We had the incredible fortune to be able to DJ for Alex and Erik’s big day at the Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel. There honestly could not have been a better or more romantic backdrop to tell this couple’s love story. From the outdoor fountain to the fairy-tale Italian atmosphere, the whole event was filled with love and joy from the moment it started.
But you don’t want to hear about it from our perspective, so we asked the bride to share her inspiration, experience, and planning that made this amazing day possible.
Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day?
A: My inspiration was my venue. It is an Italian-themed venue that gave me visions of romance and love. That is how I chose my color palette and design details. Every detail I chose was based on keeping the romantic setting. From the candlelit dinner tables to the rose petals everywhere, I wanted everyone to feel the love that Erik and I felt that day.
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: My ceremony was minimal decor because to me, the decor was mainly the venue and its beauty. I didn’t want anything to take away from that.
I had two floral arrangements created to stand next to us at the altar. I created them in a way that they matched my bridal flowers but also mirrored the shape of the fountain they were next to, while keeping the color scheme and feel.
The idea for the reception was a candlelit fairy tale dinner. My centerpieces were mercury glass candle holders and I had real rose petals on all the tables. Along with the mercury glass centerpieces, I had tea lights on every table to really amplify the candle light.
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: We offered a photo booth and provided our guests with 4×6 vinyl frames with magnets on the back so they could take their photos home and easily display them on their refrigerators.
I think my favorite part was just seeing how beautifully it all came together. In my head I knew it would be amazing, but to see it in person and have my vision come to life was more than anything I could have imagined.
Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look?
A: I actually picked my dress the first day I went looking. A few bridesmaids (along with my mom and MIL) went out to start getting some ideas. I had very small expectations since it was my first day. We were all having fun and I was being very open to trying anything on.
After a few that I really loved, my MIL went on her own hunt while I was in the dressing room. She tossed it under the curtain and asked me to try that one on. I hesitated, since it had tulle and I had said earlier that day that I didn’t think I wanted anything “puffy”. I obliged and tried it on to make her happy and when I stepped out of the dressing room to show everyone, we all started crying.
I knew right then and there that was my dress.
It didn’t matter that was only the fifth dress I’d ever tried. I just knew it. It had thin, beaded spaghetti straps that led down to a sweetheart neckline. The beading and rhinestones continued the whole way down the form-fitted dress until it was met by tulle. The tulle flowed down to the bottom and into a train in the most effortlessly bridal way. It was the perfect amount of “I’m the bride” without being too over the top. It felt like it fit me and who I wanted to be on my wedding day.
Erik was a little easier to please than I was, if that is even possible. He also found his suit on the first day we went shopping. We knew we liked the classic and traditional black suit, white shirt, black bow tie. The trick was to find a suit that would flatter his body type and everyone else’s too. We landed on a classic black Calvin Klein that could have passed for a custom-tailored suit.
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: We go way back. We officially met in high school (briefly) at a mutual friend’s house. We went our separate ways and didn’t meet again until college when he was visiting the same mutual friend. Again, we became casual acquaintances and nothing more until after college.
We began to grow closer after we found ourselves in the same close-knit group of friends. We became so close that we were simply best friends for over two years. Eventually, a few mutual friends had to have a talk with me and tell me that Erik even liked me.
We had been such good friends for so long that I had never looked at him in that way before (until then) and I knew I had to give it a shot because if there was one thing I was sure of, it was that I knew he’d be the most perfect boyfriend if it would be anything like the friendship we had built.
And I wasn’t wrong. Falling in love with your best friend is the best feeling I could have ever asked for. I feel like the luckiest girl every day to actually say that and mean it.
The proposal didn’t happen for some time. We dated over five years before it happened. He tricked me into thinking we were going to a work dinner that just so happened to be at the same restaurant where he took me for our first real date. We hadn’t been back there since then, so that spot had some meaning for us.
We pulled up and the valet took our car. I grabbed his hand and said in a playful way, “Aw, can you believe all these years and we’re finally back where it all started!”. And just like that he got down on one knee and proposed. He had my best friends and family inside filming and waiting for us to come in and celebrate. It was one of the happiest days of my life!
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: Definitely the first look.
For so long I was so sure that I didn’t want a first look. The closer the wedding got, the more I thought it might actually help us both calm down before things kicked into high gear. I’d rather have that special moment between the two of us before we started our whirlwind evening. It was the most anticipated moment, special moment, and memorable moment of the day and one that I’ll never forget.
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: Just try to have fun planning, no matter what. Remember why you’re planning the day and have fun doing the planning together.
We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves! (By the way, if the wedding was any indication, this wedding must have been a BLAST to plan!)