“Select a location and vendors that you like, and that reflects who you are as a couple,” is among the best advice Laura Abruzzese received when she was in the process of planning her wedding to fiancé, Christopher Rossi. A perfectionist, the bride did a lot of research online and perused reviews to cull the best vendors. Choosing the venue, however, was her easiest decision. Growing up in the vicinity of Pleasantdale Château, Laura always knew it was the place she wanted to host her reception. It was also a convenient location for most guests.
Reflecting the couple’s faith, a Catholic ceremony was held at the awe-inspiring St. Teresa of Avila Church. Bridesmaids clad in sophisticated, short black dresses with sheer overlays on the bodices that culminated with bows over one shoulder preceded Laura down the aisle. They accessorized their ebony ensembles with dangling turquoise earrings.
The bride was gorgeous in a ball gown showcasing a bodice encrusted with crystals, beads, and sequins, and a frothy skirt with a cathedral train lightly sprinkled with rhinestones. Her bouquet was composed of blush and ivory peonies – her favorite flower – and adorned with a sparkling brooch; a smaller jewel accented the white satin ribbon wrapped around the stems. Laura’s attendants carried posies of hot pink peonies.
After the vow exchange, colorful libations set on scalloped coasters bearing the inscription, “A Match Made in ‘Hoboken’” – referring to where Laura and Christopher first met – awaited friends and family at the cocktail hour. The sit-down dinner followed in the grand ballroom boasting an English Georgian architectural style.
Two floral designs gracing round tables draped in creamy linens added brightness to the ivory and gold space. A trio of cylinder vases of varied heights was topped with hydrangeas, stock, roses, orchids, and peonies in aubergine, lavender, and fuchsia hues. A similar compilation, with the addition of verdure, crowned trumpet vases. Crystal strands punctuated with small orchids as well as a single hot pink peony floating inside each vessel provided a lovely finishing touch.
“Entering the reception to an amazing band playing and everyone on their feet cheering and dancing” is how the bride describes one of the unforgettable moments of the day. As a couple who loves to have fun, the entertainment was an important factor for the celebration. “I think the energetic 12-piece band that kept everyone dancing definitely reflected our personalities,” notes Laura, who has been a dancer all her life. The revelry continued throughout the celebration and at the couple's after-party, which delighted guests with more delicious fare and dancing.
Seeing everything come together in such an amazing way, “the only thing I would have done differently is [to have] hired a videographer,” says Laura. “I would love to watch and relive the day.”