The Wedding of…
Carliah Henry & Chris Distefano
Ceremony & Reception: Maritime Parc
Gown: Pronovias at I do… I do…, Morristown, NJ
Bridesmaids: Pronovias; Tux: Allure
Photographer: Moses Cruz Photography
Cinematographer: Live Picture Studio
Makeup: Megan Johnson, Makeup by Megan J
Hair: Mohan Modimel, Modimel Weddings
Florist: Bride and Blossom; Cake: Sweetville Cake Shoppe
DJ: Jason Jani, SCE Event Group
Stationery: Minted; Hotel: Canopy by Hilton
Chargers: Charged Up Events
Sweetheart & Cake Table: Glam Party Rentals
Signage: Tiki Designs;
Officiant: Weddings by Aretha
Day of Coordinator: Gabrielle Preziosi, Detailed Events by Lo
Transportation: Moonlight Limousine
Chris and I met in college at a halfway-to-summer party his fraternity was having. He dressed up as Santa, really sticking to the theme. We hit it off and soon had our first date. We were college kids so it was just at a casual diner, but we sat talking for what felt like hours. We talked about our goals after graduation, our family, why we chose our majors — all of it. I am now a senior digital media strategist and Chris is a quality engineer.
Chris tried to propose to me a few times! On a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation, there was an area in the center of the ship with trees and greenery called Central Park. Chris was trying to go there, where he had photographers from the ship waiting, but there was another event I insisted we go to!
After that trip we went to Miami for a few days and after a tour at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, it started pouring. We rushed to huddle under a souvenir stand’s umbrella, and I made a joke about the rain ruining what could’ve been a perfect proposal spot. Chris just looked at me funny. After the rain stopped and we walked up a hill to view the water, he proposed.
The first time we went to Maritime Parc, we fell in love with the space. The views are amazing. The spiral staircase perfectly frames the huge, beautiful chandelier. There were plenty of options for ceremony and reception locations and photo spots. One area had windows all around and we knew it would look amazing at night.
This was the beginning of March, when Covid was just happening. Everything was shutting down and we were on their last tour. We loved the space so much that we decided to wait it out. Jayd Kingston, sales manager, gave us the tour and let us know when we would be able to book. She was incredibly helpful throughout the process.
Jayd also did a tour with our parents and they agreed, Maritime Parc was very us. When the number of guests kept fluctuating, since people weren’t sure how comfortable they would be, Maritime worked with us to make sure we didn’t feel like we were losing money if we didn’t hit the minimum. Any questions, last-minute changes, or additions we wanted were met with agreement and flexibility.
Our ceremony was in the Aviary, which has wood beams and tons of gorgeous natural light. We mixed our traditions and “Jumped the Broom.” That’s from my culture, to signify that we were jumping into a new life together.
Our guests raved about Maritime Parc’s cocktail hour! One of our guests came from England and said he had never been to an American wedding and it was the best food he’d ever had. I loved the Korean BBQ station and the pasta station was excellent.
There is a space off the reception area where you can go outside and get full skyline views of the city. We were blessed with a 70-degree day and our guests were able to spend time out there and take some really nice pictures. The ceiling has built-in lights that shine onto each table, which highlighted our high and low centerpieces. Our DJ did an amazing job with the music and GoldBooth photo booth took two sets of pictures, one to give the guests and one to put into a book we used as our guest book.
Dinner was amazing. Guests could choose pan-seared branzino, roasted garlic chicken breast, a beef duo with NY strip steak and braised short ribs, or a vegetarian option. Maritime adjusted what we needed for dietary restrictions and had food for kids. We sent their in-house baker pictures of wedding cakes we liked and she combined them in a way that was unbelievable. It had a marbled look with gold flecks.
We want to thank our friends and family and our bridal party, who were constantly making sure we were okay. My maid of honor was planning her wedding at the same time and we had each other to lean on. Thank you to Maritime Parc, for being super accommodating and helpful. Our photographers captured everything and we’re absolutely in love with the pictures. My day-of coordinator had a checklist to make sure I had everything I needed. Everyone helped make the day happen!
Jersey City, NJ, 201.413.0050, maritimeparc.com