Ria & Russell | The Bernards Inn | Bernardsville, NJ

Ria & Russ' Wedding at The Bernards Inn (Donalisa Photography)

The Wedding of ...
Ria Caracappa & Russell Romeo

Their Vendors
Ceremony & Reception: The Bernards Inn,
908.766.0002, www.bernardsinn.com
Gown: Casablanca
Bridesmaids: Jovani
Dress Shop: Castle Couture
Tux: Michael Kors
Photographer & Cinematographer: Donalisa Photography
Hair: Nadia’s Family Salon
Florist: Jardíníere Fine Flowers
Cake: The Bernards Inn
DJ: Ambient DJ,
609.672.1270, www.ambientdj.com

Romantic Holiday Wedding

I met Russ on match.com. I am a medical assistant and he works in marketing. For our first date, we enjoyed dinner and a great bottle of wine at a local restaurant. Believing this would be an important date, I put the wine cork next to my plate to save it. We went to a bar afterward, and I realized I forgot the cork at the restaurant, but by that time, the restaurant was closed. Russ surprised me at my office the next day and dropped off the cork. He said the waitress overheard our conversation and saved it for us in hopes that we’d come back.

About a year later, Russ said he was having car troubles and needed me to pick him up. He was right near the restaurant we went for our first date. When I arrived at his car, he was on one knee holding the infamous wine cork, with a ring on it! We called our families and then celebrated at our restaurant! Later that night, the celebration continued and we met up with friends. 

When I searched for “Top Romantic Wedding Venues in New Jersey,” I found The Bernards Inn and I kept going back to their site. As soon as we walked in, we knew it was exactly the intimate and vintage setting we wanted for our Christmas holiday wedding. I cannot say enough great things about Andrea Testa, the manager of events. She is absolutely phenomenal. Andrea understood my vision right off the bat and was extremely helpful in planning. When I had to unfortunately break the contract with my previous florist, she recommended a different florist that provided top notch service and helped us create the Christmas décor we wanted.

Ria & Russ' Wedding at The Bernards Inn (Donalisa Photography)

Ria & Russ' Wedding at The Bernards Inn (Donalisa Photography)

Our two daughters and Russ’ father played a big role in our ceremony and each spoke. Our wedding officiant told our story, including the part about the wine cork, which was a nice touch for our guests.
We had two main food stations at our cocktail hour. One was the “South of the Border” station that served tacos and quesadillas with chicken, shrimp, fish, and vegetables. The other was the “Taste of Italy” station with eggplant rollatini, creamy risotto, and rigatoni pasta. Some of our favorite passed appetizers were the short rib stuffed mushrooms with horseradish, goat cheese lollipops, and jumbo lump crab with parsley and pepper on a porcelain spoon.

Our ballroom had a romantic, elegant Christmas theme with centerpieces of red roses surrounded by greenery and holly berry candles. Dinner began with a choice of sweet potato ravioli in a sage brown butter sauce or russet potato gnocchi in a parmesan cream sauce. For the entrée, we offered a choice of chateaubriand in a red wine and shallot demi glace or shrimp wrapped scallop on a rosemary skewer.

Ria & Russ' Wedding at The Bernards Inn (Donalisa Photography)

Ria & Russ' Wedding at The Bernards Inn (Donalisa Photography)

There so a mix of all ages there, so our DJ played a mix of everything from Frank Sinatra to Italian classics like the tarantella. It was a lot of fun! Our wedding cake was a red velvet cake with cream cheese filling and vanilla butter cream, made by Liz Katz, the fabulous Bernards Inn pastry chef. We also had a Viennese dessert selection in the Silver Vault and Wine Pantry. It included our carrot cake, amaretto cheesecake, vanilla ice cream, coffee gelato, jumbo chocolate chip cookies, and more.

Thank you to Andrea at The Bernards Inn for understanding my vision and giving us the wedding of our dreams. Thank you to our children, friends, and family for celebrating our special day with us!

The Bernards Inn
27 Mine Brook Road, Bernardsville, NJ
908.766.0002, www.bernardsinn.com