After several brief encounters at company gatherings over the years, Monica Scotto and Joe Bruton finally spent some quality time together at a Dave Matthews Band concert. With a mutual crush since their very first conversation, it still took a slightly superstitious exchange to make their feelings public. “There was this big digital clock near the stage, and I said to Joe, ‘It’s 11:11, make a wish,’” remembers Monica. “And without hesitation, he looked at me and said, ‘It has already come true.’”

After surprising Monica with a proposal scene flooded with red rose petals and 200 glowing candles, Joe and his bride began the exciting, yet daunting, task of planning the grand affair. It was to be a large celebration, and with Monica a wedding planner and Joe an employee of the Scotto family’s catering and special events business, Scotto Brothers Enterprises, “the expectations on us were high,” confesses Monica. “In addition, the expectations I put on myself were even higher.”

Rising to the self-imposed challenge with the help of her invaluable vendors, her supportive family and Joe, Monica designed a dream wedding that was every bit as dramatic and impressive as she envisioned. The idea of where to hold the wedding reception came naturally to Monica and Joe, as it was the location of one of their first meetings and spacious enough to accommodate their nearly 400 guests in elegant style. It was also a Scotto Brothers’ venue (which meant “there were no limitations” on the creativity the couple could apply).

On June 30, 2005, after witnessing Monica and Joe’s traditional church ceremony, guests were greeted at the cocktail hour by seven violinists who wound their way down a grand staircase.

Multiple stations offering international fare and a rich jewel-toned decor created a setting very different from the fairytale in the dining room. From crystal and floral “hanging centerpiece” chandeliers to linens and chair covers made from ornate, beaded fabric, the regal ballroom was resplendent in a romantic palette of ivory and antique gold. The entire room was draped from floor to ceiling in ivory fabric and individual flowers were suspended throughout the room on clear wire. Each place setting displayed the evening’s extravagant dinner menu printed on a fan, along with a napkin adorned with an antique gold brooch that was meant for guests to take home. Located throughout the room, plasma screens disguised as works of art in gold wooden frames projected freshly filmed footage of the bride’s preparations at her parents’ home, the ceremony and cocktail hour.

Their incredible cake, designed by the famous Sylvia Weinstock, was a towering five-tiered masterpiece completely covered in a cloud of sugar roses and stephanotis that was almost too exquisite to eat; that is, if guests were even able to tear themselves away from the hardcover books that Monica and her talented sister created to document the couple’s relationship.

The over 50 pages of photos from their childhoods, their courtship and of the various phases of their wedding planning and pre-wedding events so enamored their guests that they took to hiding them from one another in order to take a copy home.

Monica and Joe regard their first dance as “one of the most unforgettable moments” of the night. They danced together to “Come What May,” from the movie Moulin Rouge, a song that resonated deeply with them. The first time they heard it, they knew it was meant to be theirs.

With so many details wrapped up in a flurry of emotion, certainly no one would have blamed Monica and Joe if they missed a beat here or there. Such was not the case, however, explains the bride, “This truly was the greatest day of my life so far. I was relaxed, and I danced and soaked in every minute of it. It was not a blur at all. For that, I feel very lucky.” Luckier still, the couple embarked on their extended honeymoon, enjoying Bora Bora, France, Greece, Spain and Arizona’s Canyon Ranch Spa, undoubtedly creating the need to release an updated edition of their coveted book.