I tried some others and then tried on my dress and instantly fell in love. My mom and sisters were also stunned by it and I immediately knew it was the dress.
My dress was by Mark Zunino – Kleinfeld. The owners at Kleinfeld set me up with an appointment so he could personally fit me for my first fitting. He was fantastic. It was an amazing experience.
For Joe, we wanted a very classic look, and did the black tuxedo with white shirt and black bowtie. My shoes were by Jimmy Choo. I wanted to wear my sister’s cathedral veil that she wore her wedding, I am a triplet, and my two sisters had both worn it. I wanted to do keep that tradition and wear it as well. My beautiful flower girls wore tutu style tulle dresses that resembled mine.”
Next, Maria visited us at Bridal Styles Boutique, where she put the finishing touches on her glam wedding day look.
“My accessories were of course from the best in the business, Bridal Styles Boutique. I drove Edward and my mom crazy in picking the perfect headpiece. Which I am glad I did, because it was stunning. I wanted my bracelet to have pearls because of its timelessness. Elaine helped me pick a beautiful piece, along with the perfect earrings to match.”
When the day of their June wedding arrived, despite some worry over the weather, everything turned out exactly as they dreamed…and more.
“We chose June 21st because we love Summer. We always look forward to summer, and figured we would have another reason to celebrate every year. We got lucky that it was a Saturday and jumped right on it. The week of the wedding, the weather kept saying storms for the day, and I was super stressed. Of all the things I should have stressed over, I didn’t – but the one thing I had NO control over, I stressed.
The day of was magical – far better than anything I could have expected or dreamed of. I woke up to a beautiful sunny day and that instantly had me jump out of bed with the biggest smile on my face. My mom was getting the house ready for guests.
Around 8am, our hairdresser and makeup artists came and started to do my hair, my sisters, my mom and bridesmaids. We had a great time getting ready. I was so calm and relaxed – and I just couldn’t wait to go upstairs and put on my dress.
My dad walked me down the aisle to meet Joe. We were married by Father Tizio. We took some family photos and headed over to Dumbo for pictures with our bridal party. Our photographer was great, and led the way through the shoots (and day for the most part) Thanks Saf! lol.
We finally headed back to El Caribe for our reception and had an amazing time. My grandparents, who are 85 years old, came in from Italy to celebrate with us, along with some cousins as well from Italy, California and Arizona as well. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family. The DJ played amazing music. The energy was amazing. We felt the love by all that came, and had the best time. We danced all night. It was so nice to see everyone have a great time. It was the best day of our lives and meant the world to us that everyone came to celebrate. We then headed to the Standard Hotel and spent our first night as Mr. & Mrs.”
A mutual love of Michael Jackson took their wedding reception from amazing to epic.
“We both love Michael Jackson, so when we started to plan I mentioned to Joe I would love to have some type of entertainment, and then the idea of an impersonator came up. Funny story, we were actually in Italy in June last year, and having this conversation with my uncle who was also visiting, from NJ, and said he knew the perfect person. As soon we got back, we booked MJX. Great impersonator. That was the first vendor we booked besides the hall and church! It was a nice surprise for our guests since we kept it a secret! He looked so real, and we really had a blast.”
For Maria, seeing the two men she loves most together on her wedding day is a memory she’ll always hold dear.
“There are so many memorable parts of the wedding, but my favorite was in church, with my dad walking me down the aisle and giving me away to Joe. As we waited for the doors to open my dad just gave me a big hug – and asked me if I was ready. That hug was so comforting, and I knew I was ready. Joe and I didn’t speak that day and I was just so excited to finally see him. The moment Joe and I locked eyes is something I will never forget. I saw some tears, but mostly his amazing smile that drew me to him in the first place. It was a beautiful moment when my dad and Joe shook hands. It was special to me because I know how happy my dad is that I found someone who respects me and loves me unconditionally. They are the two most important men in my life and I will always hold that moment special in my heart. “
Our blissfully happy newlyweds have this advice for other couples planning their own weddings:
“DON’T STRESS and just have the best time planning for the most amazing day of your life!!! And of course, do what your heart desires!! Do not worry about what is expected– it’s your day and that is all that matters!!”
“Enjoy every moment of the day, because it goes too fast!! And plan a nice relaxing trip, because you will need it after the planning!”
Thank you for sharing your day, and best wishes!
Maria and Joe’s wonderful wedding vendors:
Wedding Dress: Mark Zunino – Kleinfeld
Earrings, Bracelet, Headpiece: Bridal Styles Boutique
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Veil: my something borrowed from my sister
Tuxedos: Phil’s Tuxedos
Photography: Angelic Photo
Video: Enzo Video
DJ/Lighting: Streamline Events/Alfred Anelli
Bridesmaids: La Femme
Flowers: Eltingville Florist
Invitations: Dalmzio Imports
Hair: Jeannie C, Le Cut
Makeup: Sandra at Sultry Cosmetics