The Wedding of...
Linda Hill & Dr. Christopher DeMassi
Ceremony: Saint Lucy's Church
Reception: il Tulipano, 973.256.9300, www.iltulipano.com
Gown: Sarui Wedding Gowns International
Tux: Vera Wang
Photographer: Aly Kuler Photography
Hair: Dieci Lifestyle Spa
Florist: Crest Florist
Cake: il Tulipano
DJ: Supermix Entertainment
Cinematographer: Taco Film
Transportation: My Limo
Chris and I connected online through a mutual friend. He was in his sixth year as a neurosurgeon at Memorial Regional Healthcare and I was teaching violin to elementary school students as well as the assistant to the fine arts department at a private school. I felt nervous about meeting him. Someone who removes tumors from people’s brains must be quite serious and I worked with children all day! Yet we hit it off immediately, finding similar interests in cooking, music, learning, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. I now work as the fine arts assistant to the director at the American Heritage School and Chris is chief of neurosurgery at Memorial HealthCare System.
We planned our wedding in just five months. We chose early spring and decided Chris’s home state, New Jersey, had convenience of location for our guests and a gorgeous Catholic cathedral for our ceremony. We called il Tulipano and I was connected with Chris Ryter, the director of catering, who later became our wedding world aficionado. Chris’s parents toured the venue and gave us a thumbs up. We booked it and planned a weekend for my mother and me to fly up and do three months of planning in a day!
When we walked through the doors of il Tulipano we smelled the waft of delicious food and felt at home. We were given a tour of the entire property and I was filled with excitement imagining our wedding guests mingling around. The entire staff was so friendly, inviting, and professional. I loved that we would be the only wedding on site that day, and I left with confidence that our wedding was in good hands.
My career has afforded me quite a bit of event planning experience, and I was able to use my background in graphic design to incorporate our design ideas into the décor. My vendors, and especially the staff at il Tulipano, were fantastic at interpreting our vision and bringing it to life for our guests. Chris comes from a Polish and Italian background and I am Ecuadorian and Dominican. He loves the eclectic and whimsical and I love Old World elegance. We incorporated purples to give a regal feel and the European styled cathedral gave a marvelous introduction to our wedding. Accompanied by trumpeted fanfare and an angelic choir, I walked down the aisle to marry Chris in the fashion of a royal wedding. Outside the church, we toasted champagne and a 1996 Rolls Royce Austin Princess at the end of a red carpet whisked us off to il Tulipano.
Our cocktail hour continued the wow factor as our guests were greeted with champagne in the large sunroom. A piano and saxophone serenaded our guests with Frank Sinatra songs as they enjoyed the buffet. Chris and I selected an extravagant array of stations and passed hors d’oeuvres, and our guests loved the roast suckling pig, crepes, ceviche, and Peking duck.
The grand ballroom had purple uplighting to play off the walls and tall, thin vases on each table held a delicate spray of eucalyptus branches, roses, and hydrangea. We incorporated Old World style with gold chargers, ornate flatware, and large throne sofas for the bride and groom. Custom menus with a personal thank you message were at each setting, along with ornate gold-key bottle openers tied to a box of chocolates. We arranged the tulip terrace as a portrait room and added more throne sofas for our guests to feel regal as well!
Our first course was warm goat cheese medallions over mesclun salad, followed by an intermezzo of mango sorbetto. Entrée options were orange roughy, grilled prime filet mignon, and chicken margherita. Dessert was a four-tier red velvet cake with cannoli filling served with vanilla gelato. Each table was served a tray of fresh pastries and cookies. Our DJ organized the flow of music superbly. They created a shared document where we edited the playlist ourselves months ahead of the wedding, eliminating the risk of a lost email. Enhanced by their cloud machine, our first dance felt surreal. A saxophone player walked around greeting guests and playing along to hits, and the range of music matched the energy perfectly.
We had an outstanding wedding experience at il Tulipano and couldn’t be happier with them. Our florist made sure we had flowers as grand as the rest of our wedding. Our videographer gave us a magical video that we will forever cherish. We enjoyed every single moment of our wedding and are so thankful we didn’t feel rushed through any of it. We are forever grateful!
il Tulipano, Cedar Grove, NJ