The Wedding of ...
Melanie Birch & Joshua Fertel
Ceremony & Reception: The Park Savoy Estate
Gown: Maggie Sottero, at Hearts for You
Tux: The Clothing Store, East Brunswick
Photographer & Cinematographer:
Milton Gil Photography
Makeup: Jacqueline Michelle & Co.
Hair: Denise Cordeiro
Florist: Debbie Flowers
Cake: Palermo’s Bakery
Band: Time Machine
Joshua: Mel and I met by swiping right on an app after crossing paths at a local pizzeria. We went to the same sleep-away camp for six summers and had known of each other since childhood, but our paths weren’t meant to cross until about a decade later. When I showed up for our first date, I had flowers for her mom and we spent that first date realizing we had so many connections. I knew after the first date this was the real thing.
Melanie: After dating for three years, Joshua bought a ring and prepared to propose. He’d included my mom in the ring search and gave his parents the ring for safe keeping. He went radio silence after that, until one night he finally asked his parents for the ring, clued my dad in, and let my mom know it was the night. I’d booked dinner for us at a nice restaurant with a chef from Top Chef, and Joshua knew it would be the perfect night to surprise me.
Joshua: I didn’t have a formal plan and next thing I know we’d already ordered dessert. Melanie went to the restroom and I seized the opportunity. When she came back I had the ring out, and said “Marry me?” The staff caught on and the whole restaurant started cheering. The hostess started taking photos, we had champagne, and it was a really beautiful celebration.
Melanie: We went to see The Park Savoy Estate in the winter and quickly fell in love with its romantic charm. We walked in and adored everything we saw. We met Sam Tillawi, general manager, and knew we would be taken care of. He and his team were courteous, respectful, and helpful. When the pandemic hit and we had to postpone our wedding, they were understanding and worked with us to have the dream wedding we’d always wanted.
Joshua: We recognized this was an unprecedented time, and we were lucky enough to be planning a dream wedding. We knew our day would come and felt blessed to have so much love around us. We knew we had the A-team at The Park Savoy and we trusted their ability. In the end, we had the most incredible wedding we could’ve imagined.
Melanie: Our ceremony was in the chapel, which was built in the time between our initial wedding date and our actual wedding date at The Park Savoy. When we postponed our wedding, we decided to get married in a small family ceremony. Standing at the doors to the chapel, looking in at all our loved ones, was surreal. It felt beshert.
Joshua: At cocktail hour, what didn’t The Park Savoy offer? Sam sat down at the tasting with us with a big smile on his face, because he knew we were about to be wowed. We had over a dozen passed hors d’oeuvres and almost as many captain stations. We had gnocchi in sage walnut sauce with fresh pesto, tempura tuna sashimi, a mac and cheese station, a martini bar with caviar, a chicken and waffle station, and so much more. It’s amazing that their quantity and quality of food could surpass our expectations so highly. I would love to be a wedding guest there in the future and get to enjoy that food again!
Melanie: One of the things we loved about The Park Savoy was the big, elegant dance floor. With its large fireplace, it’s a very regal ballroom. The day of our wedding, it looked like a fairy tale. Our florist crushed it with four different height centerpieces, all of which maximized sight lines. The Park Savoy included uplighting, which gave the room a warm, golden glow. It was the perfect setting for a fantastic party. We had a wonderful band and they gave us the time of our lives. We couldn’t have asked for more.
Joshua: Dinner was delicious. After starting with the Estate signature salad, guests had a choice of Chilean sea bass chateaubriand, chicken caprese, or an eggplant tower. We were given all four of the entrées so we can say they are all great meals. We were impressed by the service and timing of dinner as well. Sam promised everyone would have their plates within two minutes of each other, and they absolutely did.
Melanie: We had a classic chocolate cake with dolce de leché vanilla icing. I’m not a huge cake person, but ours was so good! At the end of the night, we had a to-go station with zeppoles and it was so fun watching everyone enjoy their snacks as they headed home.
Joshua & Melanie: We thank Sam a million and one times! We couldn’t have had that amazing day without him, and our bridal attendants, Mikey Gonzalez and Jessica Urso. The team put our nerves at ease and were by our sides all day. A huge thanks to our family for supporting us through the crazy roller coaster of a three-year engagement, and to all our vendors who were with us from beginning to end. Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us. We had the wedding we always dreamed of and were honored to share it with you.
The Park Savoy Estate, Florham Park, NJ, 973.377.7100, theparksavoy.com