Samantha & Francis | il Tulipano | Cedar Grove, NJ

Samantha & Francis' Wedding at il Tulipano (Justin Pedrick Photography)

The Wedding of...
Francis Yobb-Smith & Samantha Casafranca

Their Vendors
Ceremony & Reception: il Tulipano, 973.256.9300, www.iltulipano.com
Gown: Demetrios
Bridesmaids: Bari Jay
Tux: Men's Wearhouse
Photographer: Justin Pedrick Photography
Cinematographer: Buds Palola Wedding Films
Makeup & Hair: Hair Ambition Salon
Florist: Dahlia Floral & Event Design
Cake: il Tulipano
DJ: Mystical Entertainment 

Incredible Food in a Beautiful Garden

Frank and I met in one of our college parking lots at Seton Hall University. After being friends for about a year, I finally kissed him during Memorial Day weekend. We made it official our junior year and Frank took me to Outback Steakhouse for our first date. About seven years later, I am now a teacher and Frank works in law enforcement.

One day, after a stressful time babysitting my niece who was sick, Frank had a surprise waiting for me at home. When I arrived, the stairs were filled with rose petals and candles and pictures of us were taped along the walls. Frank got down on one knee in our living room and asked me the easiest question I've ever been asked. In addition to the perfect proposal, he also planned a surprise trip to Tampa to celebrate our engagement. 

Samantha & Francis' Wedding at il Tulipano (Justin Pedrick Photography)

Samantha & Francis' Wedding at il Tulipano (Justin Pedrick Photography)

I was waiting for a venue that gave us the "This is it" feeling, and il Tulipano did. I could envision what our whole day would be like there, from saying our vows in the beautiful outdoor ceremony space to our family and friends dancing the night away in the beautiful ballroom.

From the moment we walked in, Chris Ryter, the director of catering, was personable, friendly, and easy to talk to. He listened to all our wants and needs, even offering suggestions and ideas to make our day extraordinary and unforgettable. 

On our day, Frank and I did a private look with our photographer, Justin, getting a sneak peek of the beautiful decor around il Tulipano's grounds. Our family members officiated and we said "I do" under the garden's beautifully decorated arch. We took a few more pictures after the ceremony before joining our guests in the Gregorian room for cocktail hour. 

White-glove butlers greeted guests with champagne and hors d' oeuvres such as mini beef sliders, shrimp chorizo skewers, and truffled French fries. We especially loved the "Rare the Steak House" station which included Tomahawk steak and lobster mac and cheese. The big highlight was the custom seafood ice heart engraved with our names, which served scallops, octopus, sushi, and more. 

Samantha & Francis' Wedding at il Tulipano (Justin Pedrick Photography)

Samantha & Francis' Wedding at il Tulipano (Justin Pedrick Photography)

We were speechless as we walked into our ballroom. The table decor, the purple lighting in the room, and the DJ booth set up on the dance floor provided the intimate look we desired. Our florist did an amazing job of incorporating our navy and coral color scheme into the decor, adding a romantic touch with surrounding candles and coral rose petals on our sweetheart table. Our guests were blown away by all the food, from the cocktail hour to dinner to the Viennese hour. 

For dinner, guests began with the signature baby greens salad in homemade wine vinegar dressing and an orange sorbet intermezzo. For the main entree, we offered an option of salmon beurre blanc, prime filet mignon with Barolo wine sauce, or chicken paillard with sautéed sweet peppers. Our Viennese hour included a variety of Italian pastries and our four-tier chocolate and vanilla cake with Oreo cream filling. 

Samantha & Francis' Wedding at il Tulipano (Justin Pedrick Photography)

Samantha & Francis' Wedding at il Tulipano (Justin Pedrick Photography)

Being of Peruvian descent, my parents surprised our guests with Peruvian dancers, which put an amazing touch on our wedding. People could not stop talking about how much they loved the cultural performance. In addition, our DJs listened to our exact music requests and played songs that kept our guests on the dance floor all night. 

Our day would not have been possible without all the people involved. A heartfelt thank you to all our incredible vendors and to Chris Ryter and all those at il Tulipano who made our day extra special. To our family, bridal party, and friends, being with us on our wedding day made it all the more special. We could not think of any better way to debut as Mr. and Mrs. Yobb-Smith!

il Tulipano 
1131 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove, NJ 07009 
973.256.9300, www.iltulipano.com