The Wedding of ...
Angela Larobis & Justin Loo
Ceremony: Zion Lutheran Church
Reception: Waterside Events, 201.861.7767, www.watersideevents.com
Gown: Atelier Magnani
Bridal Gown Salon: La Bussola, Brescia, Italy
Tux: Carlo Pignatelli
Photographer: Andrew Bisdale Photography
Makeup & Hair: Tre Chique
Florist: River Dell Flowers
Cake: Palermo’s Bakery
DJ: DJ Express Entertainment
Photo Booth: Authentic Photo
Cake Topper: Jayne Williams Co.
Favors: Hassos Studio
“Sparkling City Views”
A New Jersey woman went on sabbatical to Italy to teach children English. While there, she went on vacation to Cinque Terre and met the man she would marry. That’s where our story begins.
When vacation was over, I continued traveling throughout Italy for work and Alessandro, working in banking, had the flexibility to visit me all over the country. When I went back to the USA I thought that was the end, but he knew better. Alessandro visited me in New York a few times and later invited me to visit Scotland. Within a year of meeting, I moved to Italy for good! I started a business consulting for Italian companies, helping them improve their English language to become more international.
We knew when I moved that we would eventually get married, but I was still surprised when, at a Valentine’s Day dinner, he slid a ring box across the table. Our engagement remained a secret until a few months later when we traveled to the USA and told family and friends in person. Witnessing the surprise on each face as we shared our good news was a wonderful experience.
We left it to my parents to find the perfect venue. I shared our research and top criteria: a sparkling city view and accessibility for guests from overseas. Alessandro’s family had never been to the NY Metro area, so we decided to give them the trip of a lifetime.
My parents found Waterside Events and Lesley Lovett, the banquet sales and event planner, left a great impression. She was incredibly personable and knowledgeable; she made planning a wedding from 4000 miles away as stress-free as possible. She was happy to FaceTime with us, answered all emails right away, and when we finally met her in person, she was calming and reassuring. She’d written down all special requests, was proactive and communicative, giving us peace of mind that everything would go as planned. Waterside knows what they’re doing and their expertise shows. They know the best vendors and helped us find the right ones for us. When we saw the venue, it was amazing. The setup permits everyone to be together the entire time and would give us a sense of intimacy with our guests.
Walking into the ceremony at my family church, seeing our friends and family from all over the world was a surreal feeling. It was absolutely beautiful; short, sweet, and truly moving. In an unforgettable moment, our pastor, a long time family friend, recited “You may kiss the bride,” in Italian. We then took a limo to Waterside Events and our guests were transported in big yellow school buses; something our Italian guests had only seen in movies!
Arriving an hour before cocktail hour, guests mingled at the waterfront bar. Wall-to-wall windows displayed a crystal clear day with a gorgeous sunset. Waterside helped us add personal touches; chicken parmesan playfully displayed as “Pollo alla Laura,” a joke between Alessandro and me; and signature cocktails from Italy and New York, “The Manhattan” and an “Aperol Spritz,” with all signage in both languages.
Our ballroom décor was meaningful yet modest. Orange blossom is the flower of Italian weddings, representing love, nobility, elegance, and good luck. Our florist was able to get them off-season and incorporated them throughout, adding hints of orange with kumquats. We brought confetti, or sugar almonds, from Italy, and Waterside Events supplied votives that illuminated the room. A world map with all the places we’d traveled served as our guest book. Everything we did was a representation of us and contributed to the beautiful ambiance.
Our entrances, a new and fun experience for our Italian guests, were followed by our first dance and my father-daughter dance. The speeches were translated in both languages so everyone felt included. During dinner, we had a video of our beginnings in Italy and Scotland up to our wedding. It was a beautiful chance for everyone to see what our life was like abroad. The food was delicious, impressing even our Italian guests. Entrées were roasted rosemary chicken with fresh herb jus, chateaubriand with a bordelaise sauce, and Chilean sea bass with a lemon thyme butter sauce.
In addition to our three-tiered wedding cake, Waterside Events served family-style chocolate-covered strawberries, crème brûlée, and pastries. Our DJ announced everything in both English and Italian and kept everyone on the dance floor with Italian classics, Frank Sinatra, funk and pop hits, and made sure he knew what we were looking for with our key dances.
We thank my parents and brother, Adriana, Joe, and Joey, who did so much legwork for our wedding. They were pivotal in making our day so perfect. Thank you to Alessandro’s father, Gianni, and brother, Stefano, for all their support. Thank you to my four grandparents who danced the night away. Our vendors were all amazing. Thank you to Lesley, Miguel, and Chantel for making planning from across the world possible. Thank you to all our guests, young and old, from near and far, for making our day unforgettable. Grazie a tutti!
Waterside Events, North Bergen, NJ