Athena and Michael’s romantic Italian-inspired wedding featured lush greenery and florals, exquisite Italian food from cocktail hour to dessert, and stunning sceneries!
They couple first met at the University of Miami during Athena’s senior year. As fate would have it, they both grew up in New Jersey, just miles away from one another.
Michael proposed during his family’s annual trip to Italy. Just as Athena was taking a picture of the sunset, Michael got down on one knee. When Athena turned around he popped the question and of course, she said “yes!”.
Athena and Michael wanted to have their wedding in Italy, but they had to change their plans with the onset of the pandemic. Still longing for the farm-to-table experience and the romantic atmosphere, the couple decided to bring Italy to New Jersey with the help of their stellar team of vendors.
Read more about their love story and see the beautiful details below!
- Couple: Athena & Michael
- Wedding date: September 26th, 2020
- Wedding location: Ninety Acres at Natirar, NJ
How did you meet?
We met at the University of Miami. We both grew up in New Jersey living just miles from each other but we never met until my Senior Year.
Tell us about the proposal
We were on our yearly trip to Italy with my Fiance’s family and we all walked down to the hotel bar for a drink, then my fiance said he forgot something in the villa so we started to walk back to the villa and on our way back the sun was setting and I stopped to take a picture. When I turned around to show him the picture he was on one knee asking me to marry him. We then continued our walk back to our villa and he had an entire romantic dinner set up for just us two. It was the most amazing dinner with the most incredible chef, all to my dietary restrictions, it was straight out of a fairy tale.
For our wedding, we wanted to try and recreate what would have been in Italy. We wanted to bring the warm loving atmosphere we felt every we time we visited any part of Italy. It was a tradition in Michael’s family to go visit Italy every year and It is where we got engaged, so the country holds a special place in our hearts. We brought our Italy inspiration to Natirar with lush greenery filled with olive branches and lemons, our florist Paulina from Blue Jasmine did an excellent job bringing our idea to life.
Being that food is most important to us and a staple in Italy we wanted the menu to reflect that so we started the cocktail hour with charcuterie boards and dinner included fresh Burrata and house-made Pasta with the evening ending in fresh gelato from Dolce + Gelato Catering. With our closest friends and family together, eating incredible food, and surrounded by beautiful greenery, we truly felt like we were in Italy.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding?
Both of us agreed that the paramount piece of our wedding would be the food. We originally had planned to get married in Italy and were longing for that incredible farm-to-table experience that broke the mold of traditional wedding food and was personalized and prepared perfectly for all of our guests. And secondly, also important to us was and is the safety of our family. Some of our family members have babies or live with their parents so we wanted to make sure everyone had a good time while being safe in the current climate that we are in. We planned to have an indoor-outdoor flow to make guests feel free to roam and very comfortable throughout the event.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
My favorite memory from the wedding was riding in our vintage Rolls Royce to and from the ceremony. Those two thirty-minute car rides pretty much alone were such a treat for us. It gave us time to just be together and enjoy each other’s company on our special day. As we drove through the streets of New Jersey we were transported back into our yesteryears and all the cars around us were honking and smiling as they saw us drive by, joining in on our celebration. We really felt the love that day, even from strangers.
What is the best advice you can give to engaged couples?
We will tell our children of the enormous amount of love that surrounded us that day and that we hope one day they find that same love.
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