Admittedly, Talia Stone didn’t make the best first impression when she was very late to her first date with Jonathan Shames, whom she had recently met via a dating app. “I came from the gym, I was carrying bags,” she illustrates. But none of that mattered to Jonathan, who was instantly smitten. “I didn’t mind. I knew she was The One at first sight!” he reveals. And that’s all it took. That first meeting and instant chemistry led to the couple moving to Hilton Head, South Carolina, where they lived together during the pandemic.
When the time came, Jonathan flew both of their families out to witness his surprise beach proposal. He had already secured the blessing of Talia’s parents and purchased a gorgeous diamond engagement ring with the help of the Stone family’s jeweler. After that memorable morning where Talia happily agreed yes, it only took eight months for the affianced pair to plan their nuptials with the help of esteemed wedding planner David Pressman of David Pressman Events.
Wanting to include only their closest friends and family in the celebration, Jonathan and Talia worked on their guest list and planned to invite 110 loved ones to witness their “I dos” at the bride’s family home. “I always knew that I wanted to get married at my parents’ because it was sentimental to me, and being at another venue just wouldn’t feel the same,” confides Talia.
“But because this was an at-home wedding, we had unlimited options for every decision we had to make, down to the color of napkins, the type of plates, etcetera. It allowed us to make it extremely unique, but also was a bit overwhelming at times,” she adds. Thankfully, Talia’s groom and their respective family members were happy to help and be involved in planning the entire event alongside her.
“I always knew that I wanted to get married at my parents’ [home] because it was sentimental to me and being at another venue wouldn’t feel the same.”
Talia envisioned a casual, yet elegant aesthetic so it felt natural in the alfresco setting. “Since we were hosting in the backyard, I wanted it to feel organic and not super formal,” mentions the bride, who opted for X-back wooden chairs set on the grassy area facing the chuppah decorated with florals in white and shades of pink.
The bride was radiant, wearing a classic strapless gown featuring hand-sewn embellishments, while her groom looked handsome in a grey suit with a blue-toned tie. The Jewish ceremony included traditional customs, though the couple chose a more modern approach for the seven blessings. “Instead, we had each person give a quick personalized blessing for our marriage,” Talia describes. “I remember looking at Jon and just feeling such joy and love.”
Dinner tables were decorated with flower arrangements in pale shades of blush and cream, collections of candles, and a lovely selection of floral-patterned china to “create a homey feel” for the family-style dinner. Signature cocktails were beautifully garnished and readily available, as well as a plethora of fresh food options followed by slices of the all-white wedding cake and more sweet treats.
Though the bride wishes she had danced more, there isn’t much else she would change about their dreamy celebration. For those newly engaged, Talia suggests to stay on track when starting the wedding-planning process by being organized, keeping calm, and working collectively. “When decisions needed to be made, such as the first dance, vendors, invitations – really anything, we sat down, talked through options, and decided together. Working as a team made the process more fun,” Talia emphasizes. Her groom completely agrees: “It’s a partnership!”
Much like the conclusion of their first date, Jonathan glanced over at his beloved in awe when their big day came to an end. They walked hand in hand wearing tennis shoes to their hotel room only a few blocks away. “It’s one of my favorite memories from our wedding day,” he admits.
This real wedding was originally published in the Spring 2023 issue of Inside Weddings magazine.